Ismael Lea South

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Ismael Lea South
Birth nameLea South
Born (1973-05-28) 28 May 1973 (age 49)
Willesden, Brent, London, England
OriginLondon, England
GenresIslamic, hip hop, Nasheed
Occupation(s)Rapper, youth worker
LabelsCrescent Moon Media

Lea South (born 28 May 1973), better known as Ismael Lea South, is an English rapper, community activist and youth worker of Jamaican descent.

Early life[edit]

South was in Willesden, London, England. Both his parents are from Jamaica, his father came to the United Kingdom in the late 1950s and his mother in the early 1960s. He was brought up as a Christian.[1]

South attended South Kilburn High School and studied marketing at London College of Communication. He started writing lyrics at school. He later joined an underground group Strictly Business with Gee and Mic Check One. They were later signed by an underground recording label. He converted to Islam in this process and left due to artistic content disagreements.[2][3]


South met Rakin Fetuga in Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner and then later at a Muslim event in Westminster University. After working together in an aromatherapy business,[2][3] Rakin and him formed the group Mecca2Medina in 1996.[4]

South is a project and events manager for the Black Youth Drugs Line, which works against drugs and anti-social behaviour in UK inner cities.[2][3]

He has co-hosted and managed the urban stages at the Islam Expo in Olympia and the Global Peace and Unity Event in ExCeL Exhibition Centre.[5] He co-hosts Islam Channel's urban show Brother's in the Deen.[6]

In 2006, South co-founded The Salam Project with Rakin Fetuga, which organises urban Islamic events and initiatives.[7] He organises Muslim Hip hop and comedy events such as the Muslim Hip Hop Summit.[8] He also co-founded of TSP Urban Youth.[9]

He also works as a consultant in Islamic urban projects in the Muslim community and is a learning mentor at Bright Futures Consulting. He is currently working on Crescent Moon Media recording label.[10]

In March 2014, South was interviewed by Mark Dean on BBC Radio Northampton, discussing specialised support for Muslim converts from Britain's African and Caribbean communities.[11]

Personal life[edit]

In April 2008, South got married. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Life in the Day of: Ismael Lea South". London: Misbah Institute. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c "Mecca2Medina". IQRA Promotions. Archived from the original on 10 February 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "About M2M". Mecca2Medina. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  4. ^ Timmerman, Christiane; Leman, Johan; Roos, Hannelore; Segaert, Barbara (2009). In-between spaces: Christian and Muslim Minorities in Transition in Europe and The Middle East. Peter Lang. p. 156. ISBN 978-90-5201-565-1.
  5. ^ "Hip-Hop: Mecca2Medina". Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  6. ^ "About Us". The Deen Show. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  7. ^ "The Salam Project". Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  8. ^ "The Muslim Hip Hop Summit 2011". UK Rap Chronicles. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Are you ready for 5 hours of madness?". Your Local Guardian. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Biography". Rakin Niass. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  11. ^ Dean, Mark (9 March 2014). "Black British Muslims need more support". BBC Radio Northampton. Retrieved 1 July 2015.

External links[edit]