Jama's Story

About two and a half years ago, I was on the tube and noticed an advert for a snazzy chequered suit. I loved it. I looked around at all the other people in the carriage and everyone, including me, was dressed the same, in jeans and a t-shirt. The next day, I decided to go and buy the suit. A minute after stepping out of the house wearing it, someone asked for a picture. I thought, if this suit can make someone take a picture, what about a second, even brighter suit? That’s when it all started.

Not long after, I saw a support worker vacancy with Hestia at Lynton Terrace, one of Hestia's Registered Care Homes. I arrived at the interview wearing a rainbow suit. Before the interview, all the residents at the service had their eyes on me. During the interview, they kept coming in, and were asking me where I got the suit from. I started the following day and I’ve been with Hestia ever since.

50 Voices Hestia Jama

I’ve been wearing different suits for the past two years and each of the residents has a favourite. They say: “Jama, can you wear the rainbow suit tomorrow?”

It’s helped me with my work, and I know it makes the residents feel good.

When we go out to do activities, or even just go to the local café, they can’t wait to see people’s reaction. It’s been a conversation starter for them, too. There was one man that I supported that took a while to engage with me, he just kept to himself. One day, I put on my suit which is made with a global map print. He came up to me, out of the blue, pressed on a country on the map and said: “I want to go there.” Ever since then, he’s really chatty with me. It’s a fantastic feeling.

Sometimes, I’ll arrive at the service in a green tie and orange shoes, and a resident will say: “Oh, they don’t go together.” They’ve become my fashion gurus!

50 Voices Hestia Jama

It isn’t just the residents I look after who love the suits. People always come up and ask for a photo. I enjoy seeing people happy and I love when a stranger comes up to me and compliments me. It puts a smile on my face, it brings them happiness. It’s a win-win. I’ve even had famous people come up to me. Just recently, Sam Neill from Jurassic Park said, “can I have a picture with you?” and I responded: “No, can I have a picture with you!”

Sometimes, I’ll pop to the shops when my mum needs some milk, and I’ll go in jeans and a top. I’ve had people take photos of me because they’ve never seen me in normal clothes!

Last year, I was named ‘London’s best-dressed man’ in the newspaper. Before I found out, a stranger in the street stopped me to ask if I was the person he had seen in the news that morning. He showed me on his phone – I was in shock. Since then, I’ve even had professional photoshoots, with stylists adjusting my tie and jacket! Apparently, I’m known in Australia and Morocco, and I’ve been seen on TikTok. I don’t even have a TikTok!

50 Voices Hestia Jama

I don’t do it for the fame or recognition though. I just love to dress up. I wake up every morning and think of the residents, and I’ll choose a suit at random or choose one that they have asked to see again. I’ve heard them say “I wonder what he’ll come in wearing tomorrow?”. It gives me a buzz.

I won’t ever get bored of it. My love of suits isn’t going to change and knowing that I’m making people smile keeps me happy. Sometimes I think to myself, “Jama, you are blessed.”

50 Voices Hestia Jama

Which book has impacted my life the most and why?

I love Tom Clancy books. I enjoy James Bond books too. I’m into action. The more I see Bond movies, the more they influence my suits and the more elegant they are. I get the Bond feeling!

Which film has impacted my life the most and why?

Jurassic Park. Since I met Sam Neill, I’ve checked all the films out and become a huge fan. I enjoy all of the Lord of the Rings films too.

Which song has impacted my life the most and why?

Coldplay. I find them soothing. My favourite is Fix You – I can’t get enough of it.