Managing to rush through the crowd, I had the opportunity to pull Simeon Moore aka ‘Zimbo’ away from everyone wanting to take his photograph, for just a few minutes, to quiz him on exactly why he wasn’t so enthusiastic about the peace movement and how important it is for communities to regain power.
My mentality didn’t change – I changed what was going on. So it went from bringing peace to changing mindsets.
A troubled youth himself, the father-of-two from Aston, Birmingham, at the tender age of 13 had aspirations to be a “gang banger” – just one of the crippling effects of growing up in a fatherless home where he sought leadership from elders on the streets. What followed was a by-any-means-necessary existence as a “road man”.
Nobody’s themselves, nobody’s their true self, everybody wants to be this prototype – this hardcore gangster – or what they believe to be ‘gangster’ or ‘hard’.
An advocate of challenging self-perception and raising self-esteem, Simeon now co-founds the One Mile Away Organisation with fellow cast members, Dylan Duffus, who also jumps in with a few words, Matthias Thompson (Shabba) and Joel Eccleston (YT). The aim of the organisation, which plans to launch several projects, is to quite simply change lives. Targeting vulnerable youths with the combined Road to Freedom Tour (starting 15th April 2013), Big Brother Little Brother mentoring scheme, Survival Kit and Going the Mile programmes focus the intervention where it’s needed, at a grassroots level.
Take a listen to what both Simeon and Dylan had to say below: