Hussain Manawer
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Hussain Manawer

London, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | MAJOR

London, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Spoken Word


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Leading Lights"

Hussain Manawer, a 24-year-old YouTuber from Milford who won One Young World and Kruger Cowne’s Rising Star challenge in 2015 for his moving mental-health campaigning, returned to Ottawa this year with a couple of new projects under his belt. The prize will see Manawer become the first British Muslim in space, travelling l00km away from Earth. In between space training, Manawer has travelled to Macedonia, Calais, and Thessaloniki, taking supplies to refugee women and children. “We’re not setting a great example for generations to come,” says Manawer, “and it’s out of order.” It was this idea that led Manawer to get involved with Cher (“You know how when even your mum knows who someone is they’re a big deal? Even my mum knows who Cher is”) and the pop star’s effort to save Kaavan, a 30-year-old elephant languishing in Islamabad Zoo. Manawer visited Pakistan, where his family originally comes from, twice and was part of the effort to free the elephant, a gift to Pakistan’s former army chief from Sri Lanka. Cher only found about Kaavan because someone tweeted her and asked her to help. And in a conference heaving with millennials, the mobilizing powers of the internet took centre stage.

Emma Watson must be the median age of most One Young World delegates, but when the 26-year-old actress took to the stage in Ottawa, she spoke not as a seasoned hand, someone well used to commanding attention on international stages, but as a young campaigner like the others in the room. Two years after launching her high-profile initiative for gender equality, HeForShe, at the United Nations, Watson sifted through applications from One Young World activists from over 100 locations around the world to appoint her One Young World Scholars. One, Mina Tolu, a transgender activist from Malta, works at Transgender Europe, an NGO in Berlin, tracking, archiving and moni­toring violence faced by trans­gender cam­paigners across the globe. Because for all its inspirational, feelgood quotient, One Young World includes voices that are not necessarily the mean nor the most obvious, and it does not shy away from offering platforms to those whose stories are sobering and even shocking. Listening to Mina speak of working in “trans murder monitoring” during the moving LGBTQ plenary was one of those moments. - Vanity Fair

"Hussain Manawer releases spoken-word track 'I'm Ashamed' - premiere"

National Poetry Day seems like appropriate-enough timing to premiere the new track from artist Hussain Manawer, a 24-year-old performance poet who also campaigns for mental health charities.

Rather randomly he also won the Kruger Cowne Rising Star competition which means he'll be the first British Muslim in Space, after beating out thousands of other entrants.

In this new release, titled 'I'm Ashamed', he rails against an unstable global climate along with other injustices taking place around the world, using clever wordplay against dramatic instrumentation. - The Independant

"Hussain Manawer reveals brand new spoken word track 'I'm Ashamed'"

You may be familiar with Hussain Manawer already, from his poetry to his mental health activism; he has now unveiled a brand new spoken word piece covering injustice that is taking place around the globe alongside witty social commentary which will surely resonate with listeners.

Produced by Moghul Veyron, 'I'm Ashamed' is filled with innovative wordplay, hitting home and allowing you to absorb a deeper meaning behind the message that Manawer is trying to put forward.

Recently showcasing 20 minutes of captivating poetry at London's Hackney Empire Theatre, the 24 year old has also set the Guinness World Record for the 'World's Largest Mental Health Lesson'!

'I'm Ashamed' is taken from the forthcoming EP 'Am I Going Too Deep?' which is due to release on May 6th, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled! - MTV

"Hussain Manawer’s New Single, “I’m Ashamed” Is A Raw Snapshot Of The World We Live In Today"

If you aren’t already familiar with London based poet and spoken word artist Hussain Manawer, then his debut single I’m Ashamed, is guaranteed to leave a lasting mark on your consciousness.

Lifted from his debut EP, Am I Going Too Deep? set to be released on May 8th to coincide with Mental Health Awareness week, and produced by music producer Moghul Veyron, the track is a frank and honest snapshot of the world we live in today and draws the listener into the poet’s innermost thoughts of denial, acceptance and of course, shame.

From the outset, the opening line of I’m ashamed to be a citizen of this world lets you know that for the next three minutes, you WILL be confronting some ugly truths. Ultimately, this is a confession from the wordsmith as to what he thinks of the world and his role within it.

Manawer touches upon topics such as gender inequality, racism, global warming and the disconnection from our offline realities. How can he fit all these issues into three short minutes you might ask?

But what do you expect from an EP entitled Am I Going Too Deep? This isn’t simply a passive name for an album - it’s a genuine question that engages the audience and asks them to confront the uncomfortable topic of mental health. Through his work, the young poet holds a mirror up to the listener, giving them the option to reflect not only on the world we have made, but our actions and efforts.

Lines such as When I think of my’s half hearted prayers from my attic window and bags full of pollution... strike a chord because the first thing you think to yourself is, “What have I done to stop such problems spiralling out of control?”

Ilford based Manawer is not a passive citizen though. He’s an active campaigner in mental health, something that has inspired and influenced him to release such an emotional debut. The launch of his single coincided with his successful world record attempt for The World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson, hosted in partnership with King’s College London. Hundreds of school children from across the country took part to learn about issues such as depression and anxiety, with special guests including Maya Jama, WSTRN and cast members of EastEnders.

Manawer describes his new approach to music as “social commentary from the arts,” and he has long spoken about the use of poetry as a means of self-expression. As part of his entry to the Kruger Cowne Rising Star Programme - a competition that saw him win a trip into space - Hussain performed a poem based on a suicide letter from a boy to his mother, and subsequently dedicated the trip to everyone in the world who has suffered from mental health issues.

Manawer has created a new genre of socially conscious art and in the process, has begun to blur the lines as to what constitutes music. I’m Ashamed is a refreshingly honest and truly beautiful piece of work.

This isn’t just a single from a talented up-and-coming artist; this is a call to action. - Huffington Post

"UK's first Muslim astronaut aims to put focus on mental health"

For most people who go into space it is a dream come true, but for the man set to be the UK’s first Muslim astronaut his priority is making the world a better place.

Hussain Manawer, 25, from Ilford, Essex, is due to blast off in 2018 after seeing off thousands of other entrants from more than 90 countries in a competition.

The poet, charity fundraiser and founder of his own creative agency dedicated his victory to everyone who has suffered mental health problems, and said he had an important mission in life.

“It’s never really been an ambition of mine [to go into space], but I felt I wasn’t contributing enough to the world,” he said. “I got to the point where I thought we are failing the world so much in so many different ways. When I saw the competition I thought: let me go for it, let me see what happens.

“I am using it as a platform to venture into problems, which is how I think it should be. What influenced me is you have to be somebody in order for people to take you seriously, in order to have an impact.”

Manawer’s pitch for the Kruger Cowne rising star competition was centred on mental health, from his entry video to his final speech featuring a poem about depression and self-harm, in which he lamented: “I wasn’t meant for this planet.”

He plans to release a mixtape featuring his poetry about mental health, and in March he will attempt to set a world record for the largest mental health lesson, for 1,000 students from 30 schools from all over the country, at Hackney Empire in London.


Manawer is fully behind a campaign for schoolchildren to be taught about mental health, but believes teachers are under enough pressures and so need outside assistance.

Even before winning the space travel competition, Manawer had raised thousands of pounds for charities and given lessons on cyberbullying in 400 schools. He has a successful YouTube channel, Hussain’s House, featuring interviews with the comedian Kevin Hart, rapper G-Eazy and radio presenter Charlamagne, and was a torchbearer in the buildup to the London Olympics.

He said he saw the competition to travel beyond the 100km mark in XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx spacecraft as a way of taking his campaigning to another level. The contest was run in association with One Young World, a platform for 18- to 30-year-olds, supported by the likes of Kofi Annan.

“Never did I think I’m going to win it,” Manawer said. “I just thought if I can get through a few stages I get to be associated with some good humanitarians and they will take my stuff more seriously. There was Bob Geldof and Fatima Bhutto, who has done humanitarian work in Pakistan. I want to host meetings of global influencers to effect change.”

His public profile has soared since winning the competition. He fronted a launch video for London’s night tube, has rubbed shoulders with political leaders and royals and given talks around the world, all squeezed in between his astronaut training.

Manawer has also become a public face of Muslims at a time of increasing scrutiny of the faith. In his victory speech he declared: “My name is Hussain and I am not a terrorist,” an allusion to the hit 2010 Bollywood film My Name is Khan.

“Something triggered in my head and I thought: the world’s watching a Muslim person get an award, I want to say something meaningful,” said Manawer. “It’s good for people to see the positive side of a religion that gets missed a lot.”

At the same time, he does not want his religion to obscure his overriding message. “To me it’s very clear we are failing the world’s mental health,” said Manawer. “If we can tackle that, it will solve a lot of problems.” - The Guardian

"Speech therapist: poet Hussain Manawer is setting his sights on space"

Poetry can move the soul – but can it change minds? Hussain Manawer thinks so. The east London-based poet and campaigner uses the spoken word to campaign on issues from mental health to climate change. "I try to write poetry for the betterment of human life," says Manawer, 26.


A former shop worker, Manawer started posting comedy videos to YouTube in 2014. He developed a following, but it felt hollow. "It didn't excite me," he says. "I came to a point in my life where I thought, 'You know what? I want to make things more meaningful.'"Through his poetry ("Mentally we have become detached from ourselves and society / Tell me it's OK not to be OK, but don't tell me quietly") he began to use the platform to talk about social issues. "I really need people to understand it, to feel it - all within three minutes." It worked: to date, Manawer's performances have clocked up more than a million views, and he has landed commissions from London's Night Tube and education giant Pearson. He's opened for Ellie Goulding, and appeared with Hollywood stars such as Kevin Hart.

But awareness, he says, is just the start. "It's solutions-based. It's 'Now, what can we do?'" As such, Manawer has collaborated with King's College London to develop a lesson plan for young people about dealing with depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, and is organising a mental-health summit in London in 2017. "I'm trying to be more creative with my solutions," he says. He cites plans for a pop-up barbershop (tentative title: Hairapy) where customers can speak to a therapist after their cut, helping to overcome the stigma of referrals.

But the final frontier? Space. In 2018, Manawer will travel into orbit as a private astronaut – a prize for winning a global competition run by the talent agency Kruger Crowne and the nonprofit One Young World. He's dedicating the space trip to further his campaigning. "If I can provide support and create a care network for people," he says, "using YouTube, using poetry - that excites me." - Wired

"Quick Q&A: NASA Emails East London Poet Hussain Manawer"

IF HE'S not busy breaking Guinness World Records in the name of worthy causes, (the world's largest mental health lesson, to be exact), you might find Hussain Manawer at space bootcamp ahead of his upcoming intergalactic trip, recording an album for Universal Records or even replying to an email from NASA!

The humble, bubbly east Londoner began as a seemingly unlikely YouTube star who blagged his first on-screen interview with none other than Kevin Hart before becoming mates with the likes of Charlemagne the God, Stormzy and Boy Better Know to name a few. After some favourable twists and turns, Manawer has won a trip into space off the back of a compelling spoken word piece about mental health he performed at a youth conference in Asia - we found out what he's been up to since we last met:

Q: The last time we caught-up with you, you were holding a Guinness World Record! What's been happening since your mental health lesson?

A: I am planning something really special for the young people of London starting from September, but before then my EP Am I Going Too Deep? is out now!

And I’m raising money for mental health charity Samaritans and have sold out my headline show!

So man is very happy right now.

Q: You're a magnet for amazing opportunities - from your record deal to NASA - how did it feel to get the email from them?

Haha, some say it’s luck, but you create your own luck don't you? It was incredible I can't believe it because the space agency I'm going to space with isn't directly linked to NASA. So I guess this is every kids dream come true, and I just feel honoured.

Q: What's next on your training to-do list as you count down to space?

A: A bag full of exciting things, as soon as I know more information you lot will know!

To find out exactly why NASA emailed Hussain, keep checking out our Life & Style entertainment section in The Voice's hardcopy newspaper and the mobile app. - The Voice


A year ago, Hussain Manawer was just an ordinary East London guy, working in marketing and making occasional Youtube videos for his online channel, Hussain’s House. Now, the 25-year-old is set to be the first British Muslim to go to space.

A talented poet from Ilford in east London, Manawer is passionate about helping other young people with mental health issues. His journey began last November, after delivering a powerful spoken-word performance about his struggle with depression and anxiety at the One Young World summit in Bangkok, Thailand—and won the Rising Star program, a global competition to go to space. Manawer has spent the past year as an astronaut-in-training as part of the program, sponsored by talent agency Kruger Cowne, and will travel 60 miles into space in 2018.

Speaking on October 1 at this year’s One Young World in Ottawa, Canada, Manawer gave another moving performance, entitled Mother Tongue, in front of the 1,300 delegates from around the world. (See the video above). After he spoke, a young delegate from Aleppo, Syria, came up to him shaking, saying how much the poem affected him—a reminder to Manawer that speaking about depression has universal reach.

“I feel like I’ve come out of a boxing match,” says Manawer, speaking to Newsweek immediately after coming off stage. “I feel like I’m in a great position to be able to influence and have an impact and I want to do justice to that. Because what I’m talking about is so real and so raw that I have to do what needs to be done for the cause.”

Manawer, whose grandparents were born in Pakistan, says it’s particularly difficult for young men in ethnic minority communities to discuss issues of mental health—and that’s why suicide is one of the biggest killers. “Men take it upon themselves to have this dominant superiority. They think, I’m the man so I have to be strong. That’s why male suicide is so high because men can’t hack it, and that’s fine. We should be able to say, ‘I can’t hack this right now, I need help.’”

“But I can’t sit here and say: It’s my culture’s fault, they didn’t have the opportunity of education that I have. If they turn around and say ‘What’s depression?’, we can’t just expect them to know. The vocabulary is more restricted.

“There’s this sociologist Basil Bernstein who did a study on speech codes, and it was about how people from working-class people from ethnic minority backgrounds have these restricted codes. So when we talk, we use our hands, and I’ll hope that you would gauge what I’m saying and finish the sentence for me, whereas people from a middle-class background would sit here and articulate themselves. It’s nothing to do with the intelligence of our people, but going back in the day, it’s always been happening. We’ve never been able to articulate ourselves.”

Manawer is optimistic about the progress being made on mental health issues. “I think people are much more open. Of course, there’s always more that could be done but that’s true for everything. A lot is happening, institutionally. That’s why I said on the stage, if you take anything away from this, just tell somebody that you love them.” And, he jokes, “follow me on Instagram.”

One Young World is a global movement that hosts an annual summit to offer a unique platform for young leaders to network with peers from every country and sector, sharing ideas to develop solutions to address urgent global issues. - News Week

"How a kid from Ilford won the chance to be the first British Muslim in space"

A philanthropic poet from Ilford, Hussain Manawer has devoted his life to helping others. He never expected it would win him a ticket to space…

Two years ago I was visiting a friend in LA to film for my YouTube channel, when I heard about a competition called Rising Star. The prize was a trip to space. I answered the entry questions quite grumpily, so I was surprised when I made the final round. I was asked to deliver a keynote on something I was passionate about, and I chose mental health. Well, to cut a long story short, I won the competition – and now I’m training to go into space!

I think mental health is at the core of most of our problems. It affects me and a lot of people around me, so it made sense to talk about it. Growing up in London and having a mixed cultural identity of being British and Muslim made me ask: where do I fit in society? What’s expected of me in my religion? What’s expected of me in British culture? These questions still affect me today.

I had a friend who sadly killed himself because of the mental issues he was battling, and another who’s currently in a mental health home, so it’s an issue that’s very close to home. I’ve been writing poetry since I was 13 and I find it’s the best way for me to get everything out without sounding condescending. I wanted my speech to hit people right in the heart, and poetry helped me to do that.

Over the last few years I’ve been to more than 400 schools around the world to deliver lessons on cyberbullying and mental health. I don’t expect teachers to educate kids about mental health when they’re looking out for so many things already: we need to take it on ourselves to teach young people that they’re not alone.

In March we’re hoping to set the record for the world’s largest mental health lesson at Hackney Empire. I’m also working with King’s College London on an entertaining, educational programme for young people about dealing with depression and anxiety. It’s a serious topic, but at every school there’s one question I always get: ‘Where did you buy your trainers?’

Mental health hasn’t always been a big issue for me, but I’ve always been passionate about good causes: everything from building a village in Botswana to organising a series of mountain climbs with people who had never experienced life outside the East End. Because of all my charity work, my sister nominated me to be a torchbearer for the Olympics in 2012. I wish my granddad had been alive to see it. My grandparents came to England in the ’60s and, half a century later, their grandson ran with the Olympic torch. It’s overwhelming. And now I’m going into space!

Since I won the competition I’ve been learning how to handle G-force, zero gravity, nosedives and all sorts of space trip situations. It’s been horrible, but I’ve loved it. I went up in a plane with a German pilot and I kept saying, ‘This is sick!’ – so he thought I was going to vomit. When I finally explained to him what I meant, he started spinning the plane upside down and I started shouting again – this time, ‘I’m going to be sick!’ Of course, he thought I was loving it. One day I’d like to turn all of this into a movie. Something like ‘East Is East’ or ‘Bend It Like Beckham’: a boy from Ilford who gets to go to space. I want it to be a cult classic for my generation. - Time Out

"Homeless helpline: Young poet urges support for Centrepoint appeal"

A poet and campaigner who will become the first British Muslim to travel to space has penned a poem to highlight the plight of the homeless in London.

Hussain Manawer, 25, from east London, has written Streets Of London and recorded it on video to a piano track from Hollywood film score writer Moghul Veyron.

Today he backed the Standard’s Christmas campaign to help charity Centrepoint launch a helpline to give young homeless people vital support.

Mr Manawer, who will travel to space in 2018 after winning an international competition by delivering a speech on mental health, said: “I came across a poet once called Rhymestein, he is an incredible talent.

"He was homeless. I was inspired by his wordplay. But the fact that he was sleeping outside brought home that this problem lives amongst us. It’s a very big problem.

“A lot of the time you feel powerless. I just don’t think it’s fair - we should all have access to equal things.”

In his poem, he says: “Let me walk through the streets of London, where life can be so tragic. The stories of the unheard live on our pavements and fight against the midnight magic.”

Supporting the Standard’s campaign, he added: “It’s incredibly important. The most important thing you can do is to speak to someone. No-one’s going to judge you. You will just have a listening ear.”

Mr Manawer was at Centrepoint’s Sleep Out, where more than 1,000 people slept rough on the Greenwich Peninsular to raise money for the Young and Homeless Helpline last month. - Evening Standard

"If I Were Mayor: A manifesto for mental health by Hussain Manawer"

As the London mayoral election day draws ever closer, we have been asking Londoners who care about our city what they would do if they were in charge.

24-year-old Hussain Manawer from Essex won a competition last year to travel to space.

Speaking at the One Young World summit after he was announced as the winner, he dedicated his win to everyone who has suffered from poor mental health. London has some of the highest instances of poor mental health in the country.
In the second in our series 'If I Were Mayor', here is Hussain Manawer on de-stigmatizing mental health. - ITV

"Astronaut-in-training 'over the moon' to set new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the World's Largest Mental Health Lesson"

Today poet, astronaut-in-training and mental health campaigner Hussain Manawer and King’s College London’s Professor Dame Til Wykes set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson.
Over 500 schoolchildren from across the country descended on the world famous Hackney Empire and took part in a special interactive mental health lesson from Dame Til, covering depression, stigma, where to get help and how to maintain good mental health.
After the lesson Hussain Manawer performed a poem called ‘I’m Ashamed’ which is from his forthcoming EP to be released for Mental Health Awareness Week in May. The EP is a collection of poems produced with music. The event was hosted by 4Music presenter Maya Jama and featured special guests including Jonny Labey and Danny Boy Hatchard – EastEnders; Jordan Stephens from Rizzle Kicks; singer Sinead Harnett and face of YouTube Humza Arshad.


Special video messages of support came from Piers and Susanna from ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Holly and Phil from ITV’s This Morning, Matthew Wright from Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff; Gary Lineker from BBC1’s Match of the Day and ITV London News’ Nina Hossein. Hussain Manawer is a relentless campaigner to end mental health stigma, travelling the world and using poetry as a means to relate to difficult topics such as mental health.
Hussain said: ‘We’re over the moon to set this GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. Growing up in this day and age can be difficult. Young people nowadays have new challenges to contend with like social media, body image and physical appearance and cyber bullying. Mental health education is crucial to help many get through the early stages of their life and I am a great believer in this being put on the national syllabus. But for now, I can claim to have set the record for the World’s Largest Mental Health Lesson but I’m not going to stop here.’
Professor Dame Til Wykes, is a world renowned Clinical Psychologist and academic specialising in involving people with mental health problems in research. She is Vice-Dean at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience which is a global leader in mental health research and education.
Dame Til said: ‘I am thrilled we have set this record. Mental ill health affects everyone and we know that most adult mental health has its roots in childhood and adolescence. We want to empower and educate young people to know how to manage their mental health and what to do if they are worried about it. Just as importantly we want to raise awareness and so help to reduce stigma and enable young people to provide support to others.
'It is often the stigma and discrimination which prevents young people getting treatment early and we know that the earlier you get treatment the faster is recovery. Mental health should be on the curriculum to ensure this happens.’

The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS strict rules required participants to play close attention to the lesson; no mobile phones; no leaving their seats and paying attention at all times to the lesson. An army of independent stewards were present to ensure the rules were adhered to, as was GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator Pravin Patel who was on hand to deliver the results of the attempt immediately after the lesson ended. The tension was palpable as Pravin and the stewards gathered for the official count. To meet the record there had to have been 400 people fully engaged in a 30 minutes lesson. When Pravin Patel read the results it had been exceeded by 138, with a final count of 538 participants.
Hussain concluded: ‘When the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator read the result the crowd went wild! But we couldn’t have done it without all the fantastic support we had, particularly the Hackney Empire, Maya Jama, the celebrities, Hussain’s House crew, Dame Til and King’s College London, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, but most of all, the cool schools and cool kids who know how important mental health is.
'It’s incredible, when I was growing up I wish we had something like this, something so insightful, engaging, educating, and entertaining. I think it’s beautiful that in 2017 we can all come together from different backgrounds, and hold such a historic event for such a meaningful cause.'
The event was supported by the Hackney Empire, the Samaritans and Atelier Works.
For further information please contact: Louise Pratt, Public Relations and Communications Manager Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London - King's College London

"Samaritans support record breaking mental health lesson with astronaut in training Hussain Manawer"

On the afternoon of Tuesday 21 March, rocket man Hussain Manawer and King’s College London will fill the Hackney Empire in London with young people to take part in the world’s largest ever mental health lesson.

Hussain and King's College London are calling on school children from all over the UK to help them set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. They are aiming for an audience of at least 600 young people from schools, colleges and sixth forms across the country.

“We want to show the world how important it is to look after your mental health, and that it needs to start early,” said Hussain, who has reached out to a generation with his poetry through his YouTube channel, Hussain’s House, and hopes to be the first British Muslim in space.

“Now more than ever we need to focus on our mental health. Mental health matters and that’s the reality.”

The lesson will span 90 minutes and Professor Dame Til Wykes of King’s College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience will be talking about dealing with depression, the effects of stigma and maintaining good mental health.

Samaritans will be supporting this event and providing information for students and staff about their resources to help young people understand and cope with their feelings.

The event will be hosted by presenter and 4Music Radio DJ Maya Jama and there will be surprise guests and celebrity appearances. Hussain Manawer will also be performing an exclusive 20-minute poetry set featuring some very special guests. - Samaritans

"It's good to talk: pupils gather for world's largest mental health lesson"

“Talking about mental health does not make you weak,” the world’s largest mental health lesson has been told. Til Wykes, a clinical psychologist, told an audience of more than 500 13-18-year-olds from around the country: “We want to get people to come to treatment early because if they come early, they recover faster and they recover better.”

The event on Tuesday at Hackney Empire in east London, compered by the 4Music presenter Maya Jama, was designed to teach children and young people about what mental health is, how to protect it and deal with problems when they arise. Officially recognised as the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever mental health lesson, with 538 young people present, the hope is that it also raises general awareness about the issue among young people and helps combat the stigma surrounding it.

There were gasps from the pupils as they heard one in 10 five-to-16-year-olds have mental health problems, amounting to 850,000 children, and 75% do not get the help they need.

Wykes, who works at King’s College London, told pupils that in a class of 30 that meant on average three would have mental health problems at some point – or possibly more as the current estimate of one in 10 is believed to be out of date – so they were all likely to be touched by the issue in some way.

Hussain Manawer, the poet, mental health campaigner and soon-to-be astronaut who organised the event with Wykes, told the audience: “If you are going through something you need to speak to someone about it, but if you don’t feel comfortable about talking to your friends then maybe you need to evaluate who your friends are.”

Video messages of support from a host of celebrities were played and there was even backing from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who stressed “how important it is to talk about mental health”.

Manawer, who has his own YouTube channel, Hussain’s House, and has just released his first single, I’m ashamed, also drafted in entertainers to talk in person about mental health and entertain the children after the formal part of the lesson, which conformed to strict rules dictated by Guinness World of Records, including no toilet breaks or talking by pupils, except when asked to respond.

The 30-minute lesson touched on famous figures of the past such as Virginia Woolf, Isaac Newton and Winston Churchill who have suffered from depression, alongside contemporary names such as JK Rowling, Professor Green and Kelly Holmes, illustrating that being successful does not offer immunity from depression.

The dangers of cannabis – particularly high THC skunk – were also discussed, the damage done by using pejorative terms to describe people with mental health problems and the importance of sleep, as well as how staying online at bedtime has the potential to disrupt it. The audience was told about the importance of communication and the services offered by the Samaritans, Childline and Young Minds.

After the lesson, the pupils were entertained by the YouTube comedian Humza Arshad, Jordan Stephens (one half of hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks) and singer Sinéad Harnett, although there were still serious points to be made.

“Hear me, I would have this [subject] on the national curriculum, I have no idea why it’s not,” said Danny-Boy Hatchard, who played Lee Carter – a character with mental health problems – in EastEnders. “Not all of us will use the circumference of a circle or algebra [but everyone will use this].” - The Guardian

"Meet the Muslim space poet challenging the stigma of mental health"

Who is Hussain Manawer?

For starters he is the performance poet that earlier this week broke the world record for the world’s largest mental health lesson. Working with Kings College London Manawer delivered a stunning 20-minute set of poetry following Professor Dame Til Wilk’s lecture on dealing with depression and maintaining good mental health.

Guests on the day included Sneakbo, Maya Jama, WSTRN and cast of BBC soap EastEnders.

The stand-out from the performance was ‘I’m Ashamed’, the debut track from his forthcoming EP ‘Am I Going Too Deep’, which is out 8th May.

The track embodies Hussain’s vital work as an ambassador for the Samaritan’s charity, and as a passionate campaigner for mental awareness. In this role he as addressed the Houses of Parliament, given lessons cyber bullying and overcome it in over 400 schools.

Written on the side of the M25, ‘I’m Ashamed’ was produced by music producer Moghul Veyron and comes at a time of political turmoil and unprecedented, international, humanitarian crisis. The track takes on this unstable global climate with a fusion of social commentary and artistic wordplay.

Hussain said: “Reading the news and playing out my day-to-day, I feel a lot of emotions and more often than not, things have a tendency to weigh heavy on me. Performance poetry gives me the opportunity to capture my imagination in words. It allows me to express those feelings and abstract thoughts in a way that provides a release and helps me to make sense of things.”

As if this all doesn’t make Hussain Manawer intriguing enough, the Ilford native will also be the first British Muslim in space after beating 30,000 other entries from 90 countries in the Kruger Cowne Rising Star competition. This win will see him on one of the first commercial space flights travelling up over 100km into the atmosphere.

As part of his entry he performed a poem based on a suicide letter from a boy to his mother, and at the winner’s ceremony dedicated the trip to everyone in the world who has suffered from mental health issues.

‘I’m Ashamed’ is the first track to be released from Hussain’s debut EP “Am I Going to Deep”, set to be released on 8th May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week and proceeds will be going to Samaritan’s.

Watch Hussain Manawer’s stunning performance of ‘I’m Ashamed’ from this week’s record-breaking mental health lecture: - The National Student

"An Interview With Poet Hussain Manawer (@HussainsHouse)"

Welcome To Hussain’s House…
Mental Health advocate, Olympic torchbearer, YouTuber, poet and future astronaut Hussain Manawer has been using his talent to empower and educate masses through different mediums. His efforts to end the stigma of Mental Health have not gone unnoticed; this month the 25 year old Essex-born campaigner broke the Guinness world records for organising the largest mental health awareness lesson with 538 students in attendance. Hussain gets ready to release his debut EP ‘Am I Going too Deep?’ during Mental Health Awareness Week this May. I am Hip Hop Magazine catch up with Hussain to find out more…
How did you get into spoken word?
I started writing when I was in year 9. I had a supply English teacher called Mr Noakes, who showed me the ropes (that wasn’t meant to rhyme haha!). He pushed me to enter a poetry slam competition in 2006, and that’s really when it all began. I have been writing ever since.
You focus quite a lot on mental health, why is that an important topic for you?
I feel as if mental health is the root cause of a lot of the problems we face in today’s society. If we can learn to tackle these central issues, a lot of other things will naturally fall into place. It is also something that affects a lot of people close to me, as well as the supporters I have all across the world.
I have also heard you address the issue of culture in mental health. Its well-known someone from an ethnic minority background is less likely to get support for difficulties. Why do you think there are barriers are for minorities to get help?
I think because this is all very new to us. It’s something that was not addressed properly by the generations before us. Therefore, there is a lack of understanding and knowledge on the subject, which makes it harder for us to address it in the home.
Do you think the recent political climate, and the resurgence of cultural prejudices, has been impacting on the mental health of young people?
100%, I couldn’t agree more. I think being a young person in today’s world is very difficult and often over looked. There are dangers and pressures coming in from various sides of society.
What would your advice be to an ethnic youth out there struggling but not wanting to seek help?
What your feeling is absolutely normal. There is nothing wrong with it at all. There is no shame in how you are feeling and you should not feel guilty about it. Reaching out for help can be the best thing you do!
We hear you have an EP coming out soon. Can you tell us what your inspiration behind it was and what we can expect?
I’ve been inspired by loads of different outlets. The main ones being Channel U (from back in the day), and acts like Krept & Konan and The Streets. I have also been inspired by different genres such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Enya, and Hans Zimmer. I wanted to blend all my inspirations into one, and I hope that’s what you’re going to get!
Being that this is a Hip Hop magazine, we got to ask. What is your favourite genre of music and who are your highest rated artists?
By a million miles its UK Rap, Grime and Garage. My highest rated artists are Lowkey, Wretch 32, Krept & Konan, Artful Dodger, Giggs, and many more. There are honestly so many great artists; I couldn’t just name you one.
We have heard you talk about being from a humble background, never being a “high achiever,” yet you managed to become an ambassador for voiceless youth. What advice would you give aspiring artists trying to get their voice heard?
I would just say if you feel something and are passionate about it, go for it! Nothing can beat or override your passion. Nothing!
Okay, now tell us, are you really going to space?
Haha, yeah well I hope so! I’m set to travel towards the end of 2018⁄19. Let’s see what happens!
What is next from you (other than space travel)?
I might even drop a movie…
Hussain Manawer’s debut album ‘Am I Going Too Deep?’ releases this May. Follow his journey and find out what else he has in store by subscribing to his YouTube channel. - I Am Hip- Hop

"Hussain Manawer Delivers Thought Provoking Track ‘I’m Ashamed’"

You may be already familiar with poet Hussain Manawer, after all he did just set the Guinness World Record for the ‘Worlds Largest Mental Health Lesson’ at London’s Hackney Empire. But if not I’m here to tell you about him and his newly released inspiring spoken word piece I’m Ashamed.

Known for his mental health activism and poetry Hussain, explores the current state of the world’s mental health on this track, by touching on the global climate as well as mentioning some of the reported injustices taking place around the world today over a dramatic beat, produced by Moghul Veyron.

Using a combination of artistic word play and incorporating viral social media commentary that I’m sure listeners will relate to, I’m Ashamed is a thought-provoking track that allows us to open our eyes to what is around us, giving us the chance to absorb the deeper meaning behind the track.

On discussing his process Hussain Manawer said:

“Reading the news and playing out my day-to-day, I feel a lot of emotions and more often than not, things have a tendency to weigh heavy on me. Performance poetry gives me the opportunity to capture my imagination in words. It allows me to express those feelings and abstract thoughts in a way that provides a release and helps me to make sense of things.”

I’m Ashamed is taken from Manawer’s upcoming EP Am I Going Too Deep which is set for release on May 8th during Mental Health Awareness week.

Interesting Fact: Manawer will be the first British Muslim in space after winning the Kruger Cowne Rising Star competition, beating a whopping 30,000 entrants. - Pardon My Blog


I'm Ashamed - 2017
Playground - 2017
All I Need - 2017
Ballad - 2017 
Intro - 2017 



"Performance poetry gives me the opportunity to capture my imagination in words. It allows me to express those feelings and abstract thoughts in a way that provides a release and helps me to make sense of things," says Hussain.

With the release of his debut EP 'Am I Going Too Deep?'through Virgin EMIManawer has already drawn critical praise:

"He rails against an unstable global climate... using clever wordplay against dramatic instrumentation." The Independent

"Manawer has created a new genre of socially conscious art and in the process, has begun to blur the lines as to what constitutes music." Huffington Post

"Am I Going Too Deep' looks set to be an essential listen for your week" MTV

With regular airtime on stations such as BBC Radio 1xtraAsian Network and BBC LondonHussain was recognised as a 'future sound' by Southbank's Alchemy FestivalManawer has already supported superstar Ellie Goulding at the Royal Albert Hall and was requested to curate a one-off poem by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, entitled 'London Legacy' to celebrate the launch of the first night tube. Influential campaigns with TopmanUnilever and Pearson Education have since followed.

Through his work, Ilford based Manawer hopes to alleviate the stigma that exists around the topic of mental health. Most recently, he set a Guinness World Record for the 'World's Largest Mental Health Lesson.' Hussain's global reach has seen him take the stage alongside world-renowned leaders such as Kofi AnnanOscar winning actress Cher and Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Manawer first came to prominence when he beat thousands of entrants from over 90 countries to win a trip to space. He clinched the champion's title of 'Rising Star' in the global competition after a breath-taking spoken-word performance. Manawer started the first bout of training in the summer with more sessions to follow.

As an active campaigner, his philanthropic efforts stretch far and wide; spending 19 days in Botswana re-building a village, heading up a campaign to assist the plight of the homeless in London, climbing various mountains such as Kilimanjaro for numerous causes and galvanising the support of his peers, visiting refugee camps to personally provide aid where it's needed the most. These are just a few of the missions Hussain has undertaken in the name of humanity.

Band Members