‘This is NOT the Brixton I love and adore’: Influencer is mocked for posting video of south London district that ‘erases diversity’ as locals say it shows ‘gentrification turning area into bland commercial nightmare’

  • Video was shared by UCL engineering student under the username Karen.akc
  • The caption says ‘come with me to Brixton’ and shows her touring Village Market
  • BBC DJ said clip is made by someone ‘who clearly knows nothing about Brixton’

A TikTok influencer has enraged parts of the Brixton community after her video tour of the south London district ‘erased any semblance of its Black and Caribbean culture.’ 

The UCL engineering student, known only by her username Karen.akc, was branded part of the ‘tote bag mafia’ by locals, who accused her video of failing to capture the cultural diversity that is synonymous with the area. 

Her 19-second clip invites her 27,000 followers to ‘come with me to Brixton’ as she and a male friend visit Brixton Village market, where they are seen enjoying burgers in brioche buns and fries slathered in cheese, while a caption reads: ‘Yums for my tums.’  

They then visit Lost in Brixton, a cocktail bar based in the same market, as the video declares: ‘Good vibes only.’ 

The short clip trended on Twitter after being shared en masse by locals who said it did not show ‘the Brixton I love’, while others said it highlighted the negative effects of ‘gentrification’ on the area. 

Brixton Village was bought by Hondo Enterprises – owned by Texan socialite and DJ Taylor McWilliams – for £37.25million in 2018. 

It is home to a range of bars and restaurants which serve cuisine from around the world, but locals in the past have branded it another example of ‘gentrification on steroids’ that it is turning the area into a ‘hipster paradise.’ 

A UCL engineering student, known only by her username Karen.akc, was branded part of the ‘tote bag mafia’ by Brixton locals, who accused her video (pictured) of failing to capture the cultural diversity that is synonymous with the area

Her 19-second clip invites her 27,000 followers to ‘come with me to Brixton’ as she and a male friend visit Brixton Village market, where they are seen enjoying burgers in brioche buns and fries slathered in cheese, while a caption reads: ‘Yums for my tums’ 

They then visit Lost in Brixton, a cocktail bar based in the same market, as the video declares: ‘Good vibes only’ 

BBC Radio DJ Edward Adoo branded the TikTok video from inside the market ‘shocking’, adding: ‘This is deep this is not the Brixton I love and adore. 

‘No mentions of Aunty, Uncle, Rice n Peas, Okra – Moreley’s – market traders… clearly produced by someone who hasn’t got a clue about Brixton.’ 

Lorraine King, a presenter on Colourful Radio, said the market shown in the video is ‘the result of handing over a once diverse retail space into the hands of a private developer.’ 

She added: ‘I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gentrification because it can benefit everyone but when it results in “ethnic cleansing” like this it’s wrong.’ 

Others accused the clip of ‘erasing the diversity’ of the area by not visiting other nearby landmarks, including the market on Electric Avenue, made famous by the Eddy Grant classic. 

They also accused the creator of purposefully not including people of colour in the video.  

One wrote: ‘This takes gentrification to a new level, because, call me crazy, but it looks like the person who made this has deliberately avoided getting black people in the shot.’ 

Another said: ‘The editing to avoid any semblance of Black/Caribbean culture in Brixton is insane.’

Others said the video suggested the area was turning into Camden or Shoreditch, while another quipped: ‘When they start saying “come with me to Peckham” it is over.’ 

Another joked: ‘Come to Brixton used to be a threat, now it’s an invitation to brunch.’ 

Comedian Munya Chawawa has already responded with a parody video of a posh man visiting ‘Bricky Wicky’ and the Village Market with his ‘gluten free girlfriend.’ 

Referencing gentrification, the character sips a coffee at the end of the clip and says: ‘Honestly, a dash of white really does improve everything… I mean’, while gesturing to the market behind him. 

The short clip trended on Twitter after being shared en masse by locals who said it did not show ‘the Brixton I love’, while others said it highlighted the negative effects of ‘gentrification’ on the area 

Hundreds of Caribbean immigrants – mainly from Jamaica – arrived to Brixton in 1948 to help battle the UK’s severe labour shortage following the end of World War Two. 

They were dubbed the Windrush Generation – named after the first ship they arrived on – and nearly half a million had arrived to Britain by 1970, creating cultural melting pots in the areas they inhabited. 

But for years now Brixton locals have feared the area’s Afro-Caribbean identity has been at risk from an influx of wealthy – and mostly white – residents who are buying and renting properties at increasingly higher prices. 

They believe this prices out poorer residents while attracting investors who ‘gentrify’ the area with bars, restaurants and businesses that do not reflect the local community’s diverse cultures.

Reacting to the viral video, social housing campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa, 23, said he grew up in Brixton and went to the market every weekend with his father. 

A small number of people supported the content of the video, saying it ‘looked nice’, while one bemoaned: ‘People are actually complaining that it’s getting better’ 

He added: ‘It’s changed so much in the last 10 years and it’s culture is slowly disappearing.’ 

Another declared: ‘This video is horrible. Brixton’s gentrification has turned it from a thriving community to a bland commercial nightmare.’ 

A small number of people supported the content of the video, saying it ‘looked nice’, while one bemoaned: ‘People are actually complaining that it’s getting better.’

MailOnline has contacted the creator of the TikTok video and Brixton Village Market for comment.  

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