#041 – Hospitality Meets Mohamed Ali – The Powerful Story of Hope

When I started this podcast, one of my objectives was to keep things light and humorous, especially in the face of the seriousness of the lives we are all being asked to lead at the moment.

But every now and again, Someone’s story comes along where light and humorous just doesn’t feel appropriate.

In today’s episode we have one such story.  

It’s powerful, gripping, hopeful, moving and incredibly important. It’s a story that transcends Hospitality and I think needs to be heard by as many people as possible.

So today, I’m stripping things right back, no music intro, no comedy moments just me, chatting to someone with a phenomenal story of transcendence. I’m delighted to introduce to you, Mohamed Ali who currently works at those legends over at Wahaca. Mohamed has quite literally been saved by the industry of hospitality and shows what kindness really can achieve.  

Mohamed’s strength is in how he is looking forward

I’d urge you to listen to every single word of our chat and when you’re done, share it to as many places as you can, even beyond our incredible industry. It’s a story that needs to be heard and could save an awful lot of people.

A huge thank you to Mohamed for being so open.

Until then sit back, take a deep breath, and I hope you enjoy Mohamed’s story as much as I did

Please Follow Mohamed’s inspiring message of positivity in the following places:-

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGFWTvZLPb-vImhUnmvLGwg

Instagram – @MI_Horizon

Twitter – @Mo_Humaneskill

Follow The Clink at:-

Website https://theclinkcharity.org

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOE41Y7hY6XcPHHxU7C9fEw

Twitter – @theclinkcharity

Instagram – @theclinkrestaurant

Show Transcription


people, life, Clink, hospitality, feel, Mohamed, thinking, prison, easy, situation, realise, gun, support, guess, hear, father, Somalia, choice, story, London


Phil Street, Mohamed Ali

Phil Street 00:00

Hey, everyone. So here’s the thing. When I started this podcast, one of my objectives was to keep things light and humorous, especially in the face of the seriousness of the lives we’re all being asked to lead at the moment. But every now and again, someone’s story comes along where light and humorous just doesn’t feel appropriate. In today’s episode, we’ve got one such story. It’s powerful, gripping, hopeful, moving, and incredibly important. It’s a story that transcends hospitality, and I think needs to be heard by as many people as possible. So today, I’m stripping things right back, no music intro, no comedy moments, just me chatting to someone with a phenomenal story of transcendence. I’m delighted to introduce Mohamed Ali, who currently works at those legends over at Wahaca. Mohamed has quite literally been saved by the industry of hospitality, and shows what kindness really can achieve. But his real strength is in how he’s looking forward, I’d urge you to listen to every single word of our chat. And when you’re done, share it to as many places as you can. Even beyond our incredible industry. It’s a story that needs to be heard, and could save an awful lot of people. A huge thank you to Mohamed for being so open. Stay tuned to the end For information on where you can follow this inspirational guy. I’ll also put the links in the show notes on our website, hospitalitymeets.captivate.fm, where you can also sign up to our weekly newsletter. Until then, sit back, take a deep breath. And I hope you enjoy Mohamed’s story as much as I did. Hello, and welcome to the next edition of hospitality meets with me, Phil Street. Today, I’ve got an absolute humdinger of a guest. As you all know by now, one of the objectives of the show was to tell as wide a variety of stories as possible from entry level all the way up to the very top of the industry. Today’s guest has had one hell of a journey, just to end up in hospitality, where he now feels, I think it’s safe to say, at home and has a superb career in front of him. I’ll let him fill in the blanks on that but it gives me amazing pleasure to welcome to the show, Mohamed Ali.

Mohamed Ali 02:04

Thank you so much Phil, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. That’s a massive introduction.

Phil Street 02:09

Excellent. I always write these things a little bit in the dark about, you know, am I saying the right things, and I’ve got some wrong I’ve mispronounced people’s names. And

Mohamed Ali 02:24

It sounded like I was just coming, you know, to the ring for the first time, you know after being away for so long. Just about to have the biggest fight of my life. the introduction got me really excited. You know?

Phil Street 02:35

Nice one

Mohamed Ali 02:36

Thank you so much.

Phil Street 02:37

You’re very, very welcome. How are you doing anyway?

Mohamed Ali 02:39

I’m doing great. Thank you so much. As you know, like, you know, there’s so many, I guess, uncertainties in this time at the moment has in 2020

Phil Street 02:50


Mohamed Ali 02:50

Um, but what I’m trying to do the best to the best of my abilities be as optimistic and, and, you know, hopeful about the future. Obviously, right now, I’ve been looking forward to having a conversation with you as well. You know, one of the things I really know I’m hoping to do is highlight how how hospitality has really, you know, helped me and change my whole perception about people in general as well.

Phil Street 03:16


Mohamed Ali 03:17

And I guess, you know, this is an opportunity for me to say thank you to everyone in hospitality from The Clink to you know, Wahaca who has given me an opportunity to every single other, you know, member of hospitality who have given me a helping hand. But yeah, you know, honestly, I can’t thank them enough.

Phil Street 03:36

Brilliant. Well, that’s great. I mean, we’ll talk in more depth about about the The Clink because I think what they’re doing is incredible, but an elephant in the room that we have to get out the way…

Mohamed Ali 03:49


Phil Street 03:49

…straight away Is your name. Muhammad Ali. Obviously, that conjures up images of somebody else that was fairly famous.

Mohamed Ali 03:58

Yeah. The greatest person ever.

Phil Street 04:01

Yeah. Well, he was he was an inspiration that man wasn’t he?

Mohamed Ali 04:04

Absolutely. And that’s why I’m not trying to be like him. You know, I’m just trying to be the next one Mohamed Ali, I’m gonna try to take his name.

Phil Street 04:10


Mohamed Ali 04:10

Anyway, so. No putting your gloves on you know?

Phil Street 04:18

Excellent. So, no, that’s cool. We also had somebody on the show who was called Rachel Stevens, and still is called Rachel Stevens, in fact, and obviously, that’s a member of S Club Seven. I think the band might be before your time. Showing my age now

Mohamed Ali 04:34

I remember S Club Seven, they were good songs, I remember, I think some of their songs.

Phil Street 04:40

Yeah, very happy. Very happy.

Mohamed Ali 04:42


Phil Street 04:43

Great. Okay. Well, let’s, I suppose kick things off. Take us back to school hood. I know just talk us through your your journey because I think as I said at the beginning of the chat, for me, this is kind of What the podcast is all about? The diversity of people’s journeys is incredible. And I think I’m really excited to hear yours in a bit more depth.

Mohamed Ali 05:11

All right. So I guess, you know, childhood, for me was quite happy was happy times Honest to God, if I remember, um, you know how I was, I was growing up in London, you know, I came here as a really young, young boy and growing up in London was exciting, you know, going to school life was, you know, full of different differences. You know, like, there’s so many variety of people, there’s so many Yeah, multicultural city, so it was nice to be able to mix it with so many different people based on that. I guess. It was also equally difficult to grasp the language having been here only a year. So I came to London, UK 2000

Phil Street 06:00

Where are you from originally Mohamed?

Mohamed Ali 06:02

Yes. So I’m from Somalia.

Phil Street 06:04


Mohamed Ali 06:05

Yeah, so I came, I came to London 2000 to live with my father. Straightaway, I went to primary school, which was it was nice, you know, learning, trying to learn English, obviously maths was okay, because my dad liked maths, I didn’t really like maths. But my dad forced me to like maths.

Phil Street 06:23


Mohamed Ali 06:24

English, yes. But the English I guess. It was, it was difficult for me to learn English or what I used to do is, I think if I look back, it was kind of a unique way of trying to learn what I used to do is I would copy what people say whatever it was they would say? And then I will try to repeat them in the same expression that was in their face. Okay, so yeah, so I’ll give you an example. So one time you know some kids can be evil sometimes, Yeah. So So kids off at school what time and I guess I used to copy you know what people say? And then one said to me, You know, I think he said he said a rude word. Something something something right. But he said it with a smile, so I thought okay, cool. So it must have been something good right? So when I left the school that day, and I remember walking on my way home and I remember saying the same thing that he said but put an S on it, so making a plural.

Phil Street 06:56

(Laughs) Right

Mohamed Ali 07:27

You could imagine. It was a swear word. I don’t want to repeat it, the swear word so what so when I said that the swear word with a plural they thought I was talking to all of them and they chased me I guess

Phil Street 07:40


Mohamed Ali 07:41

Sounds like you know what? Try to repeat, You know what, what you hear from people is maybe not the best way of learning. But it helped me to pick up the accent it helped me to pick up new words all the time. But obviously I won’t repeat the same mistake over just repeating what people say if I don’t understand what they mean

Phil Street 07:57

Actually a really great lesson for adult life as well to be honest

Mohamed Ali 08:01

Yeah, I definitely always looking back to now like wow, I actually went through that. And I you know, I was actually repeating what people said genuinely, so yeah, that was an example um, obviously school was school was alright apart from you know, the language barrier and the difficulty of learning the English language. Apart from that, it was really fun, you know, to be there to be studying to have the opportunity. Always My dad always talk about you know, you’re in England now. You got opportunities, you know, to make something of your life. And he was really pushing me towards you know, doing software my life.

Phil Street 08:02


Mohamed Ali 08:07

went to secondary school in secondary school. Funnily enough, my name, Mohamed Ali got me more trouble than it was worth at that time. So, yeah, I think you know, when you’re young and you have other young people around you, they don’t realise that I didn’t choose my name. So I what I say What’s your name? And I say Mohamed and so he can fight like it becomes it becomes almost like I’m I’m saying like, I’m a fighter right. I’m making an announcement so people always offering me up for you know taking up because my name Mohamed Ali I must be able to fight and I didn’t even like fighting so I’m that guy’s that’s always gonna fight. Obviously, what can I do you know if people offer Yeah, so that got me in trouble, more trouble than it was worth

Phil Street 09:30


Mohamed Ali 09:30

So I got expelled from school couple of times for fighting. And I guess in a way I kind of, you know, went down that path of fighting people and then my dad was really upset about that. So you know, following that he took me back to took me back home to say, look, you need to re-evaluate yourself and think about the culture and think about why you came here. So in his own way, he was trying to help me desist from you know, the mind frame I was in at that time

Phil Street 09:59


Mohamed Ali 10:00

However, when you’re young boy or having come from Somalia, yeah. And in London compared to Somalia is no, there’s no comparison, obviously London is much better and much peaceful much more. It’s much It feels like an upgrade, right? So I’ve come to London, and for me to be told I’m going back, it almost felt like I’m going backwards. And I didn’t like that, hence why, you know why I went against my dad’s wishes, and try to make my way back. So I went to, when I was taken to Somalia for a little while to stay there. I went to, I went to the the embassy in Ethiopia. Obviously, with the help of some family, I got some money, and I went to Ethiopia, and I went to the embassy, and I said, Look, I’ve Lost my Passport. At the time, I already have my passport. So I said, I lost my passport, is there any way I can, you know, be given a visa to come back? And this was at the age of 15

Phil Street 10:13


Mohamed Ali 10:14

So, yes, so then I came back with the help of the British Embassy into the UK, and hence why I went to Foster home, because I was an unaccompanied minor, right, that was a fact actually back to this country on my own. So he’s like, like, I want to do it. So it really became the social services responsibility to kind of look after me, and they put me in foster home. My first ever foster experience. And I must say, you know, you know, I hear a lot of stories about foster homes, and you know, what, what it’s like, but having lived through it, I must tell you right now, like, that, the family I was living in was amazing. Like, I know, this, my foster mum, up to this day, like, I’ve looked everywhere, till I found her, and an absolutely wonderful family, I feel like, I feel like I done myself injustice because when I went to live with my foster parents who were Eritrean, by the way, so we have similar culture, I feel like, they were really trying to assist me in order to me, help me find my feet and become somebody in this, you know, in this country. And when I explained to her my father, and the situation in Somalia, and the fact that came back, she’s really not that you’re here, you must do something productive and succeed in life. You know, obviously, I think by this time, it was I was, you know, because I’m a kid, I didn’t really see the necessity of taking advice, one, and two, even though I like I, in my head, I’m thinking, if my own father and myself are not, you know, compatible at the moment, I’m old father doesn’t my whole family’s not, you know, drawing me back to their circle, then why would an outsider and what they say really be true, you know, so I kind of feel like a kind of, you know, cut my nose of despite my face because she was genuinely trying to help me and her family, to be there for me. And occasionally, that led me to first hand to be getting involved in, you know, people around my area. At the time, I was living in Kidbrooke, which actually, funnily enough, is not even that far from where I am now. Because I live in Catford. Now, but um, you know, it, it was almost like, you know, I felt like, I had no reason to care anymore. Because my father, which I, the reason I came back, was to just say to him, Look, I don’t want to be in Somalia, I want to be fixed up. But because he kind of, he didn’t want to know. Now, if I didn’t know. So, this is the worst thing a person can do. It was his worst somebody like, or when people believe that they, let’s say, for example, someone thought, you know, Phil that you was a criminal. You’re a robber year. What if you said obviously you’re not, let’s say, let’s say?

Phil Street 13:49


Mohamed Ali 13:52

So let’s say you…

Phil Street 13:53

Who knows what goes on behind the microphone eh?

Mohamed Ali 13:55

Yeah. Well, we hope not Okay, so let’s say let’s say someone says to you, this is what you are, and in you know, a lot of the times, especially when you’re you know young, is hard to you know, have that. It’s almost like the response like, okay, you think I’m a robber, so I might as well be a robber, you know, like, so in my mind when I came back, me saying, Oh you think I am, you know, misbehaving like, I’m not gonna fix up and that make something out of my life. Instead of saying, I will prove you wrong. just happens to be you know, I proved my father, right, that I wasn’t behaving myself, and I wasn’t gonna do the right things in my life. And I think it’s important for people to always remember, a lot of times people will say what they think, but for you to, you know, you have you still have a choice whether you want to prove that person right or prove them wrong.

Phil Street 14:51


Mohamed Ali 14:51

Obviously, as an adult, now, I could look back and say, that was so childish. And what I should have done is say, look, the reason I came back Remember that and to make something of my life would be the necessary, right choice in any case.

Phil Street 15:07

The point you make about, we always have a choice, it’s obviously much easier to make a choice when you’re in a position and everything’s lined up perfectly for you to make a good choice. But there is actually a really wonderful piece of philosophy from, and bear with me here, from Harry Potter. There’s a line that, that Dumbledore says in that movie, slash book, I don’t actually know if he says it in the book. But in any case, it made it to the movie. Soon, we all have to choose between what is right, and what is easy. And I think a lot of the time, I think that’s absolutely, it’s a genius saying

Mohamed Ali 15:51

Say that Again?

Phil Street 15:53

Soon, we will all have to choose between what is right, and what is easy

Mohamed Ali 15:58


Phil Street 15:58

And a lot of the time, people make a choice, a bad choice, because it is the easy thing to do. And not because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the it’s the path of least resistance, which can be a real friend to you when you’re trying to make your way forwards. But, but the path of least resistance can also mean sending you down the wrong route very, very quickly

Mohamed Ali 16:25

Okay. And yes, soon we all have to choose between what is right and what is easy.

Phil Street 16:31


Mohamed Ali 16:31

That, you know, a feel like, a feel like that almost, you know, that almost sounds like you know, the choices we have every day in front of us. Like, we can either choose between what we know is right, because most of the time what is right, it’s difficult. It’s not? It’s not easy.

Phil Street 16:47


Mohamed Ali 16:47


Phil Street 16:50

I’m not a morning person. So I have to make this choice every morning. Do I get up? Do I get up with my alarm clock at 630 in the morning? Or do I stay in bed until 10am? Which is what I’d really love to do. So I have this battle every day, but it’s just obviously a slightly different kind of battle. but you get the point.

Mohamed Ali 17:11

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, that’s, I’ve written that down. I’m definitely going to remember that for like, that’s a that’s a nice quote for me to remember as well. Yeah. So, So coming back to what I’m saying. I feel like, you know, it is, it is important, like you mentioned, it already is important for like, I think the example you made is, you know, at the end of the day, if everything is lined up, I don’t think any of us life is going to be that easy for everything to line up.

Phil Street 17:42


Mohamed Ali 17:42

Isn’t it funny, though, how every time, you know, things are in front of you today, you don’t really you don’t really see or you don’t really hear what the person is saying to you. Or you don’t really grasp the full meaning behind their words until later on. Yeah, yeah. So I feel like I’ve had a lot on a lot of times where people really tried to give me advice. And it’s never hit me as hard as it should have at a time. But it always catches me later. And I’ll give you an example later on about some of the stuff that’s been told to me in the middle, remember until later. Yeah, so yeah, so I got involved in this, you know, the people in my area, and, you know, having a, I guess in a way, not caring anymore, didn’t help me at all. Because now I meant I was just getting involved with whatever was happening. And that’s how I first got caught up in you know, wanting to, I guess fit in wanting to be a part of something in my local area, I started you know, smoking, which at that until then I’ve never smoked, you know, just to fit in, I’ve started smoking. So started with cigarettes, they’re just to fit in, I started, you know, hanging all my friends and the world, the people in the area, and I would go out, and if there was a fight or get involved. And bearing in mind, I’m not a person who likes fighting, so now I’m getting involved, just to fit in just to feel like I belong to this group, you know, just almost felt like, I needed this protection around me. And, you know, in hindsight, looking back, I’m thinking, what do I need protection from? You know, but at the time, it makes sense, because, like, I am alone, I’m not with my family, I don’t really get like I don’t really know, really understand the value of my foster parents. You know, I’m not with my father or any of my phone numbers on my own. So it made sense at the time to just go with the people around there. So I feel like I feel safe. I feel like I’ve got an older brother or, you know, family members around to protect me. But that was I guess at a time even though it wasn’t the right choice going by what you said and what Dumbledore said, it was an easy choice, easy choices just to go with it and I did that

Phil Street 20:05

But I think the point of like smoking as a as an example, I think the majority of people out in the wide world, whether you’ve been you’ve just about to start smoking or you’ve been smoking for 40 years, I think we all know that it’s not very good for us. And, and yet, people make that choice every day to do what is easy. You know, it’s easier for me to go and smoke 40 cigarettes than it is for me to give up. And that’s, you know, that’s a really, it’s a simplistic real world example of a decision that has to be made in a lot of situations as well with children, you’ll who are introduced to cigarettes at far too young age. And it’s easier a lot of the time to just say yes, because you’re that’s exactly how, as you put it, how you fit in with the crowd.

Mohamed Ali 21:01

Yeah, exactly. And obviously, the challenge in the mind at that time is, is always taking the easy option. Yeah, I definitely get that analogy because, you know, if, if, if we all know our strengths, and if we all know what is wrong, what is right, we should always be choosing what is right for us.

Phil Street 21:22


Mohamed Ali 21:23

But sometimes it’s hard when, you know, what is right, for us is quite a challenge next year?

Phil Street 21:28


Mohamed Ali 21:28

What is everyone doing? You know what, everyone’s doing it, why not?

Phil Street 21:32

Yeah. And, you know, I’m not in any way shape, or form a psychologist, and all I know, is my own experience, you know, and I form my opinions based around around that. I, you know, I look at my own situation with with smoking, I’ve never put a cigarette to my mouth. And the reason for that was, is that when I, when I summed it up as a kid, when that was first presented as a as an opportunity to me, I weighed up the pros and cons. And I’m fortunate enough to have my father in my life, and he was my hero. And I used to just run through my brain. If I put the cigarette in my mouth I’m, I’m letting him down. And I just that was that was an easy decision for me to make, because I would have preferred to have taken a beating at school for not fitting in than to go home and let my father down

Mohamed Ali 22:26

That’s powerful

Phil Street 22:27

Yeah, I know. Like you say, though, I don’t think I feel course I didn’t fully appreciate that at the time. And now, looking back at it, it’s very easy for me to, to appreciate one how lucky I was to have the father that I had in my life. But to that I had the strength of mind, at that age to be able to say no, I don’t want to be part of the crowds. You know, I want to make my own choices. So I’m a really lucky guy.

Mohamed Ali 22:55

No, absolutely. I feel like that’s a very powerful, you know, thing that just seemed like the whole determined the whole situation was determined for you, not because of everyone else, but because of the relationship you have with your father. That’s absolutely powerful, honestly.

Phil Street 23:09

Yeah. And look at your own situation whereby you, you didn’t have this father figure with you in your life at that time. And maybe if it had been there, you know, at that at that time, then maybe you make different choices. There’s just so many little, you know, weaves and ways that things can happen. It’s it’s, it’s fascinating, and I’m sorry, I’ve taken you off your story again.

Mohamed Ali 23:34

No, no, it’s fine. It’s fine. I feel like you know, what, basically the point you just made there, it’s perfect. Because, you know, if it’s almost like, you know, that thing that you make with the cube, the key thing that you just and you try to get with the colours matching

Phil Street 23:50

Oh the Rubik’s Cube?

Mohamed Ali 23:52

Yeah, the Rubik’s Cube Yes, a bit like that. I feel like, you know, our whole journey, if one component is different than it won’t match, right? So there’s always there’s always different paths we can all take. And I feel like, you’re right for you to reflect on that, that’s you know, insightful in itself, because what you’re saying is, you know, my life took that path, because of the relationship I had with my father, your father, and my life took this path at the time, we don’t know what would happen if the relation of all would have been different, but we know for sure that my, you know, destination might have been slightly altered. So yeah, it’s quite powerful. And the choices we make, that’s how, you know, just just show that we’re all interlinked in a way that, you know, one choice I made. One choice I made today might affect other people today, tomorrow, the day after, so my father’s choices affected me, even though at the time the choice he was making was what he thought was right.

Phil Street 24:51

Yeah, yeah, no, no, absolutely. Absolutely not father bashing, as it were. Because you You do the best you can with what you’ve got at your disposal right?

Mohamed Ali 25:04


Phil Street 25:04

And, you know, ultimately, this is all part of your rich journey that you that you’ve been on. And in any case, let’s take us back. Let’s take you back to where we were.

Mohamed Ali 25:16

Yeah. Okay, so and so I guess that led me to get involved in this activity, I guess for the first time, I found myself, you know, getting involved in fights getting involved in activities that weren’t, you know, like, who I am, like, I guess, to fit in, like with a smoking analogy, smoking weed, and then that led to fighting. And then the first time, the first ever time I start finding myself, like, getting feeling like I want to fight all the time, that led me to, you know, go to prison, for a violent disorder, you know, this is shortly after I was taken to school violence disorder, basically, just, you know, outside of school, I was having a fight with a few other people and then as I was having a fight with them, some people I know from the area was around them, everyone was in a big fight. And because I was the main person that was involved, I was, you know, sentence to talk mostly to, I guess, I want to, I want to highlight here that a lot of times, you know, when something like that happens, the the logical mind would tell you and are talking about this from hind sight you know looking back to it. The logical mind will tell you that when somebody goes to prison, yeah. Or the judge say for example the judge sent me to prison, he didn’t send it to prison. So I don’t fix up he sent me to prison, because in his mind, he’s thinking this will be my return. Right?

Phil Street 26:46


Mohamed Ali 26:46

But the thing is, because it’s 12 months. And that’s why I feel like, you know, when people go to prison for a short period of time, it almost is never a deterrent. And in my case, this was the situation because when I went to prison for 12 months to six months inside, I was now you know, able to access a whole archive of criminality, like a whole group of people that I would have never met in my life, if I was outside. So now I’m spending time with them. I’m having social, I’m socialising with them, I’m playing pool with them, I eat food. And, you know, I guess instead of acting as a deterrent, what it actually did is it made me you know, think about my criminality a bit more, it made me come back thinking I want to do things better. I want to try to, you know, if I was selling drugs, I want to sell drugs, but I want to if I was working, I want to be my own boss. So he started making me think about things in a much more of a negative way, while pure firemen. And obviously at the time, he doesn’t register because at the time, I’m thinking, you know, it’s fine. I’m in prison, let me just do my six months, I came out, in case so now you understand, I came out when I came out, I went in to different the criminal lifestyle a lot more. So I had more contacts, more people that I wanted to get involved with, you know, people I would have never met in my life. And that’s hence why my life went from just a person who is lost, confused, alone in London, a young boy to now she you know, thinking like I am, you know, this top gangster in London, you know? Yeah, so, just looking back to it now, I’m, you know, laughing at the situation, because I’m like, Where did that go for us? I remember, I was in school the other day. So, in any case, you know, that led me to get involved in more activities, which later, I moved to an area in London, I started you know, selling drugs. And and now I’m thinking I’m convinced that I am the person that people will go to. So I started, I guess, in a way, getting more involved. So I have, you know, someone that’s, you know, giving me drugs to sell. And now in my mind, I’m thinking now that I’m closest to the person has given me the drugs, I know, must do you think more and I must sure stamp my authority and all of this, that led to obviously, understandably, you know, other people in the area, not liking the way and behaving the way I’m carrying myself around and that lead to conflicts, those conflicts inevitably lead to people challenging the why of why I am where I am, why I’m in the area of selling drugs, you know, you know, at that point in time, if I look back to it, it almost felt like I had no choice but to you know, in a way you stamp my authority and say What What do you mean when you challenging because one thing about the streets, when of when I was doing what I was doing is that if something happens and or if someone Try to do something and your response or an or the way you react to it, it’s not a guess, in a way responsive or efficient, then other people are liable to do more of the same to you. Right

Phil Street 30:16

Right, seen as a sign of weakness

Mohamed Ali 30:18

Sign of weakness, there you go. So I guess, you know, at that time, you know, being a young boy, having my life is gone. So it’s literally speed is so fast in front of me, to the point where now, I felt like, you know, I’ve started working on this stuff, and now you’re getting a shot. And so, in my mind, I was like, you know, what, I really don’t know what to do. So I went to the person that was I was working for. And I was like, you know, this is the situation this was happening. You know, I really want to, you know, do something about it, but I don’t know. So the person said to me, look, so this person, you know, being the president Bobby’s, like, you know, take this, take this gun, go to the area, and shoot the person. That’s how literally, that’s how it is. Yeah, that’s how he said it, go to the area, take his gun and shoot him. Obviously, you know, I, in my now, you know, I guess, looking back I, I could remember, just as he said, I was thinking, but I’m gonna do that. You know, I mean, I don’t want to kill nobody this month. But like I said, to the beginning, there’s sometimes going back to your core, your core workouts go back to your core. Yeah. What is right? what is right or what is easy? Like, they’re right next to each other, right? So at this minimum, I’m looking for like, obviously, I’m not gonna, like kill nobody. But I did see that nothing to move. But I know what I’ll do. Because he’s friend was there and I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to be the person that tries to, you know, trying not to make him look bad or whatever. So I was like, cool. Just give me the gun.

Phil Street 32:03

That’s absolutely mad. Because it it’s an I don’t mean, mad as in, you’re mad. It’s like, it’s it’s quite a crazy situation to think of. And I think a lot of people that when you when you line it up, difference between right and easy, here we’ve got a situation where doing right is incredibly difficult. Doing easy, is incredibly difficult. And what the hell do you do? I just it’s, yeah, yeah, speechless. That you you, you know, that a human being can find themselves in a situation where they’ve got to make that call.

Mohamed Ali 32:41

Yeah. So Honest to God, it was, it was what it was, it was shocking to be in a situation but at the time, because of how fast it happened, and we register how, you know, crazy, it was. So I took the gun and left the area. And in my mind, you know, and again, in my naïve, childish manner of thinking, if I go to this area, yeah, if I go to this area, and I show that I have a gun on me, that will be enough to be you know, to deter to tell these people to not mess with me. You know, shower thinking I you scenarios, cowboys coming with a gun, and everybody’s running, you know, I mean, before they even shot so that’s in my mind. I’m thinking movie movie said obviously, this is real life. So I went over there with a gun, in my mind, how I planned it, how I really played it in my head, went over the head, my friend who was gonna drag me away from the area just I told him to get me from the other side. Literally, my plan was go over there. You know, but by the way, these people calling me… they’re trying, trying… They’re really trying to intimidate you right. So I’m going over there and I’m thinking Okay, cool. My plan is go over there. Sound you know, let one of this shots off. Everybody would run. This is how I thought about it, everybody would run, I’d just run off get in a car. And I’ll drive off never to be seen again. Yeah, that was it. That was a moment. No, no, nowhere left. So I came over there. As I planned, let the gun off. There was about five or six people. And I think three of them dispersed. Two, to my utter shock and surprise, ran towards me. I don’t know whether they were nervous or what was going on. I don’t know what whatever was going on in their mind. They ran towards me. So now as you can imagine, you know, in my mind, like I’m thinking, whoa, like…

Phil Street 34:55

Yeah, what do I do

Mohamed Ali 34:56

But yeah, like is, it just really meant to be happening, like, I’m actually questioning what is going on, like here. So now, it’s happening so far. So in my head, I’m thinking, right, like, I’ve got to make a decision. So I go on my knee. Yeah, I’ve got all my me and appointed and I said, I swear, our shooting sort of stopped. So soon as they’re stopped in my heart, I know, I didn’t come to shoot nobody. And I know that I made a decision that this is what I’m coming to do, even though the other person was telling me that this is not my plan. So I had to, you know, I guess, change the plan, right? Because I’m going to show you one, it’s done. And it’s one that stood up. And now, because I’ve seen a car drive a full desktop, the car I’m supposed to get in. So now that they’re sort of got up and I’ve left, I’ve run off, right. So let them chase me, I’ve got to where the car was going to pick me up from, but it wasn’t a guy was a different car. So now she needs so now I’m in a situation where I’m faced with the same people again, so less to come in. And this is you know, bearing in mind is very slowly that night, I remember vividly was covered in snow, everywhere, like and it was slippery. So now I look back the card on the cards on the cards gonna get in. So I’ve gone back in, there’s a block of flats, just they’re so funny set a block of flats, and it’s too full of yourself turn on the door. And I’ve looked at him and I said, you guys fee for room. And obviously, like, if you don’t stop following me, I’m gonna shoot. So that’s how I said it again, in to my other shot, they’re still following me so far up the stairs, and they still follow me. So now I’m in a corner of the stairs, like I’m in the corner of the first floor. So now I’m in this corner. I do not know what to do. Like there is there’s almost it’s almost like, it felt like my whole life was just in front of me. And all I could just see is flashes of what all the possibilities, all the possible things that are going to go wrong right now. Because I’m looking at this, like, I didn’t plan for this to happen. I didn’t plan for me to be involved in finding myself in this kind of situation. I didn’t plan for this. So there’s now come into the space. And they’ve tried to Rush me. Right? Yeah, I still don’t understand what is going on. Because I’m like just 17. You know, so I put soft, put the gun terrace and I’m holding the gun by myself, because I’m not trying to, like I said, you gentlemen, my intention was not to shoot nobody away. So I put the gun by my side. And now one of them tried to hit me because one of them got a baseball bat, one of them tried to hit me with a bat. And now on Channel, I’m trying to fight them off. like trying to fight them off, like with the best punch on the block myself. And they hit me hit me. So now the one that was hitting with a baseball bat got moved out the way and his friend Oh, come and try to grab the gun because he got it. He shot got the gun and put our hand. Now, I swear to God, this felt like this for like the longest three seconds of my entire life up to that moment. I’ve never felt such a slow. And you know, it almost felt like everything was frozen. And all I could see is that gone out of my hand in his hand. I’ve shot dead there. That’s how it felt like, this is my life over. Like, I don’t exist anymore. And all because what like I wanted to come here and you know, truth normally is sitting in my head was so jumbled up. There’s so many things. So as he tried to grab the gun now, I have a choice to make. Right? I have a choice. My choice is do I shoot? Do I not shoot? Do I give him the gun? Knowing what the result of that would be?

Phil Street 35:12


Mohamed Ali 37:06

What do I do? So he’s pulled the gun. So he’s literally grabbed the gun by the front and he’s trying to pull it out. I thought the thing that we see and this is a double barrel shotgun so I’ve got the gun…

Phil Street 39:23


Mohamed Ali 39:23

Yeah. So is it’s not even. It’s not even like something small. They could just pull out my hand or I could just try to hide from him. So he’s got a gun. He’s got the button. Always put it that way. I’ve got the weather trigger. raise my hand the whole time. Right. Yeah. So pulling it on Chuck. So as he’s tried to pull it for so many years, I just want to share with you for so many years, I never wanted to take the responsibility that I decided to pull the trigger yet, right because it seemed like that convenience was when he was pulling it, it must have gone off, right? But nothing goes off by accident. I made a subconscious choice here that I’m not going to die here. My life is over if I give this gun up, right, so I wasn’t going to give the gun up. So I pulled the trigger at that moment. And as I pull the trigger, he jumped back… His friend turned away, and I run out the building.

Phil Street 40:26

Right? Blimey. Well, first of all, thank you for, for sharing that in, in such detail, I can’t even begin to comprehend what being in a situation like that’s Like I’m so I really, really thank you for being so candid with that.

Mohamed Ali 40:46

Phil Street 40:50

Take a moment mate if you need it

Mohamed Ali 40:51

…That really changed my life. That was the moment that my life was changed. I feel like the shock, the shock that I found myself in that moment, and the moments that followed, I felt like, I felt like it was a dream. I saw like he wasn’t really happened, the amount of times I tried to wake up and look around and see that that’s happened. And I literally break down is unreal. That experience alone. That experience alone, not prison, not hospital. Not that amount of, you know, things that have to do with probation. All of this, that experience alone is enough was enough to torment me. My life up to this day. Yeah, like I’ve genuinely. Yeah, I genuinely, you know, that’s why, when what I think I said this to a while back, that’s why when I’m walking down the road, I do not see any reason why I should ever be unhappy. I should not see, I don’t see any reason why I should ever feel angry. I do not see any reason why I should ever feel like I’m getting what I am what I deserved. Because if I did that, then I would be so selfish to the point that I’m not reflecting on my life on what I did. Because I’m alive right now talking to you. Right?

Phil Street 42:47


Mohamed Ali 42:49

A person is not here, because of me. A family is without their son because of me. A whole like a future husband a future, you know, Father is not here because of me. I you know, whichever way I look at it, however, whichever angle I’ve played enough, played this situation, this scenario and what I am to blame for in so many different versions in this in that two seconds of my life. And every single time I look back, and I realise that I have nothing, you know, to be sad about, because I should be grateful for the fact that, you know, I have my life still here.

Phil Street 43:38

Yeah, yeah, I, I’ve look, I think it’s a very positive way to look at something that ultimately you can’t change. And you you know, you can’t affect the past. But to actually take that moment and create positivity out of it through that mindset, I think is is very powerful. Yeah.

Mohamed Ali 44:04

Thank you

Phil Street 44:06

Wow, wow. Wow. Wow, I am Yeah, I wasn’t expecting quite so much detail. And I have to, as I say, I just thank you so much for being so really open with it. I mean, at the end of the day, right, in order to move forward, you’ve got to understand where you’ve come from. And you’re you’re dealing with this in the in the best way that you can. And I look, I’d really really, I can’t thank you enough for being so so open about this situation. Because, you know, look, somebody might listen to this one day and be at that crossroads of making good or bad choices and maybe hears this and thinks. That’s not for me. I don’t I don’t want that. And if you’ve you know if that has power in that alone, then you know, you’ve You’ve rescued a life from, from that as well. So keep doing what you’re doing, man, this is, this is really, really powerful stuff.

Mohamed Ali 45:11

Thank you man. I totally agree. I feel like, you know, ultimately, one of I, for example, why am I sharing this in this kind of way, because I feel like if, you know, a lot of times the reality of what has happened to people what has happened, you can only you can only be honest about it, because if you’re not honest, then I guess you’re given a full roll version. And I feel like, like you said, you know, if my experiences of my life can impact somebody positively, so that they may not go down the same route, or they may not, you know, find themselves in the same path that I find myself in the shop with, and, you know, realistically not go through the same stuff I’ve been through in order for them to find themselves. And if they could just listen to what I’ve said, or take some lessons from what are what I’m talking about my life experience, so that I don’t have to do the same. They don’t have to go through the same journey in order to get the same goal, then I feel like, you know, I have made a positive impact. And that’s why I’ve dedicated my life, I suppose, to the moment, the moment I realise, look, obviously, I can’t be sad, forever, and, you know, be worried about because I’ve gone through a lot of stages Well, really, really down about what I’ve done. And you know, thinking about it contemplating all the time. But I got to a point where, for me, there is a reason why are still here, there is a reason why, you know, I am here, and someone else isn’t, right. And those are because of my own actions. So now, I need to make sure that I speak about my own actions. Yeah, in order for other people to know go through the same path. And hopefully, the only way I can do that is by taking positive steps away from my last from our past, and go into the future, always optimistic and positive and inspire. That’s why, you know, I started, you know, trying to find ways of capturing myself and, you know, finding a different path. And hopefully, you know, I guess that’s why it was important for me to get into hospitality

Phil Street 47:39

Let’s em…. If you don’t mind, obviously, this happened. You got you got sent to jail. What was the What were you sent to jail for? And and what was your kind of your term?

Mohamed Ali 47:52

Yes. So I got were charged with murder and firearm

Phil Street 47:57


Mohamed Ali 47:58

But like, I’ve just told you the situation now, that’s exactly how I told what I said. And because of that, I was given man slaughter, I was found not guilty for murder

Phil Street 48:11


Mohamed Ali 48:11

I was given manslaughter and firearm, and those two sentences for those who are sentenced to six year IPP, which is indeterminant, public protection, and but with a tariff of six. So that means, you know, I can be held in prison for as long as I am not behaving myself, but if I behave myself, then after six years, I can apply for parole. And if the judges the parole judges are convinced that I will come out, right

Phil Street 48:45


Mohamed Ali 48:45

obviously the IPP sentence is never the case. Because once they give it up, then you there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be out in six. Some people have got to be content, some have got three iPads. So there was no any certainty but luckily for me, I’ve only done a year and a half over my sentence. So I came out seven and a half years later, from IPP centres, which is a positive thing. So yeah, but given 60 IP and I was I went to at the time, you know, because of the shock. And the other thing, like I said to you, I went to hospital, I was admitted to hospital, because it really traumatised me. You know, this whole experience? Yeah. I was in hospital room or hospital and I stayed there for the duration of four and a half years. Then I was go back to prison. And I stayed there for another. I think about two years, three years in prison. I was moved all over the prisons in Brixton prison is when I first came into contact with I guess hospitality. Yeah. And the clean restaurant. First, to be honest with you, when I first you know, thought of the clink, because at this time I’m with Cassie, which is like open world, lesser conditioned, medium conditioned prison. The plan was release me soon. And I’m looking for the best job. And prison is not a place where you get paid a lot of money for working. So The Clink was the place that you paid £25 a week. So that proved to me, right, just more money more money than any of our jobs. So and the food was nice. So I guess I guess I applied for a job.

Phil Street 50:44

Reasonable motivations.

Mohamed Ali 50:46

Yes. That was actually my two reasons at the beginning. That left the job. I went in there and to be honest with you it was tough. It was not easy was talking of being in an environment like that. But you quickly get used to it. And you realise that? Okay, cool. So when I first came in there, I remember that I was being told, well, I’ll be I’ll be trained how to hold a tray full of glasses and cops, right? With the balance, right? Yep. A whole new with two hands and walking, as if I’m about to drop everything. like walking like a snow. And there’s only like four glass forecourt balls? Where you got to start somewhere. Right? Exactly. So I just came out to me and he said, Listen, you know, what you could do? Yeah, it’s way easier. And remember, if you think you’re gonna drop it, you really think you’re gonna drop it fine. But just don’t let alone there’s no drop on Lauren’s head. Yeah, if you drop it to the side is fine. You see, that might have been just a simple advice and logic advisor. But what it done for me is it made me realise that you can make a mistake, it’s okay to make a mistake. As long as that mistake doesn’t cost, you know, someone’s shirt in all that wet. So we’re not gas and oil, as long as you don’t hurt anybody’s fine. Just make a mistake or make it away from it. And just that confidence, no, no profit loss, actually. Right. But because of that, you know, the safety barrier, I was able to just really like, go into it, do a spin around around the corners with the glasses. I don’t think I saved for it or the chase, the chasing became easy. You know, the training took a lot more seriously. Yes. So I think what one of the things also is done for me is it gave me the confidence to, to believe that, you know, I can do something? I can do anything, I guess. And because a lot of times the problem is if you have negativity. And what I say to you prison is a negative environment. Yeah

Phil Street 52:55


Mohamed Ali 52:55

If we’re in a negative place, everybody is going to be negative. Right?

Phil Street 53:01


Mohamed Ali 53:02

But if you don’t see a positive outlet, or positive input, yeah, more than you should a negative input, then you are basically going to be consumed by negativity. The Clink was a space and an environment where I was able to come away from the negativity of the prison. Yeah, get to work in an environment where the customers from outside will come in. And I was able to serve them and you know what, talk to them. And, and, you know, they would appreciate the conversation we’ve had, and I was able to access support from, you know, the support worker in there. My support worker, by the way, you know, I just, I can’t help I mentioned this lady, her name is Janice, she’s a support worker for the clink amongst most of the amongst all the staff that are exception are what they do here. She really, really goes above and beyond to help you know, us in order to really make sense of things. And one of the first things the first meeting is I’ve had an auditor figure out when I come so what I’m going to do, who was having a conversation, and I was trying to talk to her about you know, division ago equal to prison. And she said to me, Muhammad, if you’re not going to be honest with yourself, and honestly be there’s no point of us talking about something because if I’m going to give you advice is very telling me the full story that I can give you advice on how to overcome it. And that alone is my demeanour. Sometimes the baseline for any relationship should always be honesty, and transparency. Yeah, and every single situation I’ve been in with The Clink has been a lesson for me. And confidence booster, and I literally went in there feeling low confidence, feel like I’m unable To accomplish your simple tasks, even though I can do things I feel like mentally I’m unable to do mentally unable to overcome all these problems. I came out there feeling like I can do anything. I can literally out come out of prison and achieve anything. And that’s why when I got released in 2019, June, I had a different, whole whole different vibe when it came to my, my optimism for the future. Yeah, I think I, you know, slipped apart where I did come to Brixton prison, the first time I got released, I think I skipped up or I got released, because this gives you like a comparison to the success as well. I got released from the Clink, aka release from Brixton prison in 2017. Right. But I had no support from Che Clink. I had no support from anybody apart from the hostel I went to, I had no accessible work or anything like that. And a year to the day 2017 2018, I went back to prison

Phil Street 56:06


Mohamed Ali 56:07

A year to the day. And the reason I went back to prison, I’m not gonna say to you, I’m just saying that it was because I had no work. It is because I had worked. But not just that, because I was it was my first time out since 2010. It was there was so many things I needed support and help him on the phone a couple left my own devices. I had no no no understanding of laughs I said, and I’m, even though I’m 25 I still feel like I’m 17 because I went into prison and 17.

Phil Street 56:42

Right, yeah, you don’t have that extra life experience

Mohamed Ali 56:46

Exactly. And that’s why it led to me getting recalled, because I was not taking myself as seriously as I should. But a second time in comparison, when I was able to access the Clink, when I was able to access the support outside when I was able to access the links they’ve given me. And I was able to come across public, the public within their restaurant because those people that was coming to the Clink restaurant and talking about, you know, offering people jobs, I said, you know, that’s where I met Ben Purton. And that’s where I met him when he was over there. You know, he said that he been really supportive since I’ve been out and everything I’ve tried to do. And Robert as well, Robert Richardson, and that’s where I first met him. And I feel like the whole connections I made with inside The Clink, it’s almost put me in a platform, I want second chance. It gave me the platform, and the environment to receive a second job. That’s where I met Wahaca the whole company, they were doing a celebration for their for their whole team of managers. And that’s why I first met them. And because I was so confident By that time, when I saw them doing you know, they’re uplifting and giving people prizes for doing exceptional work. I approached him and I said look, is there any way I could get involved in your company? Like I really love what you guys do, how you impro what how you upload hard work and ethical like that? And I said, Yeah, okay, cool. When you come in on that I told them and they said, Okay, we’re going to give an email to all the support donors and, and the chief executive. And then once once all of this is done, once you come up this, give us an email. You know, shortly after that, three months into it, the email the team was able to say, look, by the way, is Chief Executive is Chris Moore. They said, Look, you know, we’re still interested is Mohamed coming out. So all of these avenues would not have been possible if I wasn’t in an environment like the Clink

Phil Street 58:48


Mohamed Ali 58:48

And I’ll be forever grateful for the platform they have given me and yes, so since I’ve been out I’ve been working with hacker obviously upon follow up it wasn’t even interview just like a catch up. I used to finish to feel like you want to work here. Who started with hacker one hacker was amazing. The difference between a hacker and a clean hacker is is not as slow no hacker is nowhere near as a slow decline. The claim is like a find admission people come in the covers get booked. And I said we’re dealing with the same tables. Wahaca 20 tables change Like constantly like that?

Phil Street 59:27

Yeah Yeah Yeah, a lot more fast paced.

Mohamed Ali  59:30

Yeah, fast fast paced it for like a street in Mexico?

Phil Street 59:34


Mohamed Ali 59:35

Because it’s literally what it does feel like, you know, not that been to Mexico. I would love to go there. Just seen it in a movie. So yeah, honestly, I feel like it was it was a different challenge. a completely different challenge. But the staff over there and managing and all the way to the founders all the way to the staff on the floor. I feel like the whole ethos is humility. Like they humbled and, and that’s what made me want to stay there, as long as I did and work with them and literally like it’s been, it’s been, it’s almost from, you know, achieved that I was in, in within the club restaurant, a nice family environment, to a nicer family environment on the outset, which more money was more pain with more, you know, like, things just got better? Yeah, I’m really, you know, I can’t really, you know, thank the walker for the opportunities and the chance that they can only because a lot of times, it’s easy for people to say they want second chances. But it’s not easy for them to get people to give them a second chances. And yeah, that’s everything that has happened in my life. Although, you know, truck and testing and difficult, it also has, has also prepared me for being able to appreciate the little things people do. You know, when somebody says, Good morning to me, I appreciate that. When somebody you know, does something simple, but nice. I appreciate that. Because I feel like, in general, I appreciate being a life. I appreciate, you know, being a human This time, I appreciate how how, you know, great, I’m grateful for in my life in general. And that would not have been the case wedding have had I not experience, you know, the difficulties that I have experienced in my life.

Phil Street 1:01:33

Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s incredible to think, isn’t it that you know, that your journey is your own journey? I think Michelle Obama uses a phrase, your your journey as your power, or your story is power. And, you know, it’s, it’s true, it’ll nobody knows your story, like you do. You’ve experienced so much. yet, at the same at the same time so little, you know, you’ve got no you’re you’re doing is generating new experiences, for your, for your life on a we we hope, a much a much more positive path. For you, you know, and I think the wonderful thing for me is to hear that, that hospitality has played such a massive part in that, in the sense that, you know, one the clink, I think anybody who knows, hospitality knows that the work they do is just this incredible, and long may that continue. But more importantly, you know, it’s then that transition from when you are released, and you mentioned it yourself, is where does the support come at that point, and that’s, that’s the most important element, because your I’d suggest that you’re pretty vulnerable when you come out of, of a prison, when you’ve been there. And that’s, that’s the only life that you’ve known for seven and a half years, you know, the world has changed the world changes so fast in that time. And as you say, you went in and you were you were a kid? Basically. Yes. And you come out and your your whole adult life experience is based around your the walls within the within the prison. Yeah. And yeah, things move on sort of quickly, outside of that, that it’s, it’s right, that it’s I mean, that must be like an onslaught to the census, when you come out and you’ll everything’s just different and changed. Yeah, so having a support function, and that support function can come in many forums. I think and, and it’s lovely to hear that what hacker are, you know, from an environmental perspective, are just if it feels like, you know, it’s a home for you?

Mohamed Ali 1:03:47

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I feel like one of the, is, you know, one of the main things has been the mess support at cost and he receive, you know, from the support workers outside and from the hospitality sector, because a lot of times, you know, is it almost feels like I’m part of a bigger bigger family. I feel like you know, Ben checks up on me says, Mohammed, how you doing, you know, Robert the same for like, obviously, with everything, obviously, with the, with what’s going on now. 2020 It’s been hard for people to you know, make more emotion to get to know each other, find out how they can be more involved in what I’m doing or helping me in terms of figuring out my future. But the main thing is, they see the work I’m trying to put in and they see that I’m trying and you see what somebody is trying. If they don’t receive the right push or the right support the right hope try will be a third attempt. And I feel like everything that was done at the centre has done has been You know, try to get the best out of the in terms of believing when you need help. There is people that help you, when you need a second chance, there are people who will offer it, it might not happen straightaway, it might have happened the first day you’ve lost. But if you are consistent in your approach, and your you know, the way, the way you’re going in your direction, then there will be people that are supporting you. And that’s what this whole experience has proved to me. And that’s why now, I don’t count anybody out by saying, ever like, okay, they’re not going to help me, there is no such thing as they’re not going to help me if I do the right things and approach people that will help me, even if they don’t know how to help me, they will find someone also they’ll point me in the right direction for the help I require. And that’s why, you know, it almost feel like it’s changed my whole perception on on humans in general. Because a lot of times, you know, like, I can only go by what I hear. And when you’re in prison, for as long as I have been, you hear that nobody’s going to give you work outside, nobody’s going to give you a chance outside. Like the, the best thing you can do is, you know, go back to what you you like dust dust on my friend that people get caught up in like, I have a criminal record, I will never get a job. I have this. Listen, the reality of life is you won’t get a job. If you don’t want it. You will get a job if you want it. If you want to work hard, you’ll get a job, by the way, like any job is a job, right? So yeah, hospitality is an amazing sector. If you can’t get a job in hospitality, that doesn’t mean you are not going to get a job. That means you can go to another job you can get into plumbing. That’s another job. You can go strictly that’s another offer the what the funnily enough, the 25 pounds receiver from the click restaurant has put me into perspective of realising if I can be content with 25 pounds a week. Yeah. And be satisfied with that with inside a confinement every week. Surely, now, if I calculate how many hours I can work in a day, and how many hours I could work in a week, how much my actual wages, minimum wages, I hear, are you telling me I will not be satisfied to do any job. So that’s, that’s where the change came like I would, I would do any job as long as it pays me the wages and pays my bills. And as I’m doing that job, I will plan for whatever else it is I would like to achieve from life and my ambitions. And I would have never had that mindset, have I not experiment experienced what it’s like to be paid level, what it’s like to be paid more what it’s like to struggle. So it’s just like you said at the beginning of all of this year, so my mindset, so someone could look at my situation and go, Wow, I don’t ever want to go through that. Someone else will go through my look at my station and go wow, wow, like, you know, the life is, you know, he’s happy to be alive. You know, I’m looking at my station, I’m thinking, I’ve gone through all of this, to get to where I am. In hindsight, what I like to go through things in a slightly different ways, slightly safer format, slightly less dramatic, less stressful, less traumatic way to be where I am today. Yes, but the facts are, there is no such thing as there is no such thing as an easy route to discovering yourself and your life and in the path of where you’re supposed to go. And that’s why I’m grateful to be demand I have today. Irrespective of you know, all the difficulties I’ve had, as a matter of fact, I look at all the difficulties, and I realised that those difficulties made me a better man, not a lesser man.

Phil Street 1:09:00

Yeah. I think I think it’s a great way to summarise and you know, that’s, that’s all down to the strength of you, that you come to that conclusion. You know, and you’re, clearly the environmental elements in your life are much, much more conducive to you being able to move forward in the way that you want to now. But you know, that that that whole thing starts with your strength. I think you’re an absolute real life success story and a massive inspiration. And to be honest, I’m a little bit in awe of what you’ve you’ve come through and what you’re now achieving. And I wish you the greatest success going forward. And if there’s anything I can do to help, then you know, I’m all over that.

Mohamed Ali 1:09:48

Yeah, I really, really appreciate that. Phil, thank you so much. It was you know why having an interview or having a conversation with you didn’t feel like a conversation or interview it just felt like I was just sit down talking, that’s why, you know, I feel like you have a way of just, you know, making conversation feel as comfortable and as relaxed as it has been

Phil Street 1:10:15

Bless you

Mohamed Ali 1:10:16

And due to that, I guess that’s why you know, I didn’t feel like it was difficult to open up and be as candid about my life and my experiences, as I have been. So yeah, thank you for making it an easy conversation as well.

Phil Street 1:10:30

Bless you, that’s that’s very, very kind of it’s so it’s been an absolute pleasure. And look, let’s get an actual face to face coffee meeting booked in. And I wish you all the very best with the next chapter.

Mohamed Ali 1:10:46

I appreciate that. Thank you so much.

Phil Street 1:10:49

No problem. Take care. Thanks Mohamed

Mohamed Ali 1:10:52

Alright then, bye,

Phil Street 1:10:52

Cheers And breathe. As Michelle Obama says your story is your power. Mohamed, you have one powerful story. Please, please, please share this story as far as you can. As I said at the beginning, it’s incredibly important. Please also follow Mohammed in all his amazing social media accounts. He posts inspiring messages to his YouTube channel, hashtag mo hashtag inspires. And this wonderful message is backed up on his Twitter @mo_humaneskill, and his Instagram, @mi_horizon. All of these will be in the show notes. Let’s help this incredible human being spread his positivity message. I think we can all agree what Mohamed has achieved to break the cycle of negativity is just incredible. He’s now got an extended hospitality family of which I’m proud to play a small part. This demonstrates very clearly to me What a wonderful industry hospitality is. It’s more than a career. It’s a family. I think it’s also safe to say that he may not have even been put in this position if it was not for the wonderful people over at The Clink restaurant in Brixton. Amazing work guys, truly. If you know of any other truly inspiring humans from within hospitality whose story needs to be shared, please do get in touch through any of our social channels. Inspiring stories need to be heard, just as much as the fun. I’ll be back as normal next Wednesday at 8pm with more stories from the world of hospitality. Until then, thanks so much for listening and have a great week.