Jamal Edwards, 21st-century pioneer, media mogul and internet millionaire. The 22-year-old entrepreneur has achieved what many can only dream of. And in a touching interview with the Daily Mail, he told journalist Catherine O’Brien how being arrested and disappointing his mother helped him become the man he is today.
Edwards may be meeting with royalty and politicians now, but a few years ago he was struggling at school and had already been expelled twice. But it was an incident with a schoolmate and a 14-year-old Jamal, that left him stripped of all his clothes, in a police cell and thinking about his future.
The SBTV founder explained how his temper got the better of him during a play fight, as he grabbed a chair and smashed it into someone’s face after he was sprayed in the face with deodorant.
The former west Londoner was arrested, taken to a dingy police cell and told to remove all his clothes. Luckily Edwards was let off with a reprimand, but an embarrassed call to his mother was the wake up call he needed to help turn his life around.
That was the point when I realised I didn’t want this to be me. Mum was so upset; I could tell she was really disappointed, and that was a wake-up call.
Edwards credits his success to his mother, former X Factor contestant Brenda Edwards, who never gave up on him and kept him grounded.
Sometimes all it takes is for one person to give you permission to have a go at something, And for me, that person is my mum because she has always believed in me.
He also explained how having a girlfriend is not a priority right now as videoing comes first:
The trouble is, a normal everyday chick doesn’t always get what I do. But my videoing comes first. It has to because there are 500 other Jamals out there with cameras and ideas – and today’s 15-year-olds are way more tech savvy than I was at 15.
Jamal’s ebook Self Belief: The Vision by Jamal Edwards will be published on 29 July and if you spent your teenage years swinging chairs around and sitting naked in police cells, we suggest you get a copy!