‘Tomorrow’s People’, is a national employment charity based in the heart of Brixton is where I met a very inspiring young adult, Ahmed Meite. At 23 years old he is currently looking for a full time job and has aspirations of one day running his own plumbing company.
However, life wasn’t always so straightforward for Ahmed. Growing up on the estates of Brixton he found himself with “no choice” but to live a life of crime. Some of these crimes included robbing on the streets and violent disorder and Ahmed has served time in jail as a result of them. Explaining his reasons for finding himself involved in these activities he said:
“when I was younger I did silly little things like rob mobile phones and bullying the streets. As I grew older times were hard. Mum and dad were broke and I kind of felt I had no choice”.
Every youngster has some sort of role model. Whether it is someone famous or someone they know. For Ahmed his role models were the “elders” from his estate. These were the boys who were at a bigger level of crime showing off their flash cars and their ‘bling bling’. From having dreams of being a professional footballer his attention diverted as he got involved in the street life. Though, he still has his friends from his younger days he goes on to explain; “some of my friends have girlfriends now, kids, I (Ahmed) have a kid myself and we see life differently. All of us have changed”.
Since having a child Ahmed has turned his life around. He just came out of a job in Tesco’s where he was a temp and now has ambitions and dreams. From the manner he spoke it shows he has regret of the things he did and he now understands that he has a responsibility to his son. About his son he said: “I don’t want my son to come visit me in jail, maybe one day he can work with me in my plumbing company”
It’s very easy for people to judge others but without any background knowledge I don’t feel we as the public should be so quick to point our finger at someone else. Ahmed has clearly shown with guidance anyone can change. He is definitely a role model to the youngsters in his area and more importantly to his son.
Written by Ridhwaan Yusuf