When police injured his beloved sister, triggering race riots, Tony Young’s ‘rebirth’ as Mooji began

It was 6.30am on a Saturday when Tony Young’s phone rang and a voice told him his sister Cherry had been shot. It made no sense – “I said, ‘What are you speaking about?’” – but the caller just told him to get himself down to Cherry’s house in Brixton as quickly as possible.

The date was 28 September 1985 and, over the next few hours and days, Brixton was to erupt in violence between the local Afro-Caribbean community and the police, in the wake of Cherry’s shooting. She was 37 years old, a mother of six, and she had been shot by a police officer in her own home. They’d been looking for her son, who wasn’t in at the time. In the TV footage from those days, Tony is impressively, eerily calm. He could almost be a doctor, so clearly and precisely does he describe the injuries Cherry sustained – injuries so severe that she would be paralysed for the rest of her life.

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