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

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

Mohamed, popularly often called Mo Match, is a 29-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 consultancy, many within the Horn of African nation suggested him to search 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 will not be 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 shifting again from Rotterdam, the Netherlands the place he grew up, Mohamed has encountered quite a few enterprise challenges however says he now sees mild on the finish of the tunnel.

“Slowly, our persons are waking as much as the fact, that having a giant stomach will not be wholesome and completely not unattractive,” Mo Match, a former bodybuilder, stated.

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

He now employs half a dozen employees 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 had been strictly by appointment to accommodate the deluge of potential shoppers.

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

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

“Each nation has a tradition and distinctive meals. The best way our individuals eat meals will not be proper. Most of our meals is carbs. And plenty of of our individuals don’t stay past 40 years,” he stated. “Each family it’s both pasta, rice or anjeero (Somali pancake) that they eat. These meals are usually not 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 wish to eat once they wish to eat. We don’t take note of what we’re placing in our our bodies,” he stated, his muscular physique slumping again into the seat.

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

“I was fats. I used to be used to put on giant garments when going out. Now, I’m in a position to do a whole lot 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 fitness center and remodeled myself. However many nonetheless don’t imagine you may shed pounds by going to the fitness center,” he stated, smiling whereas wiping sweat from his forehead.

Seeing that almost all of his shoppers had been struggling to eat healthily and never consuming the fitting parts, Mohammed noticed a enterprise alternative and began a meal plan and complement line.

Shoppers order the meals through 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 pastime is now such a giant deal that Mohammed is now within the technique of opening up gyms within the metropolis subsequent.

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

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

Observe Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: @Hamza_Africa

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