Home ACES Conference 2020 – Speakers & Participants

ACES Conference 2020 – Speakers & Participants

Co Host – Alex Gordon Motivational Speaker

Alex is UK’s no. 1 Inspirational Dream Framework Speaker and Trainer who speaks on Unlocking Your Creative Genius. Podcaster | Certified Worldclass Speaker Coach | Author

Linkedin Profile

Co- Host Mavis Amankwah – Rich Visions

Mavis Amankwah is a British-Ghanaian entrepreneur, businesswoman and diversity ambassador, specialising in marketing, public relations, diversity communications and business start up & sustainability.  Amankwah has been featured in over 200 press titles including, the Telegraph, The Voice, The Guardian, PR week.  She owns several businesses, and with Rich Visions she has been able to raise a total of over Seven million pounds in funding for entrepreneurs. Mavis created Rich Visions nearly 20 years ago, and the organisation has spawned offshoot business entities including:

  • Rich Visions Small Business
  • RV Social
  • Women Like Me Business Club
  • Be Mogul
  • Marvel Recruit
  • Rich Visions Diversity Comms

Website: Rich Visions


Sheldon Thomas – Founder of Gangsline

Gangsline is a 24-hour emergency telephone service for gangs or young people in trouble. Sheldon Sebastian Thomas is a former British gang member and the founder and chief executive of Gangsline Foundation Trust, a nonprofit organisation established in 2007 to provide assistance to young people involved in gang culture. The organisation also deals with grooming and radicalisation. He has contributed to television and radio and has been involved in work with Scotland Yard and the Home Office They operate a 24-hour emergency telephone service for youth in trouble.

Links: gangsline.com

Lee Jasper – Former Deputy Mayor of London and Founder of Blacksox

Lee Jasper is Former Deputy Mayor of London and Blaksox Founder.

Lee’s specialties include High level strategic policy development and Confidential political advice. He is an expert in Crime and community relations with Equality and diversity policy development assessment and implementation. He has assisted many organisations in delivering real outcomes. He is an long time activist and public speaker who delivers Leadership training and Dispute resolution. He is able to mobilise a crowd to protest against unfair practices, and many of the issues he has campaigned about for years, the general public and corporations are finally taking notice following the BLM protests in the Summer of 2020.

Lee believes strongly in:

Political education
Political participation
Promotion of equality and human rights
Political representation

Website: leejasper.blogspot.com

Judge Peter Herbert OBE – Barrister

Political activist and chair of the Society of Black Lawyers. Called to the Bar in 1982, Peter Herbert is the current National Chairperson of the Society of Black Lawyers. As Chair, he has championed the cause of racial equality within the criminal justice system and the legal profession as a whole. Appointed to the Judicial Studies Board in 1991, he was involved in the first ever series of race awareness training programmes for judges.

Website: Society of Black Lawyers

Professor Wangui Goro

Professor Wangui wa Goro has enjoyed a multidisciplinary life spent over forty years as a public intellectual. She is a widely acclaimed translator, writer, poet, academic, cultural curator, editor with a great passion for languages, literature and freedom. She is best known for her scholarship as a translation theorist, critic, practitioner and promoter, including its practical applications. She has spent a large part of her adult life promoting and nurturing literature/translation as an academic, through translation, teaching, criticism, curation, research and service in different parts of the world. She runs the international intercultural dialogues Africa in Translation (AiT) through SIDENSI. She has served in many academic, literary organizations, journals, magazines, and prizes and supported publishing houses as a reader/critic and on many academic boards and literary committees. For instance, she has served as the Co-Convenor of the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association and the Deputy President of the African Literature Association.

Professor Goro has been recognized for her contribution to literature, including with an Honorary Professorship of Practice in Translation at SOAS and with a Visiting Professorship at Kings College London. She considers herself an ambassador and advocate for human, social, political and cultural rights and enjoys working with young people. Her friends consider her the quintessential transnational global Pan African, feminist Afropolitan, which though she finds hilarious, she relishes. Her recent work has appeared in the highly acclaimed New Daughters of Africa edited by Margaret Busby, and she is well known for her translations of Ngugi’s wa Thiong’o’s earlier work and Veronique Tadjo’s work, as the Crow Flies among other translations through which she broke new ground for, in and across African literatures. She also translates works from French and Italian. Her own fiction work “Heaven and Earth” in A day and a Half and other stories (McMillan) edited by Ayebia Clarke was taught on the Kenyan curriculum for several years, and her story “Deep Sea Fishing” edited by Ama Ata Aidoo (Ayebia) appeared in the award winning African Love Stories.

Social Media Profile

Vonley Joseph – UK’s foremost Sales Expert and Business Education Specialist

Vonley has acquired over three decades of sales experience across several sectors in B2B, B2C, and the third sector.
In his current roles as business development director for Global Educ8tions online learning college, BE Ltd sales academy and Sales Mastery UK he is currently campaigning to raise awareness for sales to be promoted as a professional career pathway in schools, colleges, and universities.

Vonley is passionate that sales will be the accelerator to reduce the UK and global poverty gaps and partners with private, public and third sector organisations to recruit and develop new and existing salespeople into professional selling.

Websites: Sosi Innovation
Online College: Global Educ8tions

Alf Allen – Management Consultant

Alf Allen is the owner of the 4C Company provides interim management and consulting services through senior business and technology personnel. He achieves improved business efficiency for his clients, applying his expertise to ensure effective use of people, processes and technical solutions and as a consequence saves companies millions. Clients have included: Barclaycard, Vodaphone, Aviva and BT.

Management consultancy Website: The4c

Secure Cybersecurity Hosting: Cloudsol Enterprise Grade Security

Dr Jennifer Obaseki

Dr Jennifer Obaseki Holds a BA in Law and Economics and is the founder of Obaseki Solicitors. With her expertise in representing clients in commercial law and also difficult immigration and human rights matters, demand for her services spread internationally.

The practice has grown nationally, considered to have leading influence with high-profile and reported cases. The firm is dedicated to achieving successful results for clients improving human rights, family rights as well as assisting Corporate and self-employed clients to secure intellectual property and achieve a solid global business. Dr Obaseki and her Team have acquired a number of prestigious awards and quality marks

Apart from managing her practice and running her Ngo, Dr Obaseki is a busy mother of five children, is a regular guest on television discussing legal matters impacting in Diaspora communities, is the Chair of Association of Professionals Against Gender Based Violence, Nigerian London Business Forum and lectures internationally on FGM and Harmful traditional practices.

Website: obasekisolicitors.com

Sarah Mook

Sarah is a Facilitator and Freelance Trainer with a keen interest in diversity matters and black history.

After a degree in French and Drama, Sarah started a teaching career in a multicultural inner city secondary school in the East End of London. Since then, she has taught in a variety of settings, including primary schools and a progressive school where there was considerable emphasis on experiential and creative learning. Following this, she took up a post managing a project for disaffected young people who had been excluded from school. The work involved motivating these pupils to reintegrate them into the mainstream system, intervention with families and the occasional visit to the Feltham Young Offenders Unit.

Saddened by the large numbers of children who were failed by the system, Sarah spent time in the United Kingdom and in the United States studying organisational change and researching models of effective learning. For eleven years, she worked as was a trainer, facilitator and consultant working with, among others, ALiTE, The National Union of Teachers, Vision for Learning and the Fast-track programme.

She has presented to more than 500 diverse schools with groups from as small as 6 delegates to as large as over 600. The courses were usually customised for the schools and covered topics such as Learning How We Learn, Whole School Change, Conflict and Behaviour Management, Multiple Intelligence and Thinking Skills.

She also assists with Leadership Training and Staff Cohesion problem solving.

Website: Sarahmook.co.uk

Ayo Benson Olarewaju FCCA FCA MBA

Ayo Benson Olarewaju FCCA FCA MBA trained as a Chartered Accountant with MBA from Oxford in United Kingdom.
He is the author of ‘Goldmine of Your Mind-Your Fast Track to Abundance’, which explores mindset and entrepreneurship As a Business Coach, Ayo helps experts rapidly build a prosperous business.

After many successful years in the corporate environment, He has devoted the rest of his career to helping established entrepreneurs as a Business Coach to help them get exponential results without the stress of working 70 to 90 hours a week. His desire to help people was implanted from his early life experience and his full story could be found in some of his television, radio, newspapers etc. interviews. He is a subject matter expert sought after by the media because of his insights about business and psychology of success.

Website: mbckonsult.com

Afua Yeboah

Generalist Senior Human Resource and Organisational Development professional with over twenty years work experience. Providing HR advisory services including:- Recruitment, Employee relations, Employee Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion, Training and Development, Restructuring, downsizing, Change management specialist services.

Afua also works as a freelance “Investors in People Practitioner”, undertaking assessments and providing support to business and organisations looking to achieve Investors in People accreditation

Linkedin Profile

Mark Dalgety

The distinctive colourful boxes of Dalgety Teas are instantly recognisable. Found on the shelves of most supermarkets and specialist food stores, Dalgety is probably one of the most successful Caribbean-owned businesses in Europe.

Established 25 years ago, the company has blazed a trail for Caribbean teas and natural products. It can now be found as far afield as China, Malta, Nigeria, USA and Canada. The company’s award-winning founder, Mark Dalgety, grew up in the Caribbean under the stewardship of an aunt, who drank herbal teas to counteract her ailments. She was the inspiration behind the business.

Dalgety Teas core business manufactures more than 20 varieties of 100% natural , strong flavour Herbal Teas.

Mark is also engaged in Non-Tea business activities including the manufacturing of Extra!Extra! Hot Pepper Sauce, Noni Juice and Power Bitters

Website: www.dalgety.co

Kevin Tomlin – Founder – Signature Sounds Online

Bio: Since 2007 Kevin has been focusing on delivering a chronological study of music of black origin from the cities of the USA. This has developed into a complete and comprehensive work of the artists, their music and the people behind the signature sounds of the cities of the USA, the cultural, social and economic impact in the past sixty years. Kevin is also a Visual Artists and his work can be found on instagram: @KevinTomlinArt

Website: signatureshoundsonline.com

Abena Gray – Owner – Swimming School

Abena Gray is the Founder and Director of the high quality London based swim school, Goggle and Giggle founded in 2010. Abena’s successful and popular swim school has a reputation for excellent specialist training programmes aimed for beginners to triathletes offering lessons to babies, children and adults. Through Goggle and Giggles’ tailored approach, the swim school offers a wide range of services from home visits to specialist intensive courses and private lessons 1:1 to groups nationally and internationally. Abena’s clients have also included high profile individuals.

With over a decade of experience teaching swimming and managing a team of highly experienced and expert swim coaches, Abena has successfully expanded her swim school across five London boroughs serving over five thousand students. Goggle and Giggle has established itself as one of London’s most popular swim school with a reputation for exceptional service. Her youngest clients are 2 years old, and the eldest is 84. The 84 year old, could not swim 2 years ago and now does 100 laps a week, and has brought his children and grandchildren to learn to swim also. As well as teaching enthusiastic learners and athletes, Abena uses creative and expert methods to work with people who are water phobic and swimmers recovering or living with long-term illness.

Website: goggleandgiggle.co.uk

Alfred Samuels – Health Advocate

Alfred worked in the entertainment industry for the 28 years, for stars such as Bob Dylan, Harrison Ford, Sade, Seal, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey, Oasis, Spandau Ballet and Rod Stewart, to mention but a few. Then illness struck.

Diagnosed in early 2012, with Advanced Prostate Cancer, Alfred went through an exhausting three-year intrusion of his mind, body, and soul. Alfred has written two books. The first covers extracts of a detailed day-by-day diary. His second book covers his interpretation of a cancer journey, along with its pitfalls, twists and turns of the side effects of treatment, and will to live.

Alfred was initially given six months to live, after his diagnosis, based on the advanced stage of his cancer, he was asked if he would like to participate in the Cancer Research UK-funded Stampede drug trial. He had nothing to lose, so he went ahead.

More men are now dying from prostate cancer in the UK than women are from breast cancer. One in eight men in the UK will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. That likelihood is doubled for black men, with one in four being affected by Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. Research, by Cancer Research UK, reveals that one man dies of Prostate cancer every 45 minutes in the UK, and that figure has been increasing over the past 20 years. Prostate Cancer UK estimates that more than 120 million pounds in research funding is needed to make sufficient advances in research, screening and treatment.

Now 8 years, after his dire diagnosis, Alfred has survived advanced Prostate Cancer and he challenges everyone of us to become aware of the early signs of cancer, get ourselves checked, and help support the UK Cancer Awareness and Research Programmes.

Website: alfredsamuels.com

Movery Livingston – Restore Communities

Movery Livingston is a seasoned business man who has experience in the restaurant trade, building trade and hairdressing / barbering trade. He is the co-founder of Restoring Our Community Ltd (ROC) which is is a not for profit organisation that aims to help to redress some of the imbalances experienced in the UK Black community.

In more recent times however, and as a response to the Covid19 pandemic, the organisation has been donating food and grocery items given to us, to various foodbanks and organisations assisting the homeless and vulnerable.

As a result of the great need he has seen since the pandemic started, he has looked into the foodbank provision especially in London and became aware that some local authorities do not operate foodbanks.

He is now encouraging churches in those areas to partner with us in setting up new foodbanks to serve their congregations and wider communities, for people are suffering because of loss of jobs, or no hope of getting serious work until after the pandemic is over.

Movery is also concerned with other aspects of education and welfare in black communities, and feels that churches can do more to accelerate development and growth.

Website: restoring-ourcommunity.org

Korede Awobowale – Beehive Tuition

Korede knows that every parent wants the best for their child but there’s just so much information out there that it’s difficult to figure out where to start. That’s where her business Beehive Tuition Services comes in.

She helps to narrow down the options and create an education road map aimed at helping children succeed.

She offers face to face tuition, and online tuition in Maths, English, Creative Writing, Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning From one student to many students and staff. She is a young success story.

Website: Beehive Tuition

Charity: Vemoye Foundation

Grant Associates – FinTech Business Analyst

The founder of Grants Associates has worked in the financial services sector for nine years. Her specialism is in the capital markets industry – Analysis, Finance and Product management for Senior Management

Three things to describe her are:
Analytical, Passionate and Entrepreneurial.

Manoeuvring your way through the City as a black female is obtainable but we have unique challenges which makes ever step a mountain to climb. Leila hopes that everyone will be able to take away some lessons from her experience.

She offers a mentoring service for employees who need support and encouragement while working in the City or Canary Wharf, or any corporate environment.

Linkedin Profile

Billy D Bignell – The Education Network and Travel

Billy is the owner of The Educators Network Limited. They sell stationary and educational equipment through Amazon

He also runs a Business Start-Up Clinic offers Vocational Training Courses. In the name of diversity and inclusion he is reaching out to help individuals and community groups to be sustainable, and get support from sponsors, mentors, website designers, and advisors.

Billy also owns a Website Hosting Company called Total Website Builders Limited.
This offers Website Designers, & Website Builders With Support 24 Hours Per Day.

Lola Denga – Administrator (Speaking from Zimbabwe)

Lola is an administrator who works with Black Economics. She lives in Zimbabwe, and is currently setting up an e-commerce portal to help Zimbabwean women. Lola will be speaking about life in Zimbabwe during Covid times.

James Ahabyona – Economist (Speaking from Uganda)

James Ahabyona is a final year student at Makerere University, College of Business and Management Sciences pursuing a degree in Development Economics.

He  Co-founded The Economic Misfit a Pan African knowledge hub that is built on a commitment to generating analytical and relevant knowledge for the development of the African continent.
He was part of the organizing team of The Gavel Club Conference 2019 at Makerere University under the Theme “The Role of The Youth In the African Continental Free Trade Area”

In 2018, James was selected to be part of the Online Learning Project at Coventry University where he researched with his peers at Makerere and Coventry University to write a report about Monetary Policy in Uganda and the UK

Between 2018 and 2020 James was a founding member and an Executive committee member of Makerere University Economic society where they achieved the following; Registration of the society, enrollment of over 150 members, organized 2 career talks and secured Professor Edward Bbale , The Dean School of Economics as the patron of the society.

As the Co-Founder of Move Network International, he advocates for policies that protect and promote the rights of Teenage mothers.

Website: TheEconomicMisfit.com

Mika Manaki – Musician ( Speaking from Kenya)


Kenyan based artist MIKA MANAKI, real name Kimana Gatigwa, is a new emerging talent in the music arena, having broke into the industry in late 2018 which has earned him several performances including Bradley’s fashion Show at Micheal Joseph Centre, University Gala Nights to name a few.

Mika Manaki couldn’t have chosen a better time to be in the Kenyan and African music scene, with more and more break out artists getting focus in the industry for their unique sounds and fusions.

He is a dynamic artist capable of singing and rapping thus has allowed him to develop a capability in hip-hop, trap, Caribbean and Afro-pop genres respectively. Mika Manaki has achieved up to Grade 4 in classical music theory and Piano (ABRSM London piano international exams) and Guitar as well (Grade 2) and later on developed a taste for singing whilst at his home church Ridgeways Baptist Church. During this time he discovered that he loved to not only to play music, but to create it. Being inspired to sing from influences surrounding him at an early age such as, Michael Jackson, Sean Paul, New Edition, Usher, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars and Adam Lavigne it was only natural that he would join the musical world to make his mark.

He later started music production training in 2013 and during a battle of the bands competition in 2013 at the French school in Nairobi, he found his heart cemented in music. Since then he has worked on his sound and has released twelves singles to date and is currently working on two albums; ‘Conscious Transgression’ (hip-hop/trap) and ‘Just A Touch(Afro-pop and Caribbean).

MIKA aims to bring a new edge to music using his unique style and sound and stands to show that belief in one’s self and capability, can be enough to not just change and achieve something but also influence others to attain theirs dreams. In 2011 after the loss of his mother to cancer, who was his biggest supporter, teacher and shoulder, his world spiralled off track and music kept him in line as much as possible. Now, he wishes to inspire through action and music that not all is lost for those who are willing to rise above life’s challenges. And also last but not least represent his home and continent, globally.

Weblink: https://web.facebook.com/Mikamanaki254

YouTube Channel: here

Soboye – Fashion Designer – Virtual Show

Samson Soboye is the Founder and Creative Director behind SOBOYE, a London based African Fashion & Lifestyle brand and Boutique.

Samson Soboye has over 20 years experience in the creative industries and is the, British Nigerian creative behind this successful brand that was established in 2002 in Shoreditch, a lively, artistic, vibrant, energetic area of east London.

In 1999 Samson developed his love of Textiles & Interiors by starting his own label: Samson Soboye Home Couture. Here he created elegant hand made cushions and throws using faux furs, unusual hides, Mongolian Lamb, butter soft suede’s and leathers creating a trend for ‘touchy, feely’ luxurious interiors which were widely acclaimed by the style press with editorials regularly featured in Luxury Lifestyle magazines such as: The World of Interiors, Elle Decoration, House & Garden, Wallpaper and Living Etc.

In 2015 Samson was appointed Head Stylist for African Fashion Week London(AFWL) a post he continues to hold as well as showcasing his Men’s & Womenswear.

Website: Soboye

Elliot Browne MSC DM MBA – Consultant

Strategic Choice & Partnership – Listen Research Deliver

A management and organisational development consultant, with considerable strategic, operational and clinical management experience within the health sector and with private SME’s. His early career started in Diagnostic Medical Microbiology and went on to become one of the first Afro Caribbean head of Diagnostic Pathology Services.

He is a former Divisional Director in 2 Teaching NHS Trust and founded 2Way Consulting in 2008 specialising in high-level management, marketing, and financial support to Surgeons private practices, Limited Companies and Partnerships.

Elliot has worked on a wide range of initiatives including Company Restructure, Contracts for Medical Staff, Establishiing a Recruitment Department, Implementing Organisational Wide IT Systems and Governance Frameworks.

Elliot is an advocate for teamwork, supporting and treating others fairly. He has highly developed interpersonal and communication skills that engages others in the delivery of challenging objectives. Rececently he has contributed to the development of Equality & Diversity (on- line) Training for organisations.

He has acted as a Mentor & Executive Coach to individuals starting their work career and Directors pursuing further personal development.

He is the founder member of Victito.com focused on advising individuals dealing with difficult workplace issues such as discrimination & bullying.

Elliot relaxes by playing guitar for the function band Smooth Edge, based in Greater Manchester.

Websites: www.voctito.com



Antoine “Digital” Patton – Founder – Tech School, Unlock Academy (Speaking from America)

Antoine Digital is the Compassionate Leader and Founder of Unlock Academy. He taught himself how to code when he was serving 8 years in prison. Since his release, he has been on a mission after mission to use the power of technology, coding and software to empower the Black diaspora.

“They unlock Black Techies”

Recently Featured in Forbes Magazine.

Website: https://www.unlock.academy/

Social Media: @Antoine.Digital (Instagram 56.8k followers)

Jay Jay “Digital” Patton – Unlock Academy – Tech Teen (Speaking from America)

Jay Jay, the daughter of Antoine has been featured in the media including Teen Vogue, CNET, Forbes, and many more platforms. The voice of Youth. Jay Jay is a great teacher and a Master student. Using her sponge-like mind, she started learning how to code when she was just 10 years old. She created her first app at 12 years old. Coach Jay Jay teaches youth how to code in a simplified and fun format. She is the Teenager who teaches Tech. She helps to run – Unlock Academy Tech School with her father where anyone can be taught to build websites, apps and games?

Instagram: Profile

Timothy Lobban – Economist

Timothy Lobban is a Cambridge Land Economy graduate from Lewisham, London of the UK. Lobban has spent much of his working life within and throughout China, split between two careers: one in education and one in media. Since then, he has moved on from China and is now based out of Mombasa, Kenya, where he works as an online English language instructor and in media (mainly producing video content, writing and doing voiceover work).

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/SleepingGiantAfrica

Social media: @TeaconomistT (Twitter)

Dave Frederick – CEO Marcus Bishop Associates

Dave is a specialist probate accountant with a clear focus on helping clients develop a tax efficient estate plan because in business it is not what you EARN that matters – it is what you get to KEEP that really counts.

With Marcus Bishop Associates, which Dave founded, he manages a team of accountants and business professionals providing strategic business support services to their portfolio of personal and business clients.

He writes a monthly financial column in South East London – SE21 and SE22 published by SE Magazines, http://semagazines.co.uk/

He has written four accounting books and co-authored a further two books.

Website: Marcus Bishop Chartered Accountants

Abi OgunFemi – All Flourishing Cosmetics

Abi is the founder of All Flourish Cosmetics

AS a Black Owned Beauty Brand owner, she is inspired by the SHADES OF BEAUTY from around the world. She offers QUALITY PRODUCTS that are RICH and VIBRANT in colours for all to enjoy. All flourish cosmetics is committed to timeless products that bring out that special kind of confidence you only feel from cosmetics that ‘enhance the beautiful you’ to flourish and mesh perfectly with your lifestyle.

Website: allflourishcosmetics.com

Marcus the Visual – Artist (Speaking From America)

Marcus is a professional Illustrator and comic artist.

A long time lover of video games, comic art, and all things animated, He dedicated his young artistic years to fine tuning his illustration muscles by way of freelancing.

Stationed in Atlanta Ga, he spend most of his time toiling away late nights on everything from illustrating children’s books, comic art, to random character commissions and more. A proud father of two, he somehow manages to steal enough time to create loads of artwork and check homework.

Marcus the Visual Art

He appears to have landed on a winning project.
Ever since Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel series ended in 2014, fans have eagerly speculated about what the future might hold for the next Avatar. Many have even turned their theories into fanfiction, fan art and other fan works.

One creation has become so popular, there’s a petition for Nickelodeon to adapt it. Marcus the Visual aka Marcus Williams has created “The Legend of Abioye” the story of the next Avatar.

The Legend of Abioye’s features dynamic art from Marcus the Visual, ingenious world-building, adaption of canon and intriguing storyline make it a must-read for any and every Avatar fan – of which it seems there are many.

The story is still a work in progress, with new art and snippets released every so often by Williams on the fan work’s official Facebook page. The story is also available on Williams’ website (which often crashes when exposure is given to his work)

Website: Marcus the Visual

Youtube Channel: Marcus Williams

Social Media: @MarcustheVisual (Instagram 109k followers)

Cool_Ras Art – Artist (Speaking From America)

Artist Statement

I don’t want my art to just be seen, I want it to be experienced. My focus is to successfully convey a message or feeling through the images, colors, and brushstrokes in my work. I like to speak from my personal life experiences from my perspective as a young black male in America.

Cooli Ras Art

My aim is to explore social issues, culture, and history of the black community in the diaspora and abroad. My style is more graphic than realistic. I believe this makes the work easier for younger audiences to digest and also so that the viewer is focusing more on the content rather than just what the piece looks like.

Reflecting the human figure is very powerful to me, which is why I choose to tell my stories through portraiture and figurative works.  I want to create art that that the viewer connects with on a personal level. I want them to be able to see themselves, their friends, and their family in my work. By telling my story I want to help the viewer rediscover theirs.

Social Media @cooli_ras_art (Instagram 39.4k followers)

Website: Cooliras.com

Bertha Wensah – Fabric of Art

Bertha Wensah is an award winning Entrepreneur, Co-author of Ghana at 60, and a Speaker & Trainer based in London, UK.

With over a decade of experience in speaking and coaching young adults, personal development and life skills. Bertha has had the pleasure of speaking nationally and internationally across a wide range of platforms to educate, empower and equip her listeners.

Splitting her time between the UK and Ghana, Bertha’s passion is empowering females with the life skills and mindset shifts required to live and sustain a successful life, that offers true freedom and flexibility to be bold and courageous. 

Bertha is the CEO and the creative brain behind the award winning business, Fabric of Africa Frames


Antonietta Torsiello – Artist

Antonietta is a Painter, Textile Designer and Arts Educator working in East London. She has been exhibiting Artwork professionally since 2010 and has shown her work both in the UK and internationally in Germany and Italy.

Antonietta creates original paintings, commissions, Art Prints, Greeting & Christmas cards, mugs, bags and hand-printed homeware products such as cushions, lampshades, tea towels. She also specialises in hand-painted silhouette Art pieces (single and family portraits), recording black history and celebrating our heritage 

Christmas shop here: http://torsiellolondon.com/christmas

Instagram page: www.instagram.com/torsielloartist 

Felicia is an Economist, and Founder and Director of The Black Economists Network (T-BEN).

As director, Felicia has overseen the meteoric growth in membership of T-BEN and formed strategic alliances with reputable private and public sector organisations both national and internationally, including The Royal Economic Society, Government Economic Service (UK), the Sadie Collective (USA) etc.

She is also a fast stream Economist in the UK Government’s accelerated leadership development programme for talented graduates.

In 2019, Felicia was appointed by the UK Government Economic Services (GES) as Ambassador for its Civil Service fast stream recruitment scheme.

Felicia is passionate about using economics to drive investments and positively impact society and communities. She believes this will support equitable distribution of global resources to improve lives and living conditions of people in developing countries with emphasis on the continent of Africa.

Website: TBEN.co.uk

Veronica Masubo – Economist

Veronica works as a Policy Economist at the International Growth Centre under London School of Economics.

She previously worked as an economist with the PDI Fellowship scheme in Timorlest and Rwander, to gaine exposure int he International development sector. She is passion about the economic development and transformation of africa.

Veronica is passionate about use the diaspora network and financial literacy to build Africa. Her economic interests are on the industrial policy and structural transformation, fiscal policy, development finance and SME growth.

Linkedin Profile

Bokani Tshidzu – Artist & Entrepreneur

Bokani Tshidzu is an influential abstract painter and computational artist, social entrepreneur and climate campaigner. 

Bokani is a leading, female, African artist breaking new ground in abstract painting and using state-of-the-art virtual and augmented reality technology to create impactful installations. She is internationally exhibited and her street art creatively brings complex, interconnected environmental and social issues to the wider public. 

Best known as a star of BBC 1’s The Big Painting Challenge, Bokani was a fan favourite from the start. She won the public vote and was an unapologetic innovator, who became recognised for her unique approach to painting genres.

Before being discovered by the BBC, Bokani was co-founder of a successful, sustainability start-up for several years. She studied politics with economics, and later computational art. She has worked in investment banking and politics. Bokani continues to campaign on environmental and social issues. 

She was recently featured  on BBC 1 show The Big Painting Challenge and is currently pursuing a Masters in  Fine Art at Goldsmith College. 

Bokani previously founded Bells Wedding Company and was Co-Founder and Director  at Vertigo Ventures, where she led impact analysis, consultancy and reporting as well as product  innovation for the flagship e-reporting platforms VV-Impact Tracker and VV-Good Index. Over six years,  Bokani delivered B2B enterprise license sales with public and private sector clients, as well as  developing the brand of the company. Planning and implementing the company’s marketing strategy, she  fed the sales pipeline whilst maintaining a market-leading position which led to over six-figure revenues. 

Website: ArtbyBokani

Social Media: @Bokani (Instagram 9.5k followers)

Maria Ebenezer, Emerald Green Ushering Services (Speaking from Nigeria)

Maria Ebenezer is an ex-Model Founder of Emerald Green Ushering Services – Nigeria’s premium event staffing agency for West Africa events. She created a platform that trains young women across Nigeria to become certified professional event hostesses and get connected for jobs.

In addition she is the Creator of The Event Staffing Roadmap – an online course that coaches African women on how to start and scale their event staffing agencies.

She has currently trained over 1,400 young women across Nigeria and Cameroon to become professional event hostesses.

Maria was nominated for Nigeria’s 25 under 25 Awards for professional services in 2018, and has been recognized as top 100 entrepreneurs in Nigeria to build a viable and verified company before the age of 25.

Maria starting off as a Model, she featured in high-profile television commercials for Globacom, Konga, Peuogot Motors, Softsheen Carson and became the campaign face for Face of Pan-Africa in 2013.

Website: www.emeraldgreenushers.com

Dawn Grant – Founder of Black Economics & Tech Entrepreneur & Educator

Dawn is an Entrepreneur and Writer. She has created various tech products of which you are currently on one such project. She created BlackEconomics.co.uk in 2005 to develop a positive media outlet for black entrepreneurs and corporate employee achievement. The desire to to inspire higher aspirations and motivate to success.

Black Economics was created to Accelerate Commercial and Economic Strength in Black Communities. The CIC Company BEAAR Group Ltd, incorporates Black Economics and the other business offshoots below.

What Black Economics Does

  • Showcase Talent on a Media website and provide a Knowledge Base about Black Success, and Issues (BlackEconomics.co.uk)
  • Create a Black Business Directory App (BlackBizApp.net)
  • Promote Black Art (Icobart.org)
  • Connect Key Individuals.
  • Reduce Poverty, through various means.
  • Offer Training and Support for new Entrepreneurs and Careerists
  • Generate Sales for Businesses.
  • Campaign for Fairness in supply and shelf space representation (Mainstream Moves)
  • Encouraging best practices through events, training and mentoring.
  • Finding and Implementing Solutions to help Change Lives
  • Work with representatives in Africa and the Caribbean to share knowledge and increase capacity.
  • Reward Outstanding Achievement through Prizes and Awards projects.


Tech Business: UptechMDs.com

Dawn is also a writer, and uses the moniker D S Grant. She has authored nearly 20 books. Titles include “Three Minute Health”, “Longevity”, “Where’s the Father”, “Radical Motivation Strategies”, “How not to Run a Restaurant” and “Preparing for Zeussy” (the Kitten) Some of her book titles can be found on Amazon here.

Black Economics Members Ads

The Conference will Feature Advertising from Members of Black Economics. View Members List here.

To become a member join here