Dubbed ‘The Man Whisperer’ by Newsweek, Kenny Mammarella – D’Cruz understands what makes men tick at the deepest and most personal level. As he says, “people often find him at a crossroads in their lives, lacking adequate tools, community or awareness to deal with it like a man.”
Kenny came from dramatic beginning; being told ‘’we’re coming to kill you tonight’’ as a 7-year-old in Uganda, as his father was on Idi Amin’s death list. Fortunately, Kenny fled just in time—and having travelled the world and worked with the likes of Mother Teresa in Calcutta, he moved to London and became a ‘high flying adrenaline junkie’.
Carrying numerous ailments and mental health issues—Kenny realized that for most of his life he’d been a little boy pretending to be a man.
Now a highly successful Personal Development Consultant, Kenny designed and created the MenSpeak men’s group, where men from all walks of life can laugh, listen, and grow together becoming their authentic selves. Over 16 years later, the MenSpeak concept is growing fast—changing and saving lives every day.
Today Kenny considers himself a true Londoner. Its where he fits in and where he can do his life’s mission. This Your London Legacy.
“Here I am, ex refugee—green behind the ears, member of the IOD, knowing the secret cubby hole—knowing the secret cubby hole we’re in.”
I interviewed Kenny inside a bunker-like, tucked away room in the Institute of Directors, a place Kenny calls a “proper posh place.” He loves nooks and crannies in London and this is one of his favorites—the location has even been in James Bond films. His journey to becoming a Londoner actually started in Uganda, where he became a refugee with his family after their lives were threatened and they were separated from their father for months. They went from being well off too having nothing at all and moving to the UK.
“Rather than finding out who I am – it’s more letting go of who I no longer need to be, or who or what is simply not true.”
Kenny left London in ’93 on somewhat of a spiritual quest to let life take him wherever it pushed and pulled. He spent time in Fiji, Australia, Calcutta, was “somewhat” kidnapped in Delhi, and even bungee jumped in New Zealand. He got in a fair amount of sunshine, something he felt he’d been missing since moving to the UK—and when he returned in ’98 he was a much different man than when he left, a man who could see that his friends were in great distress with their own lives on deeply personal and masculine levels.
“For me, the difference between a man and a boy is a man includes the feminine side – listening, responding, receiving – rather than competing and reacting and surviving. It’s not about competition.”
Kenny has hijacked the “man up phrase” and added “man up and talk about it”. He started his first men’s group 20 years ago and has helped countless people open up and discuss their pain and trauma’s so they don’t continue cycles of abuse, or follow through on suicidal thoughts. Men of all scenarios, races, and classes can find actionable tools and advice through meeting in groups or one on one and Kenny finds are able to start moving on relatively quickly. He whole heartedly loves London is set on turning around the ideas of masculinity so that its affects ripple out and bolster the city at large. He created these programs to save his own life and I’m overjoyed to share his story to any and all that may need the same.