Team

Thank you for visiting our website! We are a group of sincere, passionate, and committed individuals, all coming from different parts of the wonderful continent of Africa. We feel extremely proud of our heritage and homelands, but we are also equally proud of where we call home now – Milton Keynes. We are pleased to see that Milton Keynes is a town full of much diversity. It is our heartfelt desire and intention to bring together aspects of various African communities together through education, respect, and celebration as we embrace our various cultural backgrounds. We aim to find common ground, mutual respect, and genuine enjoyment in learning about other cultures and about our own histories. 

We are confident in our belief that working together makes us stronger! We welcome you to our website and encourage you to look through it and learn for yourself how the African Diaspora Foundation can help inspire you and your future!

Rooda Ibrahim

The Iron Woman”

I am originally from Somaliland; I was born in Mogadishu and grew up in Holland where I graduated with a MSc in Biomedical Science. I am a mother of three wonderful children. I moved to Milton Keynes in 2014 and currently work as a Science tutor at a private organisation called Heego Afterschool Club. This was where I started to realise the issues within the BAME community in Milton Keynes. This motivated me to step up and do something about it. 2017 was a key year in my realisation of this issue. This was the year where Milton Keynes witnessed a shooting. This shocked many people and changed their perception. I organised an event to give the Somali community a voice where they can elect a representative, a chairperson, and have more transparency and accountability from their community leaders as we were in desperate need.

This was also the year where the African Diaspora Day event, now called The ADF Festival, was born. The main purpose was to give the African community a voice and a platform to network, educate our children and wider community about the wonderful cultures of Africa, and create a community bond and a sense of Umoja, or ‘oneness’. The overall aim of the event is to strive for, and maintain, unity in the family, community, and nation.  

Being part of the ADF and the Somali community has enabled me to develop excellent communication skills, resilience skills and the ability to work with communities on a wider scale. I am very keen to develop both organisations to the highest level possible and to give the African communities a voice. I firmly believe the issues we have in our communities can be solved if we all get involved.

I represent the Ethiopian community in Milton Keynes. I have been getting involved in ADF for the past four years mainly in the media team to create awareness about our continent, Africa. Media is the most powerful tool to engage with the wider community in Milton Keynes and people from outside of MK. The ADF festival platform showcases our heritage, identity, African roots and who we are as African diaspora in the most artistic ways and I have always wanted to get involved in telling our African story to the wider community through art and ADF does it well every year and I am so happy to be part of it and will carry on to make it bigger and better. ADF has so much potential as a non profitable foundation to make a difference in our community and make the African diaspora community connect with each other in positive ways and teach the wider community about what African people are all about and their role to make our community a more harmonised place.

I am privileged to be part of the ADF team will continue to make a difference.

Todi Merdekiyos
Rosemarie Gumbo

My name is Rosemarie Gumbo. I’m originally from Tanzania, I grew up as a child with ambition to be a journalist and artist. I grew up with both my parents who were business entrepreneurs, where I gained the experience of running a business at the age of 13. I started tailoring and designing at the same age from my mother’s tailoring studio (shop). I took my studies and high school education in Africa before I moved up to England 1999 where I joined college for further education. I moved to Milton Keynes in 2001 where I started my own family, working part time and doing my small business of events planner/decorator and clothes designer/tailor. 

In 2007 I started being motivated and working within the community because I was a mother of two children who needed friends in the community and at school. During this period of time I learnt not only a parent can look after a child but it takes a community to raise a child. So I took it seriously and I joined different groups of local communities and help lots of schools charity work. I also joined the Swahili Diaspora UK, where I learnt and participated in many events, including showcasing my clothes, fashion show and assisting people to learn culture and our traditional wear.

In ADF my position is an event planner and fashion show coordinator. Being part of the ADF team and Swahili community has helped me to learn and communicate easily with many people from different countries. Also I have been able to connect my children with other youth and make an impact and difference into the community. Moreover I feel it’s a good platform to develop and embrace my designing and tailoring work to my community. Assisting them to create and keep updating many cultural styles. At the same time I enjoy my hobbies of creativities, designing, performing fashion shows and beauty.

My name is Eddie Juma. I am an entrepreneur and owner of Neme Media company that has partner with African Diaspora Foundation in 2018. 

I was born and raised in Tanzania, Zanzibar and I found media production allowed my creativity to run wild – all of which lead to getting involved in my dream, that I am still passionate about.  I have experience of more than 10 years in the industry, I have participated in a number of national and international projects. It is through this skill I was introduced to the African Diaspora Festival and subsequently moved on to become the Media Coordinator of the African Diaspora Foundation (ADF). 

Media production allows me to use these skills and give the young people a voice to empower them and capture the role models and to inspire others. Through ADF we would like to raise awareness.

Eddie Juma
Ben Mikisa

My name is Ben Mikisa and I am originally from Uganda. I live in Milton Keynes. I am a father and a husband. I am a computer engineer by profession and also a community organiser. 

I was attracted to African Diaspora Foundation (ADF) because of its inclusivity in covering all African differing traditions, cultures, fashions and foods. The ADF helps people of all differing African descents to come together sharing their experiences through the African Diaspora Festival and promote BAME opportunities in the public area. It is my pleasure to serve and help my fellow Africans in any way I can.

I like to see the ADF providing workshops and seminars educating people from African backgrounds about several aspects of life which affect them in their day to day living such as dealing with police, health, education and how to connect with people of influence to further their opportunities. 

Having relocated from London to Milton Keynes in 2007 Akuchi and her family have called Milton Keynes home ever since. Her roots stem from West Africa and she has always thrown herself at any positive pursuit that highlights the virtues of her mother land whilst also appreciating the multicultural elasticity of the United Kingdom.

Akuchi became interested in African Diaspora Foundation (ADF) because of the positive image the group highlighted within the African community in Milton Keynes and also how graciously the ADF festivals showcased the richness of Africa. She joined the group and became a part of the steering squad, heavily involved with the volunteering team.

ADF aims to play a major role in encouraging everyone of African descent to be proud of their rich heritage, to always see themselves as equal citizens regardless what part of the world they find themselves in and to work hard to be the best version of themselves.

Akuchi wears many hats and in her own words she says, “we are not in this world to do just one thing”. She holds an LLB in Law, is an avid writer and is a published author, a serial entrepreneur, a certified IT professional and currently horns her professional skills as a Housing Compliance Officer with a UK based Organisation. She has won and received many awards as a direct result of her good will endeavours.

Being a part of ADF has exposed her more to the plights of community integration and she is willing to do her utmost best to help solve problems within her community.

Akuchi Oriaku
Maria Constable

My name is Maria Constable I was born and raised in South Africa/Zimbabwe. I am a designer and discovered my enthusiasm for fashion at an early age and enjoying all the practical aspect of fashion. 

Eight years ago, l found myself in a new city, expecting twins, and knowing nobody. I couldn’t help but feel isolated. After the twins’ first birthday, l was determined to interact with more people. It just so happens that l am good at designing and creating bespoke clothing, and there was a demand for such skills within the local community. Having worked with a lot of women, I realised that most communities stuck to their own, not branching out. When l was approached to be part of the ADF team, that would work on bringing all communities together, I took the opportunity as l believe in teamwork, skill sharing, unity and empowering our communities as a whole. In my eight years in Milton Keynes, l completed my BA in International Business, won an African Business Entrepreneur award in 2016, created runway gowns and coordinated the ADF Festival fashion show in 2019. One day l hope we will see a United African community in Milton Keynes.

My name is Ophylia Daniels and I am a multi-skilled serial entrepreneur. I am originally from Ghana and live in Milton Keynes with my family. I am a qualified teacher of science and have taught in several schools across Milton Keynes for over 10 years, including work with young people who have been permanently excluded from schools who nonetheless need to gain qualifications. Also, as an expert Early Years Professional, I have contributed to raising standards in childcare across nurseries in the region.

I am also a qualified Project Manager and it is through this skill I was introduced to the African Diaspora Day (ADD) and subsequently moved on to become the Co-Chair of the African Diaspora Foundation (ADF). The core aim of projecting Africa in a positive limelight to the world, through core values of Identity, Cohesion and Cultural Education, as opposed to what it is frequently portrayed in the media, is what drives my passion to work with the ADF. I worked as the Entertainment and Stage Manager for the ADF Festival in its 2nd year and have been a Co-Coordinator for food parcel distribution to affected members of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In my spare time, I enjoy organising styling events, cooking and making jewellery.

Ophilia Daniels
Ade Omotunde

Ade Omotunde (aka Seed Master) was born in London and moved to Nigeria at the age of 10. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1989 to pursue a career in software engineering. He has worked as a systems analyst for several fortune 500 companies and investment banks across UK and Europe. An entrepreneur and a co-investor in a £6,000,000 real estate development project on the continent of Africa.

Ade is a transformational speaker, software systems consultant, life coach, and a community leader with over 20 years experience. He is the CEO of Purpose Valley, a technology and design company registered in England and Wales. Ade joined ADF June 2018 because of his passion for African youth, to give them a voice and to help encourage community cohesion and integration into the wider community. Ade’s main contribution is in the area of corporate strategy, technology, and to help ADF transform itself to the next level.

Ade’s interests are: Philosophy, Robotic, AI, Software engineering, Fashion and Culture.

Leila Ture Samati, 22-year-old, was born and raised in Portugal but originally from Guinea Bissau, a small country in the west of Africa. Portugal was where she started her modelling career then she moved to Milton Keynes in 2014 and pursuit a professional modelling career and beauty pageant competitions. In 2017 Leila was 2nd Runner up and Miss communication in Miss Guinea Bissau Portugal. In 2018 she won the title of Miss Africa Great Britain and Miss Catwalk, and 2019 Leila was contested In Miss World.

In 2019 Leila created her Charity called “Hope” a charity aimed to help children in Africa with education, she travelled to Guinea Bissau with her mother where they helped over 300 children with stationery and supported an orphanage, also in 2019 Leila took part in African Diaspora festival as a modelling mentor for the fashion show and took part in many other events and modelling work.

Leila currently owns a business with her mother called “Leila’s Beauty Salon” Hairdresser & Beautician it is a successful 3 years business in Milton Keynes, Wolverton, besides having a business she is also in full time education at the University of Northampton studying “International Business” Leila wants to be a successful business expert, using her skills in communication. Leila knows how to speak fluent Portuguese, English, Spanish and she can speak a little French. 

Leila Samati
Amina Idowu

Amina Idowu was born in Nigeria in the city of Lagos, she moved to Milton Keynes in 2005. She studied Political Science before migrating to  England to pursue a career in Early Years education. She was also a recruiter for Marks and Spencers for a few years.

Amina is a fully qualified Early Years and Youth practitioner with over 13yrs experience. She has also worked with young offenders in England. She is currently the  CEO of Great Kid (GK) Limited registered in England and Wales. 

Amina also has a passion for fashion, and design of African attire. She joined ADF July 2018 as a volunteer to provide support for community programmes developed and executed by ADF  especially the African Diaspora Festival.

Programmes: From 2013 – Late 2018 she ran a series of projects known as “Parenting With A Difference” . This involved parents and their children. 

 My name is Nyararai Alex Utaunashe, I was born in Gutu province in Zimbabwe. Moved to London in 2000 after completing my “A Levels”. Graduated with BSC in Mental health nursing at Kingston University. Trained as DBT therapist and passionate about counselling. Spend a considerable amount of time working with youth. Young people who struggle with confidence, lost purpose in life, and experience identity crisis. Many end up derail, involved in drugs and other petty crimes. In this journey, it was obvious many young people struggle with mental health and lack of opportunities. Rather than focusing on offering treatment and support to individual struggling with mental health only. I took a challenge in researching the rout cause of mental health problems. That gave me insight to wide range of factors such as: Political instability, poverty, social discrimination, diversity and identity crisis. 

I worked as volunteer with my local church but in order to make a difference in the wide community, I made a choice to join ADF community who shared the same vision and the burden I had. In 2018, I became effectively involved in Coordinating functions and planning activities. I was also effective in supporting young people to connect and integrate through playing football. We utilise the opportunity to embrace and speak to young people about future carer development and other issues they raised. 

Milton Keynes being diverse town, I would like to continue support multicultural connection where people feels they belong to the community. Build trust and transparency, support young people to build confidence and aspire to have a bright future. ADF’s main mission is to give people platform to showcase Cultures, language, tradition and talents. ADF gave me confidence to break barriers, build resilience and ability to be a team player. My hope is that people will understand vision of ADF, fight for what we believe in and unite our communities. Together we can win, create a better community and neighbourhood. 

Alex Nyararrai
Grace Mwadime

My name is Grace I am an entrepreneur and I have established in MK my own Child Care company. I was born and grew up in Nairobi. I am a member of the Kenyan get together community. I moved to Milton Keynes 12 years ago and I am an entrepreneur. 

What attracted me to join was the level of integrity, diversity, passion and commitment from the core team.

What I hope to see is change in how we all, as Africans, work, build and support each other. I strongly believe we are better together and a force to be reckoned with when we come together as a community.

I believe we should contribute to the society and play an active role to promote equality and I would like to see us stopping to feel that we are always the victims.

We need to educate our children, telling them that there are consequences attached to any decision they make. We need to clarify to them that wrong means WRONG and right means RIGHT. 

My name is Temi Ajiboye I was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. I am a hair dresser and discovered my passion for hair 15 years ago at an early age and I am enjoying all the practical aspect of hair styles. 

I am the co-founder of the African Diaspora Foundation. I worked as a volunteer with my local NASFAT and Nigerian community, but in order to make an impact in the wider community, I work with ADF community who shared the same vision.  I became effectively involved coordinating food parcels, organising cultural educational workshops and planning activities for the annual festival. 

In my line of work, I support young people to develop the opportunity to embrace and speak about future career development and other issues raised. Whilst doing all of these, I collaborated with family members to supply basic clothing, food, bedding to vulnerable student with disability in Ibadan my birth place.

By being a part of ADF, it gives me the confidence to inspire the community with African heritage, regardless of race, gender or age, and contribute my bit to promote the UMOJA concept.

Temi Ajiboye
Tesfa Merdekiyos

My name is Tesfa Merdekiyos and I represent the Ethiopian community in Milton Keynes. I have been involved in ADF for the past four years as a member of  the finance team. 

ADF creates awareness about our continent, Africa.  ADF festival platform showcases our heritage, identity, African roots and who we are as African diaspora in the most artistic ways, and I have always wanted to get involved in telling our African story to the wider community through art. ADF does it well every year and I am so happy to be part of it and will carry on to make it bigger and better. ADF has so much potential as a non profitable foundation to make a difference in our community and make the African diaspora community connect with each other. We also find positive ways to educate the wider community about what African people are all about and their role to make our community a more harmonised place.

I am privileged to be part of the ADF team and hope to make a difference.