This week on London Digest, I am giving a nod in the direction of and celebrating the high achieving young Nigerians living in the city of London. Unlike the party loving, Aso-Ebi collecting socialites that we are fond of acknowledging as celebrities, London has a good number of young men and women that are quietly yet surely making an indelible mark in the mainstream corridors of the establishment. Young men and women making great strides into areas that have been the sole right of White Britain and are now standing shoulder to shoulder with their Caucasian mates and kids of the rich and famous. Here is just a few of such folks:
Shadow Business Secretary
Chuka is the 37 year old Nigerian born Shadow Business Minister under the current opposition Labour Party. At the 2010 general election, he was elected Member of Parliamentfor Streatham with a 3,259 majority
In October 2010, following Miliband’s election as party leader, Umunna was appointed to serve as his Parliamentary Private Secretary and, in May 2011, he was appointed to the position of Shadow Minister for Small Business and Enterprise until his promotion to the Shadow Cabinet.
Chukka is seen as the most likely to become the leader of the Labour Party in succession to current leader Ed Milliband. He is one of the most active British Parliamentarians who has written many articles for the Financial Times, Tribune, The Voice, The Guardian and the New Statesman. He also regularly appears on various radio and television programmes.
Andrew is one of those silent, humble and modest high flyers in the city that many in the Nigerian community rarely hear or read about.
He is the CEO of TDI Parker, an Entrepreneur Visa Programme Specialist with offices located in the highbrow St Martins Le Grand, St Pauls West London. Born in 1980, Andrew got his first Managerial appointment with MacDonalds at the age of 21. By 23, he was area manager and by 27, he owned a string of businesses including an events company Mordecai Extreme which organises Team Building trips and functions for business executives; as well as several properties all around London, Birmingham and Newcastle.
He also owns a security training company and a security firm that manages the security for Jesus House in North London among many other high profile clients.
Andrew holds a MBA from London Southbank University. He is a prolific Franchise Broker and Business consultant and is currently looking into several other projects that are at the moment, in the planning stages so do look our for him.
Better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, is a British rapper who performs mainly to the mainstream British public but has also successfully managed to break into the US scene. He released his first mixtape in 2005; his first album, Disc-Overy, debuted at number one in the UK in October 2010 and was preceded by two British number-one singles. In February 2011, he won two Brit Awards for Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Single. In November 2013, he released his second album, titled Demonstration, preceded by singles “Trampoline” and “Children of the Sun”, which debuted at number three and six in the UK respectively.
Tempah is also a prominent figure in modern British fashion. In 2012 he was named best dressed man in GQ’s Men of the Year Awards. In 2015, he was chosen as the new men ambassador for London Menswear Collections, replacing Nick Grimshaw,and was named one of GQ‘s 50 best dressed British men.
Model/Undergraduate/ Local Government Councillor
Whitney is one of 3 Nigerians elected into the Waltham Forest Council in East London, her mother Cllr Anna Mbachu is another.
Whitney won her seat at the last Local Government elections in 2014 with a landslide victory, unseating the incumbent who had held the seat for 20 years.
Whitney at 19 is the youngest councillor in the Borough and also one of the youngest to ever be elected into an office in the UK. She is currently combining her Town Hall duties with her ongoing studies at Glasgow University.
Whitney also worked as a cat walk model and she appeared in many high profile fashion shows.
How he missed out on an Oscar in the gong-fest that was 12 Years a Slave remains a mystery. But Ejiofor has been showing his big-screen versatility for more than a decade with dramas such as Dirty Pretty Things, Love, Actually and TV series Dancing on the Edge. He recently put his name behind the Nigeria-UK co-production Half of a Yellow Sun.Ejiofor was born in London’s Forest Gate in 1977, to Nigerian parents of Igbo origin.
In 1988, when Ejiofor was 11, during a family trip to Nigeria for a wedding, he and his father were involved in a head-on crash with a lorry. His father was killed, but Ejiofor survived. He was badly injured, and received scars that are still visible on his forehead Ejiofor began acting in school plays at the age of thirteen at Dulwich College and joined the National Youth Theatre. He then got into the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art but had to leave after his first year, after getting a role in Steven Spielberg‘s film Amistad.
Daniel Olusola Shittu born 2 September 1980 Lagos, is a Nigerian footballer who is currently playing for Millwall for the second time in his career.Shittu started his career at Charlton Athletic, after a trial at Norwich City as a teenager. Shittu started in 28 games for Charlton scoring a record 14 goals as a centre back.He spent most of his two years at the club on loan, first at Blackpool in January and February 2001, then Queens Park Rangers.
On 13 August 2012, Shittu rejoined Millwall on a 1-year contract and was named as vice-captain. On 13 March he scored the only goal, a header away to Blackburn Rovers to put Millwall into the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic at Wembley Stadium. He was also voted player of the year for 2013
He first attended a youth theatre after being invited by a girl on whom he had a crush. He then studied theatre studiesfor A levels at City and Islington College, where his teacher suggested that he become an actor. After A levels Oyelowo enrolled for a year in an art foundation course, subsequently winning a place, and a scholarship at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He finished his three-year training in 1998.
He has played supporting roles in the films Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Lincoln (2012), and garnered praise for portraying Louis Gaines in The Butler (2013). On television, he played Danny Hunter officer in the British series Spooks (2002–04), and as of 2014, provides the voice of Imperial Security Bureau agent Kallus on the animated series Star Wars Rebels. In 2014, Oyelowo played Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical drama film Selma, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor
Larry is the current hottest Boxing star in the UK today.
Born in 1982 in Lagos, Nigeria Larry started his boxing career at the age of 12 and won 110 of his 135 amateur matches. Before coming to Europe, he was the Nigerian Bantam Weight champion in 1998 and qualified for the All African games in 1999.
In 2000, he became the Welterweight National Champion and won a gold medal in an international tournament in Germany in 2002 (at which he also won the best boxer of the tournament)
He was a quarter finalist in 2002 Commonwealth games and London ABA champion in 2006 and 2007.
Turning professional;, he came from the being ranked 70th in the UK and won the Betfair Light Middle Prizefighter by beating 3 highly acclaimed and higher ranked opponents in one night – fighting all three in higher weight classes than his light bantamweight.
He is currently in line for the the Ultimate Glory British Welterweight Championship after defeating Dale Evans at the title eliminator in London
Dr Nkem Ezeillo
Medical Practitioner/Author/Life Coach
Dr Nkem is one of the most celebrated young Nigerians in the UK. A multi award winning Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, she is widely known for her Healthy Lifestyle crusade and her numerous talks are largely based on the need for changing the old view of lifestyle and diet.
Dr Nkem has authored many books including one of the Eminent Nigerian series based on the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK – Dr Dalhatu Tafida.
She also runs several Webinars and has published many online journals on the benefits of healthy living.
GR Nkem runs a Healthy Lifestyle Clinic based in the highly prestigious Harley Street, West London and also hosts a lifestyle talk show on BBC Radio 5. She is among many others, a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, UK (MRCGP) and European Society of Lifestyle Medicine
Jahmain is a serious one-man Mobile PR Outfit. This restless young man will travel anywhere to cover an event, take photos, video and still have time to interview guests and attendees. And that is after relentlessly promoting and selling the event in his own indefatigable way. Jahmain is a smooth talker who has talked his way into even the most hallowed corridors of power to cover the highest profiled event that many others will not venture to attend.
But his professionalism and strict attention to detail in his work is what makes him the preferred media partner outfit for many event organisers.
Jermaine Sanwoolu is an international award wining Motivator, Musician & Management/Leadership Consultant and the CEO of DiasporaPR & Generating Opportunities.
He is one of the Top 100 Nigerian’s in the UK, a Recipient of the Public Service & Community Leadership Award at the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK 2014. Jermaine Sanwoolu is also a member of Toastmasters International.
©Jummy Ariyo (BaronessJ)
23 March 2015