In 2010, Chandra Kelly was sentenced to seven years in prison for a violent robbery. What transpired while he was imprisoned is truly incredible.
Instead of getting caught up in the hype and criminality of prison life, Chandra studied over 200 books on business, philosophy and self-help, meditated with a Buddhist chaplain, and soon found himself on a journey of self-rehabilitation and self-discovery.
He decided to write his own book that, unlike those he read in prison, would appeal to the millennial generation, combining his personal experiences with his newfound business insights. In sharing this knowledge, Chandra hoped to guide the youth away from a life of crime, transferring skills they may have acquired in the streets into skills they could use in legitimate business ventures.
Together with his brother Shyam, who had also had some close encounters with the law, even featuring on the BBC One television series Traffic Cops when he was arrested for murder, the two of them put together what is now one of the most popular books in the urban scene. The Hustler’s Holy Book, published under the pseudonym The Hustlafarians, has received five-star reviews on Amazon and Waterstones.com, with readers calling it ‘life-changing’ and as having given ‘the lost generation something to aspire to.
Their social media pages show the book with many social influencers and current artists from the UK music scene such as Big Narstie, D Double E, and the late Black The Ripper to name just a few. Even undisputed heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has been pictured with a copy.
The release of The Hustler’s Holy Book was not without controversy. In January 2017, The Sun and The Daily Star reported on a prison inmate who, recording himself in his prison cell with a prohibited mobile phone, surrounded by contraband, claimed he had learnt how to hustle from reading the book: ‘I got The Hustler’s Holy Book, and this is what happens!’
Despite this, Shyam and Chandra have maintained that the aim of the book is and always has been to help prisoners learn about business, so that upon their release, they can focus on turning their lives around. Chandra himself is living proof of the validity of the book’s guiding principles; having been released from prison in 2014, he now owns a successful motor trade business, which turns over six figures annually.
The brothers are currently preparing for the release of their second book, a reflective and perceptive handbook that aims to provide social, moral and professional guidance to those of the younger generation mixed up in crime, gang violence and the problems of modern society.
Their second book, as yet untitled, is due to be released early next year and is sure to make an even bigger impact than their first. With everything going on in the world right now, from economic instability to social change, it will offer pertinent lessons and provide positive outcomes for any young person who gets their hands on a copy.