Nigerian born Lawyer, Funke Abimbola among the more than 1000 people honoured at the Queen’s birthday honours list.
Funke who was honoured with an MBE (Member of the British Empire) is one of the fastest rising profiles of African women in the UK. Ms Abimbola is the general counsel and head of financial compliance for Roche UK. A solicitor, BBC International contributor, a mentor, public speaker and a diversity champion.
In her words, “It was a truly magical day at Buckingham Palace yesterday receiving my MBE from HRH Prince Charles .
I am aware that some are very sceptical about the honours system. What I can say from my own personal experience is what this MBE means not only to those who supported my nomination but also to the countless people who have inspired me to maintain my vision of seeing more diversity across the legal profession. It has not been an easy journey and many challenges remain.
This honour means a huge amount to a lot of people and the impact of this is (and continues to be) tremendous. Importantly, receiving this honour has created more opportunities fro me to drive much needed change in this important area, positively impacting many lives.
The Queen’s Birthday Honours lists 2017 recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people from across the UK. The 2017 honours marks the 100 years of the Order of the British Empire and is the most diverse ever. In this centenary year the Honours List has granted a great number of awards to individuals from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
Among the recipents of this year’s awards include, •a damehood for Professor Xiangqian Jiang, Director, UK EPSRC, Future Advanced Metrology Hub, University of Huddersfield, for services to Engineering and Manufacturing
•a knighthood for Professor Alimuddin Zumla, Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health, University College London, for services to Public Health and Protection from Infectious Disease
•a knighthood for Professor Mir Zahedi, Technical Director, Chas A Blatchford and Sons, for services to Engineering and Innovation
•a CBE for Kenneth Tharp, lately Chief Executive, The Place, for services to Dance
•a CBE for Helen Adu, aka the singer Sade for services to Music
•an OBE for Professor Mahendra Varma, for services to Cardiology in Northern Ireland
•an OBE for Asif Haseeb for services to Racial Equality, Health and Education in Scotland and Pakistan
•an MBE for Tarek Malouf, Founder of the Hummingbird Bakery
•an MBE for Imam Monawar Hussain for services to Interfaith Relations and the community in Oxfordshire
•an MBE for Babak Erfani, Chairman of Archway, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network.