Roots to Work: The Breadwinner

Mahad is the Market Stall Manager for the social enterprise - Breadwinners. He chats to the 'Eel about his food journey, his life at the Market and what's helped him along the way.

How did you start working in the food sector?

It started in July 2021 when I joined the Breadwinners’ work experience programme and worked at Maltby Street Market as a Market Stall Assistant. Then I became a Market Stall Manager at Crystal Palace Market in October where I have been working ever since.

What’s a typical week for you?

I go to college 3 days a week. I see my friends and cook for my family. I like cooking traditional food from our culture - rice, fish and sometimes I buy lamb. Then we’ll all eat together. I listen to the news the whole time. I normally listen to African and Middle Eastern news but also UK news.

What’s different about working for a social enterprise such as Breadwinners?

They help young refugees who don’t speak much English and are struggling to communicate with other people. They are doing a great job supporting young refugees to get training and work.

What’s the most rewarding part about what you do?

The best thing about working for Breadwinners is that I get to support young refugees like myself. As a Market Stall Manager, I really enjoy encouraging other young people and explaining to them how the stall works. I like helping them to build their careers, like I have done. I also like doing food swaps with the other stall holders at the market! I am interested to see the different foods and sometimes I try different traditional foods, including Italian and German food.

Mahad, Market Manager at Breadwinners. Credit: Breadwinners
Mahad, Market Stall Manager, Breadwinners

What or who has helped you most along the way?

My father and my Breadwinners mentor Julia. Since I was born my father has supported me with my education. He came to the UK 20 years before us but he has always supported us. We moved from Somalia to Uganda and then joined him here in the UK in 2019. Julia has also helped me. My ambition is to be a politician and she works in politics so this has helped me a lot. She has shown me lots of useful resources to support my learning. I recently completed a course in Political Economics. We get on really well. The first time we met we were just laughing, as if we’d know each other from before!

What are your future aims and ambitions?

At the moment I am studying Business at college which I really enjoy. I want to create my own company to help other people. Then I want to be a politician so I can help more people.

And lastly, what do you love to eat?

Rice! In Somalia we cook rice in oil and then add 5 or 6 different spices - cinnamon, cardamon, turmeric, curry powder and many more!

Interested in volunteering, becoming a mentor, or just want to taste some of the delicious bread made by Breadwinners? Find out more about how you can support them here.


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Main picture: Mahad, Market Stall Manager. Credit: Breadwinners