Meet Mo Fit: The Somali trainer fighting obesity in Mogadishu | Features

Mogadishu, Somalia – Mohamed Abdi is a person on a mission taking over a job many in Somalia dare not try.

Mohamed, popularly often known as Mo Match, is a 27-year-old health marketing consultant and nutritionist in a rustic the place having a “full determine” is seen as the best physique picture.

4 years in the past when he started his enterprise as a web based health class, many within the Horn of African nation suggested him to seek out one other battle as a result of they noticed his chosen line of labor as unwinnable.

“What our individuals see as lovely, the remainder of the world has moved on from that. Our individuals when they’re chubby, they’re pleased with it,” the father-of-one informed Al Jazeera.

“If a girl doesn’t have huge legs or meat on her face, individuals say she just isn’t VIP. If males don’t have huge bellies, they’re seen as poor. That’s not the case [in] the remainder of the world,” he added.

Since transferring again from Rotterdam the place he studied within the Netherlands, Mohamed has encountered quite a few enterprise challenges however says he now sees gentle on the finish of the tunnel.

“Slowly, our individuals are waking as much as the fact, that having a giant stomach just isn’t wholesome and completely not unattractive,” Mo Match, a former bodybuilder, mentioned.

At first, it was a battle to get the town’s residents to purchase into his message. However after campaigning relentlessly on native radio, tv stations and social media, he has develop into a celeb and his message is discovering extra eager ears.

He now employs half a dozen workers to assist him get Mogadishu match. And on the day Al Jazeera went to his third-floor workplace in Mogadishu Mall within the metropolis’s Hamar Weyne district, visits have been strictly by appointment to accommodate the deluge of potential purchasers.

Fitness guru Mogadishu
Mo Match returned to Mogadishu from Rotterdam 4 years in the past [Hamza Mohamed/Al Jazeera]

Mohamed’s greatest battle, an ongoing battle, was to alter the consuming habits of his fellow countrymen.

“Each nation has a tradition and distinctive meals. The way in which our individuals devour meals just isn’t proper. Most of our meals is carbs. And plenty of of our individuals don’t dwell past 40 years,” he mentioned. “Each family it’s both pasta, rice or anjeero (Somali pancake) that they devour. These meals will not be essentially unhealthy however the way in which we prepare dinner, what we add to it and our parts are simply unsuitable.”

Mohamed additionally seen that for many individuals there was no set time for consuming meals.

“Our individuals eat what they need to eat after they need to eat. We don’t take note of what we’re placing in our our bodies,” he mentioned, his muscular physique slumping again into the seat.

And now he’s profitable the belief of an growing variety of the town’s residents. One is Ahmed Aden Ahmed who by no means imagined he would be capable of shed the kilos earlier than he met Mo Match virtually a 12 months in the past.

“I was fats. I used to be used to put on massive garments when going out. Now, I’m in a position to do lots of issues that I used to be not in a position to do earlier than,” the 25-year-old engineer informed Al Jazeera after ending an early morning exercise session beneath the watchful eye of Mo Match.

“Earlier than, I used to be 158kilograms (348 kilos) and now I’m 95kg (209 kilos). I’ve shed 63kg (139 kilos) in a interval of ten months. When individuals see me they ask ‘Ahmed have you ever been sick? I inform them that I’ve signed up for gymnasium and remodeled myself. However many nonetheless don’t consider you possibly can shed pounds by going to the gymnasium,” he mentioned, smiling whereas wiping sweat from his forehead.

Seeing that the majority of his purchasers have been struggling to eat healthily and never consuming the best parts, Mohammed noticed a enterprise alternative and began a meal plan and complement line.

Purchasers order the meals by way of a web based app and it’s then delivered by motorcycle wherever within the metropolis.

Farah Omar Suleiman, an workplace employee, says he leads an energetic life-style however has all the time struggled to eat healthily.

“I selected Mo Match meals as a result of the meals is balanced. The meals tastes good and is clear,” Farah, 25, informed Al Jazeera. “Earlier than, my weight was going up. However now I’m sustaining my weight on the goal that I needed.”

What began as a interest is now such a giant deal that Mohammed is now within the strategy of opening up gyms within the metropolis subsequent.

Within the interim, he says his one-man combat towards weight problems in Somalia will proceed.

“You will notice lots of people going to hospitals, they’re all feeling unwell. However they don’t must go to hospital. They should management their weight loss plan, train and have good sleep. That’s all they want,” he mentioned.

Observe Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

Leave a Reply