Hi everyone! It has been a minute since I did a post on here. I apologise for the silence. However, if you have been following me on instagram then you would have noticed I have been busy doing a tour of Fashion weeks from London Fashion Week, and Florence (Pitti), to Milan Fashion Week. All the fashion weeks from difference cities were amazing. Please keep an out out for the posts which I will share soon.
This is not one of those articles with me showing off a glossy new suit. This is much more deeper and important than that so please humour me and read on
Meet my new little brother Lamin! Lamin and I met only two days ago when I visited the beautiful Lake Como. By the way, visiting Lake Como is a must if you haven’t already. Make sure you visit the little charming and quite village along the lake called Corna. It will blow your mind.
My brother Lamin has given me permission to share his incredible story of courage and hope. I ran into Lamin and his friends a couple of days ago as I was rushing to Como train station to head back into Milan after enjoying the spectacular views of Lake Como. He asked me to do a video shoot for him so he can send to his people back home. Unfortunately, I was rushing for my train and so couldn’t. However, I was able to squeeze in a couple of still shots before running off (you would have seen all of this if you checked my stories two days ago). Lamin and I connected on Instagram and he immediately DM’d me. A few moments later, as I was waiting for my train on the platform, I noticed four police officers rushing towards him and his friends. I won’t go into details about what actually happened but after 15 minutes, they were on their way. As soon as I got back to Milan, I sent a message to Lamin to see how him and his friends where doing. We had a brief exchange of messages and I asked to meet for lunch the following day. As we sat down having lunch at one of the restaurants near Garibaldi station on Tuesday before catching my flight back to the UK, I couldn’t help but wonder what a 17 year old boy is doing in Italy all by himself.
Lamin first came to Italy two years ago when he was only 15 years old. But before he came to Italy, Lamin lost both his parents. In fact he does not know his father as he passed away when he was a baby. His mother passed away in 2014 rendering him an orphan.
From this point on, there was only two options for Lamin. To stay in Gambia with no future at all or risk it all for an uncertain future in Europe.
Lamin made his way up north to Libya where apparently the authorities there put him and many others in prison. He escaped and was able to get on one of the boats heading to one of the sea ports of Italy. So out of the hundreds of thousands of people who get consumed every year by the Sahara desert, people smugglers, and the Mediterranean Sea after leaving their home countries, he made it into Italy. Against all the odds nature and man threw at him, Lamin made it into Italy with nothing but his life.
Now in Italy, he lives in a Centre outside of Milan provided by the government with only €75 per month to his name. Out of that €75, he sends €50 back home to his cousins to help with sustenance. Yep, he sends more than half of the NOTHING that he has to his people because he thinks they need it more. How can someone with very little still extend a generous hand you may ask.
My 17 year old brother has lost everything but he has one thing many do not have. He has HOPE and a DREAM! He aspires to be a professional footballer so he can sustain himself and his extended family and friends back Home.
Spending time with him yesterday really blessed my life. He is one of the most humble and genuine person I have met. I used the opportunity to take a few shots of him around Milan trying to bring out the childhood he never had. To bring out the hidden gem in him.
This need not continue to be his story. This need not be anyone’s story.
So ladies and gents, allow me to present to you the next Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Christiono Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, inisesta, Mo Sala, David Beckham, Samuel eto
LAMIN BAYO, your dream are valid!