.@ChichiNwanoku MBE – Inspirational YOU – Tuesday 28th February 2017 – House of Commons

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Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE

Founder, Artistic & Executive Director Chineke!, Principal double bassist,

Prof Royal Academy of Music, Broadcaster, Writer & Mentor

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Leadership, progression and success at the top – Raising the bar

House of Commons

An ex-sprinter and half the size of her double bass, Chi-chi Nwanoku has gained a reputation as one of the finest exponents of her instrument today.

The eldest of 5 children from Nigerian and Irish parents, she was 7 years old when she discovered the piano at a neighbour’s, who taught her to play a 12-bar blues. She returned to their house daily until the neighbour got so fed up they wheeled the piano up the road and gave it to her as a gift! Meanwhile, she was spotted (aged 8) by an athletics coach and trained as a 100- metre sprinter, eventually competing at National level. This career ended abruptly due to a knee injury aged 18, which is when (and why) she took up the double bass and actively pursued a career in music.



She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and with Franco Petracchi in Rome, and soon found herself in demand internationally.

Chi-chi is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians working in the UK and Europe.

The Chineke! Foundation champions change and celebrates diversity in the classical music industry through its two orchestras, the Chineke! Orchestra and Chineke! Junior Orchestra, as well as its educational and outreach work. Ultimately, the Chineke! Foundation aims to give classical BME musicians a platform on which to excel, and by such methods increase the representation of BME musicians in British and European orchestras. More information about the Chineke! Foundation and its work can be found at

Chi-chi is a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and held the position of Principal double bass there for 30 years. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where she was made a Fellow in 1998.

Chi-chi’s range of musical interests have resulted in a broad career performing and recording in a diversity of styles from authentic baroque through to 21st century and new commissions, with many of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras and ensembles. Some of her notable chamber recordings include Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet (recorded three times), and Octet, Beethoven Septet, Hummel Piano quintet and Boccherini Sonatas. Her solo recording of Dittersdorf and Vanhal Concertos with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Hyperion CD 67179 received critical acclaim.

In 2012 Barrie Gavin directed a documentary film about Chi-chi’s career, called ‘Tales from the Bass Line’. As a broadcaster, Chi-chi presented BBC Radio 3 Requests for four years, she guests for the TV Proms and was Jury member of BBC 2 TV Classical Star. She presented a two part series for BBC Radio 4 in 2015 which brought to life the stories and music of black composers and musicians from the eighteenth century, whose vivd presence on the classical music scene have slipped through the net!

Chi-chi was also the ‘mentor’ for the 2016 BBC 4 TV series ‘All Together Now, the Great Orchestra Challenge’, showcasing the amazing talent of British amateur orchestras. Chi-chi is a trustee of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Mayor’s Music Fund, Tertis Foundation a Council Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society. She served on the board of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) from 2008 to 2013. Chi-chi created the ABO/RPS ‘Salomon Prize’ which celebrates the “unsung heroes” working in the ranks of British Orchestras.

Awards and achievements

  • Chi-chi was awarded an MBE for services to Music in the 2001 Queen’s Birthday honours.
  • She was one of the 100 – Happy List in the Independent on Sunday 2011.
  • In July 2016 she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire in recognition of her “pioneering contribution to music, in particular the inspiration she provides, the commitment she has shown, and the contribution she has made to addressing inequalities within classical music in the UK, most recently through the Chineke! Foundation.”
  • Chi-chi was awarded the Black British Business Awards, Person of the Year 2016.

Source: Black British Business Awards 2017

Chi-chi is a dedicated advocate of the importance of music in everyone’s lives and is committed to teaching and sharing her love of music.

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Rozan Ahmed (Speaker) – Wednesday 17th August 2016 – Viacom International Media Networks

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Rozan Ahmed

Inspirational YOU

Wednesday 17th August 2017


Rozan Ahmed is an internationally established writer, creative director, advisor, advocate, and popular commentator who plays an influential role in leading new frontiers and shifting attitudes in the worlds of fashion and entertainment.

She is deputy editor of the RWD magazine which she helped to make the United Kingdom’s biggest urban music and lifestyle publication.

Rozan merges the arts with social development and entrepreneurship and champions what she calls ‘cultural ownership’– taking pride in and embracing identity. She is breaking the barriers and connecting people between the diverse markets she works in: the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.
Rozan currently sits on the MOBO music panel and is an ambassador at the Young and Gifted Foundation, a distinguished member of the Royal African Society, an advocate for the We Want Peace organisation, Dubai’s Fashion Forward, Kenya’s Africa Yoga Project, and Sudan Change Now. She has also mentored for the Unreasonable Institute as part of the Unreasonable at Sea program, sailing from South Africa to Ghana in March 2013 alongside Richard Branson, Prince Fahad Al Saud and Desmond Tutu.

She was recognised by the United Nations, the Government of Sudan and the Government of Southern Sudan for orchestrating the country’s first celebratory concert for the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

  • Congo Fashion Week’s global ambassador
  • Arabia’s cultural ambassador
  • Music World Cup’s Goodwill ambassador
  • Nominated 2014’s Women 4 Africa Awards for Inspirational Woman & International African Woman
  • Selected by Cosmopolitan magazine as one of the Middle East’s “Ultimate Women,” 2015

Arieta Mujay @ArietaWho – PR and Communications Specialist – Thursday 25th February 2016

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Arieta Mujay

Head of PR and Communications at

Thursday 25th February 2016

Scale up your career 

Impact Hub Brixton

Arieta Mujay is a London based fashion creative that has been working in fashion at various capacities for 15 years across the UK and Africa Starting out as a window dresser for GAP which allowed her access to seeing how looks are pulled together as worldwide GAP is applauded or their fabulous and consistent windows, while working as a window dresser for GAP in Brighton she started to get involved in styling.

Getting back to London, she started to assist a few veteran stylists and PR Guru Sarah Walter on a weekly basis while working as a visual merchandiser and fitting room stylist. She also got work experience at fashion magazines like RED, Just 19, Sneak and smash hits in the UK as the fashion intern. She then moved on to fashion PR and worked as press officer for New look on the UK high street but still styled part time, Arieta rose to the position of PR Manager before leaving the company for another High street Brand River Island where her duties included running the PR Department, being the fashion Editor of the River Island In store Magazine as well as shoot director and stylist for some of the online e-commerce content.

As head of PR UK for River Island, Arieta worked closely on the Rihanna for River Island collaboration and got to go on the 777 tour, a life changing experience. She also worked with the British Fashion Council to bring the collection to be shown at the SS13/AW13 shows as well as kick off the Fash/ON Film festival during London fashion week.

Arieta has styled and worked a host of celebrities from Boy bands to TV presenters like Myleen Klass, June Sarpong, and supermodels Oluchi, Liya Kadebe, Tyson Beckford while working as a stylist for Arise Magazine Fashion Week. Other Celebrity clients and jobs include, styling Kelis as face of River Island sponsored Graduate fashion week 2009, and Amber Le Bon in 2010.


Arieta also styled Kelly Rowland, Alesha Dixon, Pixie Lott and Lily Allen for the Princes trust. In 2012, She embarked on a sabbatical across Africa visiting 9 countries in 4 weeks to get an understanding of the business of fashion on the continent as well as reconnect with designers she had worked with at various fashion week’s on the continent. Since then, Arieta has continued to work on Lagos Fashion and Design week either as the head stylist or in a production capacity, as the creative director of Gabarone fashion week in Bostwana and as a panelist at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg.


In 2013, Arieta launched African creative collective a PR and brand consultancy with the sole aim of nurturing African creative talent in the UK and as an advisor to brand and retailers who are interested in activations across the continent.

Companies she has consulted for include, Unilever, the UK TRADE AND INVESTMENT where she wrote a paper on the opportunities in Nigerian Retail and most recently the Ethical Fashion Initiative, which is an incentive of the United Nations. Brands worked with at ACC include, ChichiaLondon, OrangeCulture, Ominislondon and Josh&Nicol.



Working with Kathy Shanoy of Shake-the-dust and Baroness Lola Young, Arieta has set up a series of talks with creative influentials from Africa and the diaspora called “In conversation with” held at the House of Lords. Arieta is a reviewer and contributor for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s online platform, a mentor to young businesses and an avid supporter of female empowerment.

Arieta is now Head of PR and Communications at

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 Photo credit: @ArietaWho instagram


.@OliverMorris200 – Creative Art Director – Fashion and Entertainment Masterclass – Thursday 25th February 2016

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Oliver Morris

International Creative Art Director

Fashion and Technology masterclass – London Fashion Week

Thursday 25th February 2016

Impact Hub Brixton


Oliver Morris, renowned as a creative leader within the Arts and Fashion elite and industries and who, for many years has infused his cutting edge signature and avant guard style of direction globally for prestigious magazines.

Oliver Morris with his distinctively cutting edge artistry has pioneered through the industry, earning him an unassailable reputation amongst the arts and fashion elite as a formidable creative leader.


Oliver Morris has received countless accolades across the globe, awarded fashion photographer of the year and described by critics as one of London’s finest exports. Oliver’s love of people, dance and cinema permeate through his work, combined with his inexhaustible stamina to create. A true master in captivating and engaging with his audience, he has an unfailing track record of producing exquisite pieces of work across a range of disciplines – producing, art directing, photography, videography and events.

Since catapulting into the fashion industry in 2006 and shortly after launching his own company Fashionaires in 2008; Oliver Morris and his entourage of industry experts have achieved year on year growth; operating in London, Dubai, UEA, Italy and Japan with further plans of expansion in the USA . To date Oliver Morris and the brand have a fan base of over 60,000 followers, steadfastly increasing, with an influential force in discovering & developing some of the industry’s up and coming talent.

His extensive portfolio is wide and varied, featuring a vast array of brands, from talented independent designers, such as Love Makya, Jennifer Klein, Pocket London, Billionaires Menswear, and Rio Ferdinand; To fashion powerhouses such as Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, DVF, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jaeger, Karen Millen, and Reiss. Also including endorsements from Lamborghini, BMW, Audi and Jeep. Oliver Morris’s editorial work is frequently published in Vogue Italia, as well as producing & art directing for Tramp and Obscurae magazine. He has also art directed for the world’s first International supermodel Janice Dickinson, collaborated with the supermodel Sophie Anderson and the innovative charity Models of Diversity.

Oliver Pic5

In parallel to his work on set – Oliver Morris has a reputation for being the ultimate socialite. For almost 20 years he has been mixing and working with some of London’s legions, from the cities industry giants, to global A-listers, Saudi princes and members of the household. A genius when it comes to producing mesmerising fashion shows, events and parties, he is often in demand and attracting VIP audiences with attendance from Head of Vogue Europe 2007, D&G management, John Michelle (Fashion TV owner), Timberland, Ludicrous and Boy London. He has been appointed to produce & art direct events for corporations such as Gucci, PriceWaterhouse coopers, Marriot and Grosvenor hotel.

Oliver Morris was also prestigiously honoured to be the first to launch Mehotels series of fashion events in support of London Fashion week 2013 and produced& art directed Merrill Lynch’s international woman day in honour of Princess Anne. As a proud Londoner, Oliver was elated when chosen by 4 time Olympian medalist John Herbert for the London Olympics whereby he produced & art directed the campaign “fashion meet sports” featuring olympic medalists from around the world in aid of the charity go4kids 2012.

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Genelle Aldred (Speaker) – Presenter, HuffPost blogger, Writer and Business woman – Succeeding at the top – Tuesday 9th June 2015

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Genelle Aldred is a journalist, TV presenter, author, public speaker, host and businesswoman


Genelle joins Inspirational YOU on Tuesday 9th June at theTNG youth space in Lewisham.

As a journalist and TV presenter Genelle has worked for the BBC, ITN, MailOnline and now ITV in various roles including; online journalist, documentary producer, weather presenter and newsreader. Genelle has a Masters degree in Broadcast Journalism from Staffordshire University. After seven years of working in the media with several highlights including reporting live on the national BBC News channel, working on a Hillsborough documentary for Channel 5 and interviewing high profile personalities, Genelle’s expertise within her field is of a high and impressive standard. Genelle’s substantial knowledge within media shines bright in her roles as a public speaker and host.


As the daughter of a preacher Genelle has always been comfortable speaking in front of large crowds. At 7-years-old she delivered a speech to several thousand for a church conference. More recently she was a speaker on business for Birmingham Library in association with Barclays Bank and hosted six debates for Selfridges, Birmingham around modern ideas of beauty.  She has also given many speeches for schools and youth groups within her role as a provider and deliverer of building self esteem, confidence and goal setting workshops for young women.


As a natural speaker Genelle has a great way with words and is able to communicate with people from different backgrounds and cultures, whilst still bringing her uniqueness to any event. Within her role as an entrepreneur, Genelle recently launched SadeRose an online boutique specialising in limited edition, exclusive and quirky items for women. Her passion for business was sparked when she studied fashion business as London College of Fashion before going into journalism.

Genelle also works as a consultant to businesses and creative enterprises providing strategic and media friendly solutions for their ventures.

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Nii Sackey (Speaker) – Start and grow your business – Wednesday 2nd July – Be Inspired Nottingham

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Join Nii Sackey in Nottingham on 2nd July.

Nii Sackey is the Chief Executive of Bigga Fish, a not-for-profit social enterprise which works with young people, and which he founded in 1999 when he was only 21 years old.

Nii - Bigga Fish / Franklyn Lane Productions

Bigga Fish is a youth music social enterprise, that engages young people though media, large scale events and developing youth enterprise initially in London and now across the UK.

In 2004, Nii was the youngest male recipient of the Clore leadership Award in its inaugural year. On this program he was seconded to the British Council, where he acted as a consultant working abroad developing music communities in the Middle East and North Africa.

Nii returned to Bigga Fish in 2005/6 where he continued to lead the development of a new phase of creative and community engagement projects such as Urban Classic working with the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Radio 3  and Serious. There was also a continued development of international projects, working with partners including British Airways in Brazil and South Africa.

In 2008, Nii was nominated and successfully awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award to develop a new model for social enterprise called, launching in spring 2011.

In 2009/10, Bigga Fish and Nii were the recipient of the Urban Music Awards Outstanding Contribution to The Community and the Kidscount Winner- Best Contribution to Youth Organisation 2010.

In 2013 Nii founded Bigga Business, a company created to distribute low-cost loans and mentoring to start ups of all age groups. Bigga Business is an official delivery partner of a government-backed initiative, Start Up Loans.


Nii currently runs three organisations, two which are based in the community and social enterprise, the third offering consultancy in dynamic solutions around youth engagement and digital innovation, previous clients have included Radio 1 and the Historic Royal Palaces.


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Rozan Ahmed @IamRozan (Speaker) – Be Inspired Nottingham – Wednesday 2nd July 2014

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Join Writer, Activist, PR Guru, Entrepreneur and Culturalist Rozan Ahmed at the Nottingham Contemporary on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.


Rozan Ahmed lives her life fulfilling a passionate mission of connection: a “locally global” vision to empower, celebrate and merge diversity through creativity as an influential voice for the African continent across the UK, the Middle East, Africa and the US.

As an established writer, consultant, culturalist and commentator, Rozan continues to break business and social barriers by connecting and curating people, projects and products from the city of London (where she grew up) all the way to regions and societies in which she likes to call “returning markets”. A stern believer in additionally merging the arts with social development and entrepreneurship, Rozan has become a motivational personality when it comes to advocating the concept of “cultural ownership” – taking pride in identity, shaping it and embracing it.


As founder & editor of bougi, Rozan’s career spans a successful 13 years, counting the likes of international organisations, global music stars, local and international brands, presidents, royalty and civil society within her working realm. They include Justin Timberlake, P.Diddy, RWD, Michelle Rodriguez, Jay Z, the United Nations, Chanel, Adidas, the Princes Trust, Akala, Emmanuel Jal, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Prince Fahad Al Saud, Formula One, Louis Vuitton, SonyBMG and much more.


As deputy editor of RWD magazine in the UK, she worked closely with her team in analysing, discovering and propelling what we know today as the “British urban music scene”, utilising what was the growing phenomenon of social media and negotiating a number of corporate relationships to quickly establish the title into what it is right now: the UK’s biggest urban music & lifestyle publication.

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In Africa, she developed a series of monumental campaigns surrounding peace culture and was praised by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the GOS (Government of Sudan) and GOSS (Government of Southern Sudan) for orchestrating the country’s first celebratory concert, highlighting the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. ‘I wanted to musically symbolise the union between North and South’, said Rozan, ‘people often forget just how powerful music can be, particularly when it comes to positive messaging and its conscientious delivery to a younger audience’.

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 21.56.58

Rozan has been hailed as one of the ‘hardest working women in showbiz’ (Pride Magazine UK), ‘the woman who can’ (BBC Radio 1), ‘a powerhouse’ (POSE Dubai), ‘formidable’ (Drum Magazine KENYA), a ‘mogul in the making’ (DSTV’s AFRICA MAGIC), ‘one of the region’s most inspiring women’ (VIVA Magazine DUBAI), and ‘The new Oprah Winfrey’ (Marie Claire Italia)

Rozan currently sits on the UK’s MOBO music panel, she is a board member at the MAD global initiative and an ambassador for the Young & Gifted Foundation. She’s an avid supporter of the amFAR organisation, an advocate for Dubai’s Fashion Forward (the region’s leading fashion platform), Congo Fashion Week, Africa Yoga Project (Kenya), Sudan Change Now (Sudan), cultural ambassador at and a selected mentor at the Unreasonable Institute for globally inclined social entrepreneurs.

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