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Play now 28 mins


28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 27 June 2011

Extraordinary personal stories from around the world.

Today, a month after the death of legendary musician Gil Scott-Heron, we find out how he transformed the life of a young British man.

Abdul Malik Al Nasir, who was known as Mark T Watson until he converted to Islam, had a troubled childhood.

He was bullied at school for being mixed race and lived under brutally strict conditions in care homes from the age of nine.

Malik says he was a "semi-illiterate street kid".

However, a chance meeting with Gil Scott-Heron, back-stage at one of his concerts, changed Malik's life forever and took him to places he would never have dreamt of going.

Abdul Malik al Nasir has published a book of poems under his original name Mark T Watson.

The book is called Ordinary Guy, and is published by Fore-word Press Ltd.

  • Tributes paid to Gil Scott-Heron

    Tributes paid to Gil Scott-Heron

    Musicians and friends have been paying tribute to the poet and hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron, who has died at the age of 62

    Read more on the BBC News website


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