The Apprentice: FIred Souleyman Bah slams ‘PATRONISING’ Lord Sugar – News LiveOn October 17, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
The third episode of The Apprentice saw Souleyman Bah fired over his ‘negative’ attitude during a task to design the next hit children’s toy for ages 6-8 The visually impaired para athlete, 20, who made history as the first disabled contestant on the show, was sacked by Lord Sugar after the team’s Tommy The Turtle toy and viral video failing to ignite interest from two major clients When Souleyman was hauled back into the boardroom with team leader Riyonn Farsad, 30, and Lottie Lion, 19, Lord Sugar branded him ‘brave’ for coming into the competition – something which Souleyman slammed In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Souleyman, who has degenerative condition Retina Pigmentosa, said: ‘I found that quite patronising He didn’t say that to the other people he fired. So did he say it to me because I’m disabled?Before firing Souleyman, Lord Sugar said: ‘To put yourself forward and come into this process was a giant leap, and brave Share this article Share ‘Having said that, you’re a sportsman, you know positivity is a very, very strong point in teams, you weren’t bringing any positivity to the team and for that reason, with regret, you’re fired ‘ Souleyman retorted: ‘We have to go through enough as humans, we don’t need Lord Sugar telling us we’re brave for competing ‘ A pivotal reason for the team’s failure was the age-range of the toy versus the age range given in the brief, with both the clients and Lord Sugar believing Tommy The Turtle – which played positive remarks when its buttons were pushed – was more suited for pre-schoolers The episode also saw event manager Riyonn put forward a disastrous idea for an advert which saw the team dress in animal suits and dance as part of an ‘animal squad’ – something deemed ‘childish’ and ‘turtle s**t’ by Lord Sugar Neither John Lewis & Partners or toy giant Hamleys placed any orders. Motivational speaker Souleyman said he was ‘relieved’ to be out, although he felt like the ‘scapegoat’ for the task’s failure which saw aide Claude Littner, and his fellow teammates lambast his attitude He said: ‘It was high stress, and not what I expected it to be. I felt like the scapegoat, I was surprised I was fired I wasn’t negative, I made a lot of valid points, that the toy wasn’t right for our target audience, about the horrendous advert and the logo ”I am relieved because it doesn’t seem to be about business or business acumen, it seems to be about who can speak up the loudest That’s not what I perceived the show to be about. I’m relieved to be gone.’ He also laid the blame for the failure firmly at team leader Riyonn’s door, saying: ‘Riyonn did a terrible job, he should have been fired There was no direction, he lost control of the other team. I told him the toy was too young, there was a problem with the branding, he didn’t listen ‘I am cool, calm and collected, that’s how I am, people took that for being negative I made a lot of input into the task, I was putting forward solutions. ‘Riyonn was a terrible team leader When I told him the advert was terrible I was shouted down as he told he had produced adverts, and acted in them ‘I didn’t expect to get fired. I thought the person who would be fired was the person responsible for the failure of the task ‘ The brainchild for the ill-received toy was pillow company owner Thomas Skinner, 28, who waxed lyrical about the toy he designed during his pitches, but owned up to the flaws in the product in the boardroom However, he wasn’t brought back into the final boardroom by Riyonn and Souleyman believes he knows why He said: ‘He didn’t bring Thomas back in because Thomas is loud, he’s passionate, he’s a good speaker Riyonn knew he couldn’t compete with that and wouldn’t get a word in.”I am positive and I am a team player During the ice lolly task I knew the product wasn’t good enough yet I put my head down, rolled up my sleeves and got on with it and sold ‘I put on a turtle suit and humiliated myself on national television so we would win the task I am one of the most positive people there.’ As to who he would tip to win the £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar, he said: ‘I think Lewis (Ellis) stands a good chance He’s firm, he’s approachable, he’s got a good head on his shoulders.’I think one of the girls will be fired next, Marianne (Rawlins) and Lubna (Farhan) haven’t done much ‘Souleyman said he hoped his appearance on the show had inspired other disabled people to go for their dream jobs saying: ‘I am proud of myself for competing Just getting through the process with thousands of people applying was gruelling ‘It shows that people who are visually impaired can be- with some slight adaptations in the workplace, just as successful as others He also praised the team on the BBC show for supporting him, saying: ‘Behind the scenes I am very grateful for the staff that supported me ‘ Souleyman – a member of the Great Britain Paralympic Olympic Team is now aiming for a place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, where he will compete in 100m in the T13 categoryHe is also working on his business – Vision Beyond Sight which focuses on motivational speaking in schools The Apprentice continues next Wednesday at 9PM on BBC One.