Amani Simpson may not be a household name but his story, and vision for youth is something that everyone should hear.
Last year a short film titled Amani was released starring Ellis Witter (as young Amani) & Joivan Wade (British actor known for Doctor Who and The First Purge) who plays Amani. The film highlights Amani’s story, what he went through as a teenager and how he changed his life for the better after facing numerous trials and taking different paths while growing up in North London.
In school, Amani spent his time trying to get his peers to like him as his peers were not fond of him. Impacting on his early years. As Amani got older, he began to get himself into trouble with the wrong crowd. This led to Amani becoming lost, with a lack of direction and falling into deviance. One day he got home to find that his family had been threatened due to him and his peers stealing a school kid’s phone. Shortly after he ran away from home and upon return, he was locked out by his parents. Attempting to get back in caused a commotion in which his neighbours called the police, who searched him and then arrested him at the age of 15.
Listen to your internal voice
Amani went on to live at a care home; during his time there, someone introduced him into a way to make money through drugs. At one point, when he was carrying, he heard a voice tell him not to put the drugs in his bag, and instead to hide them in his trousers. He was shortly stopped by the police, who were looking for someone matching his description. He didn’t get caught, but this moment allowed him to reflect on the direction his life was going. Amani believes this internal voice is there for you, whether it’s to help you with your career, education or any other life-changing decisions.
Working with young people
At age 21 Amani was attacked and stabbed 7 times by some people who used to know him. He had begun working on his project Aviard Inspires. Luckily Amani survived the attack after spending some time in the hospital and continued working on Aviard which he is founder & CEO of. Aviard inspires young people and gets them to become “resistant to pressure” and manoeuvre the obstacles of life. Aviard achieves this not only by empowering young people but by entertaining them and providing them with different opportunities. The programme is aimed at ages 11+ and also aims to identify key areas of early intervention and holistic support and boost self-esteem and courage.
Most recently Amani has had the opportunity to speak at the Mayor of London’s Carol service and worked with us on our Apprentice Nation Manchester event in December. Amani is keen to encourage and inspire young people by telling his story and pushing them to do better. To find out more about Amani’s story, watch the short film he released last year, which has now reached over 2 million views. Watch here and sign up to find out when our new events are, don’t forget to turn on your notifications for us on social media to catch our latest content.