On the 7th March 2019, former student Amani Simpson took a trip back to memory lane and visited our BCT campus, where our students were treated to a screening of his debut film ‘Amani’. He spoke about his journey from being a victim of knife crime, to turning his life around and becoming an entrepreneur. The session ended with a Q&A, where he spoke about how to make the best out of life and what we as a community and country can do to tackle the rising knife epidemic.
In 2007, Amani attended Big Creative Education college formerly known as DV8 Training and studied a music and events management course. He used his time at BCE to focus on becoming a better person and learning about the creative industry. ‘It was life changing studying at BCE, it caught me at a time in my life when I was coming off of the streets. I had a very supportive tutor who encouraged me to do amazing things. If I didn’t have the support, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.’
When speaking to our students about his journey, Simpson mentioned that he was brought up with good values. He came from a Christian household and even attended grammar school but soon felt like he didn’t fit in, which led him to rebel. He was consequently expelled from school for not conforming the mainstream ideology and ended up in a secure unit for children.
He explained that ‘You end up trying to make all these other guys like you, trying to fit into this group of boys who essentially don’t like you, you’re changing your values to suit them, when really they don’t know what it is they’re trying to achieve.’
Following a trail of unfortunate events, Amani was stabbed 7 times in an attack at a nightclub, which led him to produce and direct a short film on his life ‘Amani’. The film depicts his journey to the hospital where he questions everything including his faith. It was at this moment Amani vowed to change his ways and lead the life he was always destined for.
The short film has gained 1.6 million views on YouTube. Amani now visits various colleges in London, speaking to young children about the dangers of carrying weapons and being involved in gangs.