Concordia Winter 2023


Despite the challenges and exposure to racism, a tenacity born from their previous experiences of Empire ensured they adapted well and began to lay the groundwork for a brighter future. They learnt English, found jobs and lived modestly to save money. But they still felt unsettled or ‘non-citizens’ as my aunt described it. However, helped by the preservation of cultural identity and the nurturing of community ties, over time England began to feel like home. This is what enabled them eventually to harness the opportunities they had with exposure to Higher Education. A defining characteristic of families like ours is their unwavering commitment to education, aware of its transformative impact. Being a professional meant a secure job, reasonable pay and respect in society, and so their remarkable path was carved. My father gained his accountancy qualifications, my uncle an actuarial degree, one aunt qualified as a podiatrist and the other as a teacher and eventually the youngest headmistress appointed in the UK at the age of twenty-nine. Many others like us followed the professional route, some excelling in entrepreneurship and business. It was something of an inevitability that they would thrive. As the first of the British-born generation I have been fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of their thirst for progress and success. My family held steadfast to the belief that education would be the bridge connecting their children to a world of opportunities, investing in our future by enrolling us at Merchant Taylors’ School. Atop the incredible education, we had the freedom to explore sport,

A family photo in Kenya, 1971

music, drama and other extra-curricular activities that allowed us to develop into well-rounded individuals who were encouraged to find careers that matched our skills, interests and passions. Now, it is my opportunity to give back, to serve, and to honour the resilience of my family and countless others who have overcome adversity to create meaningful contributions to society. Alongside my brother Anique (OMT 2002-2008) who has also excelled in his chosen path, we carry the torch, cognisant of the responsibility to pay forward the opportunities we have been afforded. My son entered Year 2 at Merchant Taylors’ Prep this year. I cannot think of anywhere better for him to find his identity, his community and achieve his own dreams in years to come.

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