Michael Eboda

Posted on 05 September 2020

Michael Eboda, lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-entrepreneur, is the Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group (PMG), a media and executive talent agency aiming to showcase, connect and create career opportunities for diverse individuals.

Elliot Moss

That was George Benson with Give Me The Night.  Welcome, it’s the brand new season of Jazz Shapers and it’s incredibly lovely to be back, hope you are all well.  Jazz Shapers is where I bring you the pioneers shaping the world of business together with musicians shaping the world of jazz, soul and blues and we have got some brilliantly inspiring problem-solving risk-taking guests joining us over the next few weeks.  My guest today kicking off this season in style is Michael Eboda, Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group, a media and executive talent agency aiming to showcase, connect and create career opportunities for diverse individuals.  Growing up in South London and Nigeria, the latter where he qualified as a Lawyer Michael’s earlier career included a stint owning a restaurant and retail outlet before he became a Journalist writing for the Observer, the Times and others and spending nine years turning the Ethnic Media Group into the biggest minority ethnic newspaper organisation in the UK as its Editorial Director.  While at the Ethnic Media Group Michael helped create the power list, a list of a hundred of Britain’s most influential black individuals.  “We wanted black kids to look up to other people in the professions and beyond”, he said.  The First Now annual power list was published in 2007, the same year Michael founded Powerful Media.  The company have since expanded into talent search, events and recruitment and also published future leaders focusing on the next generation of talent and social mobility.  We will be talking to Michael in a few minutes about the power and impact of his company and the changes he wants to see in the UK and it wouldn’t be Jazz Shapers would it without bringing you some outstanding music today including Marvin Gaye, Stan Getz and Joao Gil.  Here is Lorez Alexandria with Satin Doll.

That was Lorez Alexandria with Satin Doll.  Very pleased to say as I said earlier that Michael Eboda is my Business Shaper, thank you for joining us.  The first session of our new season and it’s you.  Help me understand this Michael, you started life, born in the UK but then you moved to Nigeria at a young age.

Michael Eboda

Yeah so, I was born in the UK, I grew up, it’s a really strange life for many people probably.  I grew up with foster parents initially in the countryside in Essex and in those days a lot of Nigerian kids were fostered out.  Like my parents came here to study, my mum and dad came here to study, and it was quite common for them to foster out their kids to white foster parents…

Elliot Moss

Because?

Michael Eboda

…because they were studying and yeah basically, they were studying so I guess also it was probably part of trying to get their kids to understand…

Elliot Moss

English culture.

Michael Eboda

English culture.

Elliot Moss

Yeah.

Michael Eboda

Maybe it was that as well I’m not certain about that.

Elliot Moss

Yeah.

Michael Eboda

But I guess somewhere along the line it might have something to do with that and then went back to my parents when I was nine, I think I was, having had a wonderful time with the foster parents.  A lot of people though and I should sort of say this, a lot of people who were fostered in those days suffered horrendous abuse because it wasn’t through a system, it was like a sort of an independent sort of fostering arrangement.  Myself and my sister we were really lucky we had fantastic foster parents who were just like, as far as we were concerned, they were our mum and dad you know they were lovely.  We had a great time.  We lived literally next door to a farm and you know I could name every bird’s egg and all that sort of stuff  it was really… so coming back to London was actually quite a shock at the age of nine.  You know as a kid you adapt quite quickly and my parents they lived in south east London and then I, then they divorced and sadly four years after that my mum passed away and we, my auntie came from Nigeria and said she wants to take us there, she didn’t want us to go into care here so she came and took us to Nigeria.

Elliot Moss

And in Nigeria obviously both your parents studied when they were in the UK and came here to study as you said which is quite a common Nigerian…

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

Story right, it’s a story of…

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

…immigrants coming and making their way and I’ve heard that many times.  You then obviously ended up educated guy go to University, study law.

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

And became a Lawyer, did you want to be a Lawyer?  I know that may sound like a strange question or was it more of a familial this is what Michael’s going to do.

Michael Eboda

Yeah, I wasn’t any good at maths, so it was the only thing you could do…

Elliot Moss

That was your choice.  Words or numbers and you had words.

Michael Eboda

Yeah, yeah, I was no good at maths.  In an ideal world I think I would have done, I would have studied economics because that’s actually really interesting to me.  I wasn’t madly interested in being a Lawyer although I guess while you study it and you know you become more interested it wasn’t ever a dream of mine to become a Lawyer but you know I did it and you know I did a Degree and I did law school and what have you.  I actually appeared in Court a couple of times which was an interesting experience but…

Elliot Moss

And then when did you come back to the UK?

Michael Eboda

I came back to the UK in ‘85 I think it was.  Extensively to do a Master’s and then to do the Solicitors Finals here and qualify here.  Did the Master’s, but then I wanted to work as a Paralegal but I could not get work as a Paralegal I mean it was just, I must have gone gosh I cant remember how many interviews I went for and they were all no’s you know and I’d gone to quite a good University in Nigeria at the time, the University of Afe was actually probably the best, you know we’d had Nobel prize winners come from that University but here it wasn’t you know they just didn’t look at it like that.

Elliot Moss

No and we’re going to come back to that because the story of the 80s maybe it isn’t so different from the stories of the 2020s and that’s something we’re going to explore in a little bit.

Michael Eboda

Mmm.

Elliot Moss

Stay with me for much more from my Business Shaper today that’s Michael Eboda he’s the Founder of Powerful Media and was a Lawyer briefly as well.

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

And we’re going to come back right to that as well.  Time for some music right now its Marvin Gaye with I Heard It Through The Grapevine - somewhat of a classic. 

That was Marvin Gaye you may have recognised it, I Heard It Through The Grapevine of course.  Michael Eboda is my Business Shaper today he’s the Founder of Powerful Media, he was a Lawyer, he’s a Journalist or has been a Journalist and born here but lived in Nigeria as well and that whole kind of joint cultural thing is interesting to me.  So, you were talking about the ‘80s where it was tough to get a job as a Lawyer.

Michael Eboda

Or as a Paralegal.

Elliot Moss

Even as a Paralegal.

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

And obviously parallels with today there’s very few black Lawyers in the profession.  I imagine it was much tougher then than it is now.

Michael Eboda

Yeah it was incredibly tough then for me certainly and there was an incident when I went to an interview for a Paralegal and they simply told the Agents, when I got there they said that they weren’t interviewing that day and when I went back to the agency to find out why they had sent me for a non-existent interview the agency turned round and said, “well we’re really sorry but they called us back and said they don’t take on black people”, as simple as that.  That would be, I don’t think that would happen today.

Elliot Moss

Mmm, no.

Michael Eboda

Today it’s different.  I think today’s issues are more about the fact that a lot of firms don’t believe that there are black Lawyers out there.  So, one of the things that we’ve done, and it came out having this power list and our future leaders’ publication we set up our recruitment business about eighteen months ago.  We set it up because we were pressured to set it up I’d never really wanted to do recruitment but everybody was saying look you’ve got so much talent there that you need to introduce this talent formally to organisations that are interested in it.  So, we decided to do it and we decided to do law simply because I knew a little bit about law and because the woman who works with me on that, Denise, she worked with law firms for quite a long time herself.  One of the things about diversity is this if you don’t believe the talent is out there you wont go and look for it and I think the stereotype is that there aren’t a lot of black Lawyers out there whereas in fact there are quite a few so even within London, within the commercial firms in London we have identified something like about fifty partners which most people wouldn’t even believe existed.  In fact, quite a lot of them have never met one another before either.  We do an event, a monthly event called Path to Partner and we have thirty to forty Associates, well its virtual now in the audience, three Partners on a panel, I moderate and the idea is to get the Associates to get an understanding of what it takes to get to Partner.  But we’re not short of Associates.  So, there are quite a few Lawyers out there who are black, or African/Caribbean heritage.

Elliot Moss

But when you were applying back in ‘85 to be a Paralegal there was nothing.

Michael Eboda

Oh, I would imagine there weren’t, there weren’t that many out there then.

Elliot Moss

No, but the interesting about what you’ve just said, there’s a lot that you’ve just said in a short period of time just to unpack it for a moment, the Lawyer thing when you were trying didn’t work out for you.

Michael Eboda

No, it didn’t work.

Elliot Moss

You became a Journalist but in reality, what’s happened is in the last fifteen years or so you sort of strike me as a reluctant Entrepreneur.

Michael Eboda

Oh no not reluctant.

Elliot Moss

Not reluctant.

Michael Eboda

No, no, no.

Elliot Moss

Because you mentioned the recruitment thing was like well, they made us to do it.

Michael Eboda

No, no, no.

Elliot Moss

For me where does this bridge between love of writing, love of journalism, love of communicating, of sharing…

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

…of explaining and articulating all those things which Journalists love and then this commercial entity which evolved - how did that, just briefly how did that happen?

Michael Eboda

Different parts of my personality.  So, when I was in Nigeria my auntie, she was a businesswoman and she used to build low cost housing.  My job in the summer holidays was to drive her around so I got to know every part of her business so a part of me was always, I was always going to do something on my own and I was always going to do some sort of business.  It was just…

Elliot Moss

You just felt, and you felt that from a young age?

Michael Eboda

Yeah really, yeah.  But also, I had always wanted to be a Journalist since I was a kid, I love sport.  So I became a Sports Journalist, when I realised that this law thing wasn’t really happening and you know I’ve got to be honest with you I’m not sure how much I wanted it to happen but the great thing about having gone to Nigeria was that it instilled me with a belief that you can do anything.  Going to Nigeria it completely changed things.

Elliot Moss

Stay with me for more from my guest Michael Eboda in a couple of minutes he is going to be back but right now let’s hear a taster from the Mishcon Academy digital sessions which can be found on all of the major podcast platforms.  Mishcon de Reya’s Victoria Piggott talks about ESG, that’s Environmental Social and Governance and what the resulting long-term benefit is for businesses putting purpose before profit. 

You can enjoy all our former Jazz Shapers and indeed hear this programme again with Michael by popping Jazz Shapers into your preferred podcast platform or you can ask Alexa to play Jazz Shapers and there you will find many of our recent programmes but back to today and Michael, Michael Eboda Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group, a media and talent agency showcasing, connecting and creating opportunities for diverse individuals.  It strikes me that the point you made about your time in Nigeria was the time actually that you felt that anything was possible and that then you translated that later in life; you said two things actually (1) anything is possible and (2) I was always going to run my own thing. So even when you were writing what was, were you going to some inexorable end where it was like it was going happen or did you engineer you know, that power list opportunity when they said go and write and you said hold on a minute I’ve got a better idea.  Were there other opportunities before then that you chose to pass up?

Michael Eboda

So, I’d always been one of these people who wanted to do something entrepreneurial, it had always been a part of me.  I remember when I was a kid even I didn’t have a paper round or I did have a paper round for a minute I think it paid £1.20 a week and then I discovered that if you sat down with what was then the Evening News and you know you got a paper stand you could make eight times that amount of money.  A friend of mine had one and I did a deal with him that I would share it with him, and I ended up taking it over from him.

Elliot Moss

How old were you at the time?

Michael Eboda

Oh, I must have been eleven, something like that, something like that.  You know and I was always interested in doing things like that.  When I was looking to make money to do my Solicitors Finals and I couldn’t get the work with the law firms I decided to look for money myself.  I had a job, I got a job in a local Council for a while but while I was there, I was always pursuing other ideas.  I bought a property, in those days it was pretty easy to buy a property and then I had you know two or three of them renting stuff out and then with some friends we opened up a restaurant, I had a shop selling trainers…

Elliot Moss

Tonnes of stuff.

Michael Eboda

In the Kings Road, yeah, yeah loads of stuff like that.

Elliot Moss

Did the restaurant thing finish before the power list began?

Michael Eboda

Yeah way before. 

Elliot Moss

Way before.

Michael Eboda

Way before.

Elliot Moss

And just tell me about the power list thing because this has obviously been the platform for you.  So I’m now looking, I’m going here’s a guy whose had lots of different experiences, whose trained to be a Lawyer, who loves writing, is also an Entrepreneur, there’s lots of different strands here and then this thing comes along and then you convert it into what it is, you know, this sustainable idea of celebration of talent.

Michael Eboda

Yeah so the power list came again, it came out of my experience in Nigeria and as I say what Nigeria gives you is, or what it gave me was the sense that there are no barriers you can be whatever you want to be and what I wanted to instil in young people here was that same sense without sort of sending them 5000 miles away to catch malaria or something you know I wanted to instil that in them and one of the most powerful things there that I hadn’t seen here were role models.  When I grew up in London, I’d never met a black Lawyer for example.  I’d never met a black Doctor or an Architect who was black.  They just didn’t exist in my world.  You know it was a working class family it just wasn’t part of your world.  There was nothing on telly that showed you that either, so you just didn’t see people like that.  When I went to Nigeria though all of a sudden, I’m surrounded by that.  You know there were family members who were Doctors, Lawyers you know, Accountants and things like that and you looked at them and you thought hang on a minute they’re not that smarter than me, they’re not that smarter than me so I can do that and essentially that’s why I became a Lawyer.  I had a cousin who was a Lawyer you know he drove a really nice car, he had just graduated, lived in a really nice apartment you know he had really nice girlfriends and I thought you know I could do that.  So, having spoken to him and understood what he did and what have you I thought I can do that no problem at all so I said okay I’m going to do law, why not.

Elliot Moss

Stay with me for a bit more chat and a lot more insight from my Business Shaper its Michael Eboda and he’s the Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group.  Time for some more music right now though Jose Feliciano with Sunny. 

Jose Feliciano there with the memorable Sunny, Michael Eboda is my Business Shaper we’ve been talking about all sorts of stuff, the different strands of your personality, fused with the opportunity that you felt Nigeria gave you.  The sense of purpose though Michael you talk about role models and you said listen I grew up and I suddenly had black Lawyers, black Doctors it was all around me because I was living in Nigeria.  It was one thing loving the writing, its another thing wanting to do your own thing and its another thing and I think this is the thing that intrigues me about actually wanting to as you said instil the fact that there are opportunities to create role models that’s a purpose driven or a values driven agenda.  Did that, was it just because of your own sense, I mean you said something earlier to me about you weren’t angry about the prejudice that you have been shown over the years.  You seem to have challenged…

Michael Eboda

Or about that particular incidence.

Elliot Moss

Or about that particular incidence.

Michael Eboda

Yeah.

Elliot Moss

But the sense of purpose in wanting to do something which instils a different view of the world which gives people role models which then changes their future where did that desire to actually do good, sounds a bit corny, but that’s essentially what it is because you can earn a buck, you can run your own show, you can write without doing any kind of broader social societal good but you choose something intentionally which has?

Michael Eboda

Yeah, I think there is and again you know for a lot of black people in the UK a lot of people who I know who are professionals you know they want to give something back.  They want to show a lot of young people how they can become as successful as them.

Elliot Moss

But why do you think that is?  That’s the thing I’m interested in.  That’s a really community driven view of the world.

Michael Eboda

It’s because of the stereotypes, it is because of the fact that you know a lot of people don’t think that that’s what we are.  If I talked to people who I now know on the power list, there is an awful lot of them who give money to black charities.  There’s an awful lot of them who mentor young kids I mean pretty much everybody does that actually, mentors some kids and its because they want to see, they want these kids to have as bright a future as possible but they also want to get rid of the stereotypes surrounding people in the UK black communities that you know that we are not professionals, that you know we play a lot of football, there’s a lot of entertainers and stuff like that but actually when it comes to being Lawyers or Doctors or tech people and working at hedge funds and stuff like that there is actually not really that many people who do it.  Whereas there actually are, and there actually are quite a lot of successful people but it is just a thing that pretty much as I say everyone, I know wants to do something in terms of giving back.

Elliot Moss

Sorry, has it changed since 2007?  Do you think it’s a more positive picture now?

Michael Eboda

I think there are more people now who want to give back than then. 

Elliot Moss

And is it easier every year to put together your power list or rather is it harder because there’s just more competition.

Michael Eboda

It’s a really weird thing you would have thought diminution and returns would have set in by now.

Elliot Moss

Yeah.

Michael Eboda

Because we’re looking for the one hundred most influential black people in the UK.  This year we’ve got more new candidates than we’ve ever had before. 

Elliot Moss

There’s a lot of change, in the hundred is there quite a lot of shifting.

Michael Eboda

It shifts by about 30% a year.

Elliot Moss

Okay.

Michael Eboda

Around about 30% per year, yeah and you know now its become quite a prestigious thing to be on it and you know if you have a look at some of the people who have been for example our number one they really are quite interesting and very, very, very successful people. 

Elliot Moss

One of them was on this programme at least twice, that was Gina Miller.

Michael Eboda

Gina, yeah.

Elliot Moss

Some people may know.  Stay with me for my final chat with my guest today that’s Michael Eboda.  Plus, we’ll be playing a track from Stan Getz and Joao Gil.  That’s in just a moment don’t go anywhere. 

That was Stan Getz and Joao Gil with Para Machucar Meu Coracao.  Now that’s my Spanish accent trying to do Portuguese it was never going to work very well was it?  Michael Eboda is with me just for a few more minutes he is the Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group.  The idea for the power list back in 2007 as I understand it from you came from wanting to present the positive and celebratory side of being black, of black success in this country.  As you look back now what are you most proud of achieving through the creation of the power list?

Michael Eboda

What the power list has done has brought together a network of very successful people and that network of successful people is influencing a lot of younger people to follow in their footsteps and that’s exactly what we wanted to do when we first started it, it was really that simple.  I thought you know what I’ll get some advertising in you know that’ll pay the mortgage but actually I wanted to as I say replicate my personal experience in Nigeria of having role models and the difference that those role models made to my life and I thought that would work with kids here and it actually has.  It actually has.  That’s probably the best thing that’s come out of it.  It’s the creation of a network of very successful black people, they’ve become friends, they’ve started to do business with one another you know I think some of the younger people we’ve even had a marriage I think, some of the younger people…

Elliot Moss

You look like a matchmaker Michael I was going to say this is…

Michael Eboda

That may be the next business that we start looking into.

Elliot Moss

Definitely, I’m in as well.  I would like to be a shareholder.  But the other thing that strikes me is that and you’ve been proudly and we have been proudly talking about black rather than BAME and the BAME acronym as you called it you’ve said you’ve banned it from your publications and you prefer of African or African/Caribbean heritage and I’m not going to describe how you also go into the acronym because we don’t need to do that but essentially you feel like it’s a made up term. Has that honesty about focusing on the black community stood you in good stead and is the Black Lives Matter movement that we now see simply the natural extension of showing people the truth of what needs to be addressed.

Michael Eboda

Yeah, I think you know the acronym BAME it does mask the realities in terms of black representation.  You know it kind of set out to do that from day one anyway but with the Black Lives Matter theme that’s come to prominence since the traffic death of George Floyd I think its refocused people’s minds and you know people will say well you know why play one minority off against another.  The truth is if you look at the numbers in terms of representation right across the board people of African and African/Caribbean heritage are almost always at the wrong end of those numbers.  Almost always and lumping everybody in together you don’t see that.  So, a lot of companies will say, “oh our BAME numbers are great”; “aww really okay so tell me how many black people you’ve got?”  Even one of the Government Ministers the other day asked how many black people were in the cabinet and he points to Pritti Patel and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Elliot Moss

Yeah and they’re not black.

Michael Eboda

And they’re not, with all due respect to them they’re not.

Elliot Moss

I don’t think they describe themselves as black either, no.

Michael Eboda

No, they wouldn’t.  So yeah, I mean you know I think it is probably time to retire the acronym BAME and let’s try and focus on what people really are.  Every community has its own issues and its own problems and its doing well in certain areas and its not doing well in other areas. Lumping everyone together no it doesn’t really help that.

Elliot Moss

Just before I ask you about your song choice and I’m conscious of time when you look back in ten/fifteen/twenty years whenever it is that you stop working if indeed you stop working as I’ve got a feeling you probably won’t in some form.  What will you have defined your success by?

Michael Eboda

I have always said with this our company is a really strange company in the sense that we are working to put ourselves out of business so if we are able to sort of stop doing what we do at any stage it will mean that we are no longer necessary and a lot of the issues that we are, that we are working around trying to find solutions to will have been dealt with.

Elliot Moss

Michael it has been a pleasure having you here on the very first programme for the new series, thank you so much for your time.  Just before I let you go what’s your song choice and why have you chosen it?

Michael Eboda

My song choice is my favourite artist Curtis Mayfield, We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue I think it really works in the context of a lot of what I have been speaking about because its about, its about black people and self-empowerment. 

Elliot Moss

That was Curtis Mayfield with We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue the song choice of my Business Shaper today, Michael Eboda.  He was steely, absolutely clear that he was going to achieve and continues to achieve exactly what he set out to do and yet kind at the same time someone who believes in the importance of role models and the ability for young people to look up to people who are doing really well and someone who has channelled the injustice which he has experienced in an incredibly positive way, really good stuff. 

You can hear our conversation with Michael all over again whenever you would like to as a podcast just search Jazz Shapers, or you can ask your smart speaker to play Jazz Shapers.  Alternatively, if you are making the most of Monday morning you can catch this programme again just before the business breakfast at 5.00am.  The new season of Jazz Shapers continues next Saturday with my next Business Shaper, Sarah Bentley, Founder of Made in Hackney a charity and eco community cookery school.  Up next after the news at 10.00 it is Nigel Williams he’s got some fabulous music, interviews and live sessions too.  That’s it from me and Jazz Shapers have a lovely weekend. 

That was Curtis Mayfield with We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue the song choice of my Business Shaper today Michael Eboda.  He was steely, absolutely clear that he was going to achieve and continues to achieve exactly what he set out to do and yet kind at the same time someone who believes in the importance of role models and the ability for young people to look up to people who are doing really well and someone who has channelled the injustice which he has experienced in an incredibly positive way, really good stuff.

You can hear our conversation with Michael all over again whenever you would like to as a podcast just search Jazz Shapers, or you can ask your smart speaker to play Jazz Shapers.  The new season of Jazz Shapers continues next Saturday with my next Business Shaper, Sarah Bentley, Founder of Made in Hackney a charity and eco community cookery school.  A business breakfast today with Nick Howard is up next with your full business briefing to fire up your week, have a great one and I’ll see you on Saturday.

Jazz Shapers is back, and our first guest of this season is Michael Eboda, Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group a media and executive talent agency aiming to showcase, connect and create career opportunities for diverse individuals.  I’m Elliot Moss and I’ll have more of that alongside the music of the shapers of jazz, soul and blues this weekend. 

Jazz Shapers returned for a new season this Saturday and our first guest was Michael Eboda Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group a media and executive talent agency aiming to showcase, connect and create career opportunities for diverse individuals.  That programme is now available for you to listen to again as a podcast or you can hear it again nice and early on Monday morning at 5.00 just before the business breakfast. 

Michael Eboda, lawyer-turned-journalist-turned-entrepreneur, is the Founder and CEO of Powerful Media Group (PMG), a media and executive talent agency aiming to showcase, connect and create career opportunities for diverse individuals.

Michael grew up in South London and left the UK for Nigeria in his early teens, qualifying for the Nigerian bar in 1984. Returning to Britain and doing a Master's Degree in Business Law, Michael wasn't able to find the right job in commercial law and decided on a change of career.

Following a stint as an entrepreneur (owning a restaurant, a retail outlet and a number of properties), Michael chose to become a journalist, writing for the Observer, the Times and others, and spent nine years turning the Ethnic Media Group (EMG) into the biggest minority ethnic newspaper organisation in the UK as its Editorial Director.

While at the EMG, Michael also helped to create the power list: a list of a hundred of Britain’s most influential black individuals.

Michael left EMG in 2007 to set up Powerful Media, and the company has since expanded into talent search, events and recruitment, and also publishes future leaders focusing on the next generation of talent and social mobility.

Highlights

As a child you adapt quite quickly.

It wasn’t ever a dream of mine to become a Lawyer, but I did it.

I went to quite a good University in Nigeria at the time, but in the UK, they just didn’t look at it like that.

It was incredibly tough for me back then.

I think today’s issues are more about the fact that a lot of firms don’t believe that there are black Lawyers out there.

One of the things about diversity is, if you don’t believe the talent is out there, you won't go and look for it.

I was always going to do something on my own.

I had always wanted to be a Journalist since I was a child.

The great thing about having gone to Nigeria was that it instilled me with a belief that you can do anything.

I’d always been one of these people who wanted to do something entrepreneurial.

Nigeria gave me a sense of having no barriers. You can be whatever you want to be.

We’re looking for the one hundred most influential black people in the UK, and this year we’ve got more new candidates than we’ve ever had before. 

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