Originally from the South of France, Zakia moved to Scotland when she was 21 years old. For several years, she was Director of International Partner Development at the Homeless World Cup Foundation, a global network of street soccer projects. After her health took a bad turn and she had to fight bowel cancer, she decided to take a break to travel. At the end of 2015, she spent time in Greece and volunteered in a refugee camp on Lesvos Island. It is when she returned that she decided to set up her own social enterprise: Invisible Cities.
Invisible Cities is a community interest company that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. They offer off the beaten track personal tours, highlighting stories of real people while raising awareness about social justice. You can find more information about them here www.invisible-cities.org
While running Invisible Cities, Zakia has also worked in partnership with Social Bite, the Social Enterprise Academy and, most recently, the TedSummit. Although only started in 2016, Invisible Cities is now in four cities across the UK: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and York, with plans to expand further. They have been featured on UNILAD, Huffington Post UK and BBC Stories amongst others. The company was the winner of Best Community Tour in the World, awarded by Lonely Planet for their Best in Travel 2021 List.
Amani is a filmmaker and entrepreneur from Enfield in North London. He has been an active campaigner in changing narratives around the complex reality of knife crime.
In July of 2011 at the age of 21, Amani was stabbed seven times. In contrast to the stereotypical cases – he hadn’t come from a ‘troubled home’ – he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. After this incident, Amani sought to change his life. He had been unhappy with the steps that had led to that point and saw this second chance at life as an opportunity to create a new story.
Since then, Amani has done extensive work in not only changing the way knife crime is discussed but also standing as a shining example of what can be achieved through focus, hard work and the correct mindset.