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Meet the Maxilla City Directors

Bashir Hassan

Born and raised in Ladbroke Grove; Bashir is a Biomedical Science student, researcher and an aspiring poet. Belonging to a generation of young people vying for a stake in making decisions locally, he seeks to amplify their voices. Bashir spent a year with KCSC as their Projects & Events intern building rapport within the voluntary community sector. Bashir has also been a regular mentor and tutor for many of the youth in the area.

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Tayshan Hayden-Smith

Tayshan Hayden-Smith, born & raised in North Kensington, brought love & life to his community surrounding Grenfell Tower, initiating the ‘Grenfell Garden of Peace’ among several other pivotal green spaces in the local area, adopting the name The Grenfell Guerrilla Gardener at the time.


At the age of 23, he is now the Founding Director of Grow2Know CiC - hoping to inspire the next generation of gardeners regardless of their background. Tayshan is also known for his passion for football and has dipped in and out of professional football in his career. He currently plays semi-professional football at a respectable level whilst also featuring for YouTube football team Rising Ballers. Tayshan also sits as a member of the panel & steering group of the Grenfell Young People’s fund, empowering and giving ownership to the next generation of the North Kensington community.


Tayshan is hopeful for the future and as a young father of two, is keen to plant the seeds of change in his community to empower, inspire & educate whilst creating a legacy based on sustainability, positivity & equality.

Zakiya Amlak

Zakiya Amlak, born and raised in North Kensington, is an experienced youth worker and has a wide range of skills in the creative arts. She has been part of 2 fledgling organisations, which are now thriving West London successful charities, and has been humbled by the role they claim she has played in their growth.


Zakiya is passionate about giving back to the neighbourhood, and after the Grenfell Tower Fire she volunteered at various spaces supporting community members and collecting donations. She became one of the young people at Latimer City, creating an inclusive community space that they could call their own. Since the closure of Latimer city, Zakiya has worked aboard, made the decision to study Film and Screen at University and is now 1 of 3 directors at Maxilla City.

Interim Directors

Akil Hunte - Legal & Property

Akil Hunte is a multi-award winning music lawyer, public speaker, poet, social entrepreneur, podcast show host and consultant that aims to inspire one billion people globally to empower their community, harness their authenticity and lead their legacies.


His mission has led him to work with Maxilla City to consult on strategic & legal governance, set up the community initiative, Destined For Greatness, and attend roundtables & events at the House of Lords, House of Commons and No.10 Downing Street.

Imaan Abdi - Government & Policy

Imaan Abdi was the inaugural youth mayor for RBKC representing the voices of youngresidents. Over her 3-year tenure, she lobbied for greater investment in youth services,better mental health provision and reducing anti-social behaviour.


Now, a student reading History at the University of Lougborough, she spends much of her time enthralled inintellectually challenging discourse. Imaan’s mission wit Maxilla City CIC is to ensure robustgovernance and policies are enacted to ensure the long-term viability and succession of theproject.

Past Directors

In August 2022 Maxilla City said goodbye Moyra Samuels (Community Director). Moyra was openly recruited by an independent panel in Feb 2020 and joined Maxilla City right at the very beginning of its journey. Amongst other things, she has created an important body of work which culminated in our recently published report on what local people need in order to thrive. Moyra now works fulltime for the NHS and has other commitments and has therefore stepped down so that more young people can take up the mantle to carry the Maxilla project forward to completion. We thank Moyra sincerely for her years of hard work.


In September 2022 Cihan Cheron (Research Director) stepped down as a Director as she recently started a very busy fulltime role supporting women experiencing domestic violence. Cihan also has a young family and other volunteer roles so did not have the capacity to continue as a Director for Maxilla City. She looks forward to seeing more young people join the board for the next exciting phase. We thank Cihan sincerely for her years of hard work.

Meet the Directors: Youth Programs
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