“Big Zuu’s Journey to Mecca” chronicles the adventures of the Double BAFTA-winning TV chef and rapper as he embarks on his inaugural visit to one of Islam’s holiest cities.
During the sacred month of Ramadan, Zuu undertakes the Umrah pilgrimage, aspiring to deepen his connection with his faith. Born and raised in London with a Sierra Leonean mother and a Lebanese father, Zuu’s heritage intertwines with Islam from both sides of his family. Despite the challenges of adhering to stringent interpretations of religious rules in a multicultural upbringing, Zuu’s devotion to Islam has always been a pivotal aspect of his identity.
While he may not have followed the practice of praying five times a day in his youth, the fusion of cultural traditions shaped his understanding of faith.
Big Zuu says: “My faith has always been a huge part of my core identity, so travelling to Mecca to perform Umrah is a humbling and life-changing experience that I will cherish for years to come.
“I wanted to make this film to show that being a modern Muslim man doesn’t always look the same for everyone and that there is no one way to be a Muslim. My hope is it inspires Muslims and non-Muslims alike to learn more about our beautiful religion and to start conversations about the importance of faith, whatever you believe in.”
Daisy Scalchi, Head of Religion and Ethics, says: “We’re so pleased to be able to follow Big Zuu on his pilgrimage to Mecca. Zuu’s devotion to his faith plays a large role in his life so the story of personal spiritual journey is an important one to tell.”
Jaimie D’Cruz, Creative Director at Acme TV, says: “Being taken on a journey to the heart of this global faith by such an exciting pop culture icon as Big Zuu feels like a real treat as well as a fun and nuanced exploration of what it means to be a young Muslim in modern Britain.”
“Big Zuu Goes To Mecca” is a 60-minute programme for BBC Two and iPlayer. Commissioned by Daisy Scalchi, it was executive produced by Jaimie D’Cruz, Creative Director at Acme TV, and brought to life by the filming, production, and direction of Adnan Ahmed.