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Our Black History Month speakers

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Join us on Thursday 14 October from 7pm! Black History Month is a time to shine a light on our shared British history. It is also a time to look forward and celebrate the here and now – and future possibilities. The events of 2020, including the black lives matter movement and the pandemic, have been a catalyst for real conversations about racism and colonialism, inclusion and representation.

If you enjoyed our International Women’s day event (which helped us win a national PTA award this year!), you will love this event too.

So come and join the conversation - let’s celebrate Black History Month and raise more funds for the school. We have a genuinely inspiring lineup of speakers of different African and African-Caribbean heritage who will be talking about their areas of interest or expertise and much much more!

Hosted by Sharon Kabubi the evening will feature:


Nora Fakim

The Magic of Mixed

Nora grew up in Beckenham and is a British journalist working for the BBC World Service and BBC Africa. Thanks to her mixed heritage (Moroccan and Mauritian parents), she was trilingual from a very young age. She specialises in reporting on the African diaspora and straddling identity in the UK and France. Her passion is breaking down stereotypes and giving a platform to a diverse range of people.



Singer, songwriter, producer, record label owner and star of Channel 4's reality TV show 'Highlife'.


Ade Onitolo

Wanna change the world, make money or have fun?

"My heritage is Nigerian, but I am British. I work in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and have represented the UK in Brussels, South Africa, Latin America and Iraq. I've also had stints outside government advising companies on doing business in other countries. I speak 3 languages well and others not so well. And I love learning - completed an MBA a few years ago, am teaching myself Python coding now."


Maame-Yaa Bempah

Your authentic self in the workplace

Maame-Yaa is the Financial Services Director at Notting Hill Genesis, an organisation. with a turnover of £900m where she is responsible for Financial Accounting Systems, Tax and Financial ESG. Maame-Yaa started her career 18 years ago, practising audit at a top 10 City-based advisory firm.

In addition, she is a Trustee at an Educational Charity, and a member of the Audit and Risk Board of the Chartered Institute of Housing.


Sabrina Fleurimé

Mind the gap! The work of BBSTEM

Sabrina Fleurimé is a drug development scientist who has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 5 years. During her time at AstraZeneca she met Kayisha, the founder of BBSTEM (Black British in STEM), and later decided to join the non-profit organisation. As the corporate sponsorship director, she is actively interacting with actors in the STEM field to bridge the gap between talents and opportunities.


"Clio" (1989) © Maud Sulter Estate, courtesy of Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum.

Dorothea Smartt FRSL

Clio, Connecting Medium

Dorothea Smartt FRSL is an activist, poet and live artist. She’s contributed internationally to Blackfeminist activism and worked at London’s Black Lesbian & Gay Centre Project. Her collection Ship Shape is an ‘A’ Level English Literature text. Her recent publication: Reader, I Married Him & Other Queer Goings-On, “is subversive… ultimately… about Black diasporic love.” She’s co-Director of INSCRIBE, a Black & Asian writer’s programme; and a visiting lecturer. Her commissioned poems will appear on ventilation columns of the forthcoming Thames Tideway Tunnel. She’s currently pursuing a PhD at UWI, Barbados.


Zhane Khan

The Hill We Climb

Zhane Khan is the Head Prefect at Sydenham School. Zhane, who is new to the role, worked with the rest of the prefect team to organise, 'Well Me, Well World' a well-being dropdown day for the whole school. This was a great success and will now be an annual event. Zhane’s goals include making the school an inclusive environment, a place where everyone can feel accepted and valued and where everyone can embrace each other's differences. Her talk will focus on aspiration and overcoming barriers.


Yvette Miller

Yvette Miller is a self-taught artist, born in London and of Jamaican heritage. Her art practice focuses on abstract expressionism and her work is inspired by her faith and the stories and emotions that unfold within human life experiences. Yvette is also the founder of the Black Cube Collective, which focuses on celebrating and supporting other black female abstract artists from around the world.


Jen Reid

Rise Up. Stand Tall.

Jen Reid was thrust into the limelight in June 2020 after attending a BLM protest in Bristol. A photo of her with her fist raised in a Black Power Salute on top of the empty plinth where Slave Trader Colston once stood went viral. She was contacted by world-renowned artist Marc Quinn asking her to collaborate with him to create the black resin statue of her titled 'Surge of Power'.


Brenda Dacres

Deputy Mayor of Lewisham

Cllr. Brenda Dacres is Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and Cabinet Member for Safer Communities with the additional responsibility for the Bakerloo Line Extension.

"I am a single parent who has lived in Lewisham for over 35 years. My parents came to England from Jamaica in the early 1960s, each in search of a better life. I was the first in the family to go to university after receiving a grant from Lewisham Council.

I am active within the community and have previously been a local primary school governor, and PTA Secretary for a Lewisham secondary school. I hold a degree in Physical Sciences with Computing and also a Law degree, being called to the Bar after successfully completing the Barrister Course in 2006.

I care about supporting our local schools and teachers to give the best education, and develop our children to their fullest potential; improving and increasing affordable housing; engaging our young people and ensuring they have the services they need. I want to work towards improving employment and apprenticeship opportunities locally."


Richelle Nelsen

Notting Hill Carnival

Richelle is an Operations Coordinator for her Carnival band. She helps with organising events as well as making costumes.

Richelle has enjoyed taking part in the annual event from a young age and is now she is an integral team member of Funatik Mas Band, which is a Carnival band for both adults and children. The thing she loves most about being in this band is the family feeling.


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