Five years after he appeared on Educating Yorkshire Musharaf ‘Mushy’ Asghar has a new career as a motivational speaker.
The 21-year-old was a schoolboy at Thornhill Community Academy when he had Channel 4 viewers in tears as struggled to overcome his stammer which culminated in a brave speech to his year group.
Mushy, who still lives in Dewsbury, has been giving talks to groups of schoolchildren and six formers this year with a key message that hard work and taking risks can bring success in life.
After dropping after his first year at Bradford University, he has decided to focus his energies on public speaking.
“Hopefully I can make it my career,” he told the Examiner this week.
“I recently spoke at a sixth form, at Ryburn Valley High in Halifax. And before that I was speaking at Leeds City College. The main point I try to get out is about adversity in life and how to overcome it.
“With help from friends and family you can overcome adversity. It doesn’t matter what problems you have, hard work really can pay off. I can show that with my own experiences.”
Mushy says that his ongoing struggles to overcome a lifelong stammer, which saw him get help from his teacher Matthew Burton, are proof that hard work can pay off.
As a British Pakistani Muslim he’s also keen to use his influence to let everyone know that most Muslims are peaceful people.
“With ISIS happening, I don’t think we (Muslims) should be tarred with the same brush. You cannot judge the majority on a minority,” he said.
Although he continues to stumble over some words, Mushy is working just as hard to beat his stammer.
He says he enjoys putting himself outside his comfort zone and always has done, even at school.
When he was 16 he would phone up call centres just to chat to people and try to beat the stammer.
“I would probably make 60 to 70 calls in a week,” he says.
“When they edited Educating Yorkshire it made me look fluent but I wasn’t. Since then I have been on a programme which helps stammers. I got some help for a TV show called Stammer School.”
After all he’s been through, including the TV exposure, Mushy admits that he feels he has become something of a ‘role model’ for younger people.
And he’s happy to use his influence to stick up for his home town.
“I feel Dewsbury is a nice place. I know Dewsbury and the community. Being a role model, I have to say that not everyone in Dewsbury is a bad person. It’s a good community. There are some people in every community who are idiots.”