Mahad Yusuf aka Syco

Mahad Yusuf - 23 years old


Mahad (aka Syco) graduated this year from Weltec, with a Bachelor of Youth Development. 

The 23-year old Somali-born youth leader lives with his mum and has four older brothers.

Mahad's family arrived in New Zealand in 1997, after spending time in a refugee camp in Nairobi. Mahad was just a baby, and his father died in the camp. His aunty was already living in Mt Roskill, and she took in her widowed sister-in-law and the five young boys. 

Mahad has come from a troubled past, but he's never waned from his Islamic faith. 

He founded Blessed Mvmnt, seeing it as an entrepreneurial, music-focused approach to community empowerment. 

He's very self-aware, and is driven to make sure people understand "Edgewalking" and the impact it has on the lives of youth in particular. 

He sees Blessed Mvmnt as providing a platform for refugee youth, to use their talents to make a living and also to express themselves. 

His passion is his music, and helping kids. He's currently working on his local Puki Te Papa Board and speaks at conferences to help troubled youth - with a particular focus on those that feel they are unfairly targeted within their communities. 

"I've been in this community for a long time. I was a naughty child, I didn't follow the rules and I was always in trouble," he recalls. 

"It was my responsibility to steer things in the right direction."