“Black History Month is a daily lived experience: my name, my colour and the other attributes that make me who I am. For me, it’s not just for one month. I am proud of my heritage – coming from Ogbomoso in Nigeria – it has shaped me, grounded me and given me a sense of belonging. Growing up, I was surrounded by role models and a diverse Nigerian community, so I was allowed to dream big! When I started as a pharmacist, I pledged to be a bastion of excellence, not minding my colour. The NHS is an increasingly diverse organisation, and a lot has been done to tackle unconscious bias, but there is a need to extend the diversity to the board rooms and the upper stratum.

This month is an opportunity for me to share where I come from, who I am and what drives me. I aspire to bridge the gap between Nigeria and the UK, telling my story to educate future generations. We can achieve so much more working together as a community.

Black history should be ongoing and forever trending, as it gives us all a chance to learn about others from diverse black communities. We can use our past to positively shape our future by sharing the truth in our history, art, culture, food and entertainment.”

Adenike Fakoya, Contract and Commissioning Support Pharmacist