By Isabella (11) and Evie (12), Jill Dando News @ Priory
Top author and one of the world’s best poets Hussain Manawer inspired hundreds during a visit to Priory Community School Academy in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
He spoke to students about his life journey with dozens of life tips and encouragement, then was interviewed by Jill Dando Journalists.
They heard how his debut collection Life Is Sad And Beautiful entered The Sunday Times Charts upon release and sold more than 10,000 copies within the first few months, making him the first British Pakistani Poet to hold such a position.
His book, published in may 2022, is about his journey through depression, anxiety and the loss of his mother.
Life Is Sad And Beautiful has also since been adapted in the UK’s Key Stage 3 and 4 National Curriculum.
Hussain said: “It was great to be at the school. I also had an incredible interview with the Jill Dando Journalists.
“It is really enlightening to see young people taking story selling and journalism so seriously.
“We need more kindness, we need more good news, our planet needs it now more than ever, and the future is in the hands of our young people.”
Hussain’s journey started at aged 15 when he found fascination with rhythmic lyricism and since then his unique style of poetic storytelling blends a fusion of dynamic life experiences, pain, humor, heartbreak and music.
Hussain has performed his poetry in several extraordinary places.
He once climbed to the top of mount kilimanjaro, and performed there!
Hussain was also asked by Prince William to perform a poem to open the FA cup final, between Chelsea and Arsenal during lockdown, where he also met the then Prince Charles.
He has met Prime Ministers and supported Bon Iver at Wembley, while performing at Glastonbury, Global Citizen, One Young World and many more.
High profile collaborations include featuring alongside Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry in their latest docu-series The Me You Can’t See and special commissions include The Royal Family, BAFTA, Burberry, Google, The Royal College of Psychiatrists and others.
Having reached millions of people online with his raw emotive pieces expressing grief, loss and an attempt to build a life after loss, he used his reach to create an entirely new Guinness World Record for The World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson; alongside Professor Dame Til Wykes, King’s College London and the Hackney Empire in 2017.
In 2018 Prime Minister Theresa May went on to award him the Point of Light award, recognising his outstanding efforts in helping the country’s mental health crisis. He was also awarded an Honorary Fellowship of King’s College London in 2018.
Hussain told our Jill Dando Journalists about how during school, Hussain he struggled mainly with lessons including Maths, Science and PE. His favourite subject was English, because he would always enjoy doing ‘Poetry slam’. Hussain would occasionally misbehave, and was soon branded ‘Under achiever’.
He first discovered his love for poetry when he was in year 9 (15 years old) and soon carried away his dream of being a poet. Despite his efforts, he failed his GCSEs.
However, he wrote a poem about his thoughts and feelings about leaving year 11 and the only audience he performed the poem to was the year 11’s when he came to visit PCSA.