One Young World Ambassador and mental health advocate, Hussain Manawer, recently featured in Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey’s Apple TV+ documentary series, “The Me You Can’t See”.
The 6-part docuseries focuses on challenges and solutions about mental health, all in an effort to move the needle on effective actions and policies. The series features appearances from performer Lady Gaga, NBA basketball player DeMar DeRozan, One Young World Ambassador Hussain Manawer among several others.
Hussain, a poet and mental health campaigner from Ilford, East London, first attended the One Young World 2015 Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Hussain’s segment in the episode is heavily centered around his Summit experience as a launchpad for his global advocacy. Hussain discusses his experience of entering and winning the Kruger Cowne’s Rising Star Competition in 2015, a competition that was open to 90 countries and received thousands of applicants. The final stage of the competition was delivering a performance at the Summit itself. Hussain gave his winning performance, “My Name is Hussain”, focused on his personal struggles with mental health. Hussain describes it as one of his most notable moments of his career. Hussain later performed at the One Young World 2016 Ottawa Summit where he further drove the global conversation around mental health.
In the docuseries, Hussain discusses his experiences with depression and anxiety, depicting his initial encounters with mental health struggles which began in his late teens just after starting university. These struggles escalated after the sudden loss of his mother in August 2017. His mother passed away, aged 49, from a brain aneurism, a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain which becomes immediately fatal in the event of a burst. Due to this unexpected loss, Hussain struggled to cope and recounts his mental health struggles following this loss as a “shock to his system”.
Four years ago my mum died suddenly of an instant brain aneurysm— Hussain Manawer (@HussainManawer) May 20, 2021
My life changed, I suffered severe depression, anxiety and so much more
Tomorrow I share that story with @Oprah & Prince Harry and to the world on @AppleTV
‘The Me You Can’t See’
I hope your proud Ammi Jaan x pic.twitter.com/7wetszWaPO
Since this devastating event, Hussain has written various poems based on the emotions and difficulties he has faced surrounding the death of his mother, such as “The White Rose” and “Dear Mum”. Throughout the docuseries, Hussain describes his expression of thoughts and feelings through his poetry as a form of therapy. Poetry has become an instrumental part of his life to ensure that he can maintain a positive state of well-being and enable him to overcome his mental health struggles.
Hussain continues to be a source of inspiration and hope for thousands of people in the UK and beyond.
Watch ‘The Me You Can’t See’ on Apple TV+.
Written by Zakhya Ebrahim.