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Focus on Business: Samadali Muradi - Rainbow News

There’s been a newsagent at 63 Golborne Road, on the corner of Wornington Road, for many years but it was in the summer of 2014 that current proprietor Samadali Muradi took over the business. And in the last three years, he has transformed the business into a stylish shop that stocks a staggering variety of magazines, stretching from high fashion to music and current affairs.

Samadali has also greatly expended the breadth and quality of the food and soft drinks on sale, making this an essential community resource in Golborne. When you walk past the shop you might well notice the delicious smell of baking and Rainbow News does indeed sell goods freshly baked on the premises, such as Cornish pasties and Indian samosas. Other handy services the shop offers include a free cash machine, the PayPoint payment service and an Amazon pick-up point.

Samadali arrived in England 23 years ago after a perilous overland journey from his native Kabul. Like many other Afghanis, he was escaping the appalling political and security situation in Afghanistan which was in the depths of civil war. As Samadali points out, it’s a conflict that still continues and has now lasted for some 40 years. “When I left Afghanistan, I would have gone anywhere,” Samadali says. “But I ended up in North Kensington and I’ve been very happy to live here ever since.”

“When I arrived in London, I couldn’t speak a word of English,” Samadali remembers. “Because of the Soviet Union’s influence in Afghanistan, I’d learnt Russian instead of English. Then I found Kensington & Chelsea College on Wornington Road – I learnt English there, and that allowed me to properly start my life in London.” Samadali says.

In fact, Samadali did a variety of courses at the College and this enabled him to go on to study at the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies. He graduated with an honours degree in politics and did the first year of a master's at Birkbeck. “Unfortunately,” Samadali says, “the shop came along and got in the way of my masters! I hope to finish it one day.”

Samadali had been a fully qualified nurse in Afghanistan with hopes of one day becoming a doctor, hopes that were dashed when he had to flee the country. In London, Ali worked in catering and had a stall on Portobello Market selling jewellery. “I’m actually doing a jewellery course at K&C College now, just to keep my hand in,” Ali says. He also did his bit for the community by working as a volunteer for Sixty Plus. “I was very happy to help out older people with things like shopping and gardening,” Samadali recalls. “In return, I got to practice my English!”

But then the chance to take on the lease of Rainbow News came up, and Samadali grabbed the opportunity with both hands. “The shop needed a huge amount of work, from A to Z,” Samadali remembers, “and we’ve been hard at it for the last three years – our latest innovation is a completely new shop front.”

If you haven’t been into Rainbow News for a while, or ever, a visit to this friendly but sophisticated store that is now so much more than a standard corner shop is highly recommended.

Rainbow News, 63 Golborne Road, W10 5NR