Ex-British Army soldier hopes to inspire with his life story

A Balham resident and former soldier believes his life story has the power to inspire others and deserves to be turned into a film.

Originally from Cameroon and now a British citizen, Charly Ngouh, 38, joined the British Army in 2003 and served for the total of five years in Iraq and Germany, before quitting the military and getting a job as a butler at the five-star Savoy Hotel in London.

The ex-soldier can be found promoting his self-published autobiographical book ‘How I Won My War’ all across London, most often in Putney, Victoria Station, Kings Road and Fulham.

‘’I believe that a day will come when the right person will stop and will get my book and that my story will be in schools, on big screens and turned into a play,” he said.

In his biography, Mr Ngough talks about how growing up in a dysfunctional family in Congo and the quest to make something unique out of his life from a very young age shaped him as a human being.


When asked what motivates him to leave home every morning to go out on the streets, he says: ‘‘I know who I am as a person.

“I do what I do knowing that I am not disturbing anybody, I am just true to myself and that’s my motivation, that’s how I do it.

“People are very kind and understanding, they take time to speak to me, to know me as a person and the story from myself and the reaction that I am getting is generally very encouraging,” he said.

Mr Ngouh says that without a doubt his most important life lesson has been to always stay true to oneself.

“Always be true to who you are as a person. Never try to blend in, I did that and it didn’t work for me.

“Things happened that should not have happened simply because I tried too hard to do what everybody else was doing and wasn’t true to what I was.

“And always remember that there is no education like adversity, it should be welcomed and harnessed and cherished because that’s how we grow,” he added.

While the ex-soldier became a British citizen as a result of serving in the armed forces, settling in the UK was one of the biggest challenges he faced in his entire life.

“Sometimes you take your life for granted, yet it can be snatched away from you very easily,” he said.

“Things can change very quickly and that’s why every day is a gift for me.

“It’s a gift because of what I’ve seen, of what I’ve been through, what I have experienced, which is once again why I think my story should be read by many people,” he added.

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