The Bite Magazine - Spring/Summer 2022 - Issue 31

bitebookreview Panos: My Life, My Odyssey P anos Papadopoulos’ extraordinary account of his life in the autobiography Panos: My Life, My Odyssey is driven by passion, love and respect. It is a life story combined with self-help guidance in principles and business values that may prompt you to examine the circumstances in your life. You’d nod your head in agreement, frown at some of the narra- tive or gasp in disbelief as Panos details the unfolding events that have moulded his path. The author’s journey from a child born into a low-in- come family in Greece struggling to survive, to building a multi-million-dollar fashion empire, Panos Emporio, is phenomenal. In the book, he describes his parents in detail, their humble beginnings and work ethics, and the fundamental values they lived by and taught their children. Panos’ father completed three years of school- ing before the onslaught of the Second World War, and his mother, who did not get the opportunity to go to school, was illiterate. The atypical rags-to-riches story, where a person usually gets discovered and has ‘overnight’ success, is not Panos’ narrative. The autobiography is filled with obstacles, triumphs, determination, strength and the motivation to achieve his goals. Panos visualises his path even when he lacks the experience but progresses forward and eliminates anything that gets in his way. His decision to live a better life at age six drove his desire to make it a reality because "poverty equalled endless torment." Panos was mature beyond his years, from a determined child whose early entrepreneurship helped a shop owner sell goods that had been gathering dust for years to selling insurance at 15. “By the time I was 17, I was acting as though I was 30-40.” His beliefs centred on his parents' values and his fight against the injustice of injured or dying factory workers. His attempt to expose an examiner, who exchanged cash for exam passes and moved to Sweden because Greece had failed him, shows his strength. Sweden came with its challenges: he was called malaka (arsehole) while working in the restaurant kitchens and was hesitant to go to nightclubs to avoid being beaten up as he was a black skull (person with dark hair). Two male teachers at the university also propositioned him. He was threatened with serving three years in Greece after his deferral military service application was Jada Brookes reads Panos Papadopoulos’ long-awaited autobiography Panos: My Life, My Odyssey, which speaks about his childhood, business model and life experiences. Images courtesy of LID Publishing