When Hashi Mohamed arrived in London from Kenya as a 9-year-old, separated from his mother and still grieving the recent and tragic loss of his father, he couldn’t possibly have foreseen the incredible journey ahead. A journey of social mobility littered with hurdles and barriers, some clear and obvious and others much more subtle.
Against all the odds it would seem, Hashi is now a prominent London based Barrister, broadcaster, and author of his new hugely successful book ‘People Like Us – What it Takes to Make it in Modern Britain’. In it Hashi discusses the many variables that make up the possibility of being successful in Britain today, such as the wealth and profession of your parents, the school you went to, the lucky breaks you get, the unwritten social rules, language, race and class, on and on.
Hashi is a hugely engaging personality, with an incredible personal story and template for empowering us all for the better, wherever we are on the social spectrum. This is Your London Legacy
“If you’re curious about the world that you live in…and you’re interested in the question of becoming a more equal society—this is the book for you.”
Hashi found his book “People Like Us” quite painful to write, and after listening to his story it’s not hard to imagine why. His childhood was full of uncertainty and tragedy and loss. After his father died in a car crash and among unrest Hashi came to the UK as a refugee. In writing his book, Hashi found himself reflecting on the whole series of events for the first time—how it felt to grow up in the poorer area’s of London, adapting to culture and language, and eventually what led him to feeling like he belonged as a part of British society.
One pivotal moment came from a teacher, Miss Adler—who let her students paint their own classroom how they saw fit. She had a wonderful understanding of the local community and spent a lot of time with the students. Her family came to the UK as refugees as well fleeing the holocaust, so there was a mutual understanding of Hashi’s predicament that made all the difference for him back then.
On Confidence: “It comes from, honestly, no epiphany or any sort of bible…it comes from a very simple place, which is that I was just not happy with the status quo.”
Hashi’s book takes a deep dive into concepts of imagination, confidence, and luck—how all these interplay with race and class and upbringing. It’s a close examination that many millionaires and billionaires tend to glance over when talking about their success—something Hashi believes sets many people up for failure. Without the chance of opportunity and seeking it out, being in the right place at the right time, success will often pass by. So you have to stay sharp and keep your eyes out, and you have to have the imagination and confidence to remember to do so.