'Entirely Up To Me' is teenage Pendle singer and songwriter's thought provoking and important message to her generation

A song, written by a Fence teenager when she was just 17, will strike a chord with so many people as the debate about violence against women, and how females are perceived in society, rages on.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:30 pm

Entirely Up To Me is a beautifully written song with a catchy melody... but the message behind it could not be more serious or thought provoking. And that was exactly Anna Kirkup's intention .. to make people, women and men, think about their actions and how they behave towards others.

Now 19 and a student at Edge Hill University, Anna talks about important it is for women to have the choice to be who they want and wear what they want without fear of judgement, or physical or verbal attack, from the opposite sex.

And Entirely Up To Me, which can be viewed with an accompanying video on YouTube, is also about breaking down the stereotypes of male and female and allowing people to express themselves how they want, regardless of their gender.

Former Fence teenager Anna Kirkup 's song Entirely Up To Me is about empowering women to be who they want without fear of threat or intimidation
Former Fence teenager Anna Kirkup 's song Entirely Up To Me is about empowering women to be who they want without fear of threat or intimidation

"I have male friends who would like to wear nail varnish or make up but they daren't because they are scared of the reaction they may get," said Anna.

"Because stereotypes are so entrenched in our society they are seen as being different when all they are doing is expressing themselves."

Anna, who studied at Nelson and Colne College, believes the media plays a huge part in influencing her generation and this includes how they should look and act. And she admits that she has been subject to unwanted sexual attention from around the age of 13.

Anna said: "Some of it can be subtle, from someone staring at you, to various comments."

Anna with her parents, Paul and Helen Kirkup

And that unwanted attention even included recently being 'chatted up' by a male supermarket worker who made Anna feel so uncomfortable she gave a false name!

"I had gone in to the store to get a loaf of bread and the assistant on the till was asking me a lot of questions about my plans for the weekend, and if he could be part of it," said Anna.

"I didn't want to be rude but I also didn't want to feel forced to give out personal information.

"It was just a very awkward and uncomfortable situation to be in."

Anna with her girlfriend Emily

In another situation Anna, a former pupil at Wheatley Lane Primary School in Fence, found herself 'dressing down' when she wanted to go out alone for an early evening walk.

She chose a long, dark coat and hat and admitted that if she had seen a group of males she would have crossed the road to avoid them and any form of confontation.

"Yes I am a confident person but I hate any form of confrontation and it's sad that we have to think like that," said Anna, who is studying English Language with creative writing and Spanish.

Although she doesn't have any future career in mind yet, Anna admits that she is quite attracted to the teaching profession and would choose Personal, Social, Health and Economic education as her subject.

An ecstatic Anna with three of her friends from high school, Joe Ward, Alicja Matuszeweska and Danielle Buksh attending the launch for her music on Spotify in 2019

But she could also have a bright future ahead as a singer/songwriter known as Anna Malindi.

Malindi is Anna's middle name and is in honour of her mum Helen's birthplace of Kenya.

Malindi is a seaside town in Africa and gives Anna a strong connection to her family heritage which she is fiercely proud of.

Anna said: "My mum's parents were missionaries in Africa and I was very close to my late grandmother who was called Mama Pat Nangulu.

"She was an amazing woman and very important in her community."

It would be safe to assume that Anna could take on that mantle as she forges ahead with what will undoubtedly be a successful future, whatever path she chooses to follow.

Anna Kirkup is a talented singer/songwriter whose song Entirely Up To Me contains a hard hitting message