By Joseph Greenough
A globetrotting TV presenter believes suddenly going blind as a teenager changed his life – by encouraging him to be more positive.
Amar Latif became a TV presenter, director, business owner and world traveller all without the ability to see.
Amar’s hilarious and inspirational lecture at Leeds Trinity University sought to teach the young audience how mindset is the only thing you need to accomplish a dream.
Amar became blind at the age of 18, but through positive thinking and ambition he has channelled his passion for adventure into an extensive career.
He said: “I woke up one morning and couldn’t see the poster at the end of my bed. The reality was that my life was going to change.
“After moping around for weeks, I decided I’m going to show this blindness thing that it’s not going to top me. I’m going to take the world on.”
Take on the world he certainly did. Amir was discovered by TV bosses running his own company ‘Traveleyes’, in which he takes groups of blind people on adventures around the world.
In 2005 he took part in the BBC documentary series Beyond Boundaries, in which he and a group of other disabled people spent one month trekking across Nicaragua, from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.
He said: “Not only was I a blind guy, I was now a blind guy pushing a guy through mud in a wheelchair in the jungle.
“It wasn’t about fitness anymore, it was about mental resilience.”
Whether it’s skydiving, climbing 5,000ft volcanoes, skiing black runs, sailing or even driving a car, Amar claimed not being able to see has in fact changed his life for the better.
He added: “I was terrified of heights when I could see, then when I went blind, I jumped out of a plane.
“I remember jumping and feeling like a bird. It’s incredible how when you change your mindset, something impossible can become possible.”