Sofiane Dridi cannot return to the land of her ancestors. His father, Mohamed Dridi, a figure in the middle of organized crime who died five years ago, left him a very difficult slate to erase …

“My story is out of the ordinary”, easily recognizes Sofiane Dridi. His father and mother meet under circumstances that are at the very least incredible. The young woman is a waitress in a bar who is extorted by the man she falls in love with. When Sofiane was born in 1993, the little one officially had no mother, but he didn’t ask any questions. Some subjects are taboo at home. His father is Mohamed Dridi, and he has a pedigree as long as his arm.

Fatherless and abandoned by his mother, Mohamed was born in Tunisia and was raised, in France, by those he then believed to be his parents, but who were in fact his uncle and aunt. When he is only 11 years old, the young Mohamed suddenly learns the truth from the mouth of a jealous cousin, and he loses his footing. He enters the middle and he becomes the turbulent Momo. It’s boxing that will save him … temporarily. Gifted, the young boy became world boxing champion and four times kickboxing champion.

Until she was 10, Sofiane was ignorant of her father Mohamed’s real activity.

At the same time, he launches into the world of the night, but takes little care of his son, entrusted to his parents during his early years. “I didn’t see my father much, because he had opened a nightclub frequented by stars. He was very often there or prepared for his fights”, explains Sofiane Dridi. On weekends when the boxer picks up his son to relieve his sick mother, he often leaves him to babysitters. “He was going to see dating or people in the middle”, modestly confides his son. Mohammed Dridi has never stopped his illegal activities and has specialized in bar racketeering.

Sofiane does not know anything about his father’s real activity, with whom he returned to live when he was 10 years old. Father and son move a lot to be forgotten or for the activities of Mohamed, who started as an actor. “We went to Italy and Tunisia, says Sofiane. My father was very close to Tunisian producer Tarak Ben Ammar, and he had several hats at the time. He starred in the No Limit series of Luc Besson and in Joséphine, guardian angel. He also wrote a book called Turbulent Momo. “

“Stand in front of the door, his father said to him. I don’t want anyone to come in”

It is during the promotion of his book that the little boy discovers the real life of his father. At first, his tough character makes him proud. “I was like, ‘My dad hits everyone’s throat. He’s the strongest'”, explains Sofiane who then understands these strange meetings and these sudden fights. Some memories come to the surface, like that of a lunch in a bar in 2002. “The friend of an acquaintance provoked it by evoking the presence of Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round of the presidential election. My father said to me: ‘Stand in front of the door, I don’t want anyone to come in.’ He slapped him and knocked him out. ”

Sofiane is growing up and learning to deal with this daily life which is nothing like that of her comrades. When he was only 18, he was recruited by a Tunisian football club and moved there with his father. But Mohamed’s old demons are still there, lurking in the shadows. “When I signed my contract, I opened a bank account and was given bank cards. But my father seduced the banker! She gave him a checkbook that I had not ordered and he wrote wooden checks after signing them for me “, deplores Sofiane, who will not learn it until much later.

It was Sofiane who found her father’s body riddled with bullets

In 2016, Mohamed was assassinated in the apartment he shared with his son in Palavas-les-Flots. It is Sofiane who discovers her body riddled with bullets. Overnight, the 23-year-old loses everything: his father, his sealed apartment and his life. He leaves the scene with his dog and two bags, and is forced to live in his car. It is when he decides to have his father’s body repatriated to Tunisia that he discovers that he cannot set foot there.

Targeted by several wanted notices, he risks a prison sentence because of the embezzlement of his father, who will be buried in his absence. It’s the cold shower. “My employer asks me for an extract from my French, Belgian and Tunisian criminal record, but it is not blank. On the other hand, I cannot return to Tunisia. I hope to have children one day and I would love to take them to my father’s and grandfather’s country, who are buried there. It’s a real frustration for me “, confides Sofiane, bitter. However, he does not hold it against Mohamed Dridi. So much so that he has only one dream: to participate in the Beijing Express one day. It was the sweet dream they cherished with his father …

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