Dear Igbodefender, you need to read about this man, who owns a merchant bank in the UK, gives millions of Pounds in charity, and is in charge of Greater London, among other feathers o. Igbo were mmadu. Nigeria kwesiri i nye Ndi Igbo there haha me the di great for Nigeria, ho ha! Gwo maka this great man na the article below:
Ken Olisa can remember almost to the day when he started wearing bow ties. It was 1982, and he had just been promoted to regional marketing director for the computer company Wang Laboratories. The idea was that he didn’t want to appear like all the other Brits, jetting around Europe and beyond, dispensing orders. His other, less dandyish, gesture was to take French lessons. Fast forward more than three decades and the bow tie is still present, the French phrases less so.
“Once you’ve started, you can’t stop,” Olisa says, making his sartorial style sound like an addiction.
Then his tone changes: “There is a more serious point in the context of all the things I do now: if you are a black businessperson in the UK, there is a danger you look like all the other black business people.”
Is it best to stand out or fit in? When you become the first British-born black man to serve on the board of a major public company, there is a bit of both. And once he got going, Olisa hasn’t been able to stop. In the past 10 years, he has collected jobs and charity posts like stamps, with his latest, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, the most auspicious yet.
“I didn’t really know what one was,” he admits, giving most people’s reaction. At the end of May, Olisa began acting as a point man for the Royal Family, choreographing visits in the capital and sometimes standing in for them. It gives him an office in Whitehall, a smart new uniform – bow tie not included – and 90 staff.
He wants to take the role and run with it. Working at IBM first, and now running his own merchant bank, Restoration Partners, Olisa has a background in technology, but much of his time is spent on tackling homelessness and social exclusion.