Celebrating Black History Month – Kafui Adjogatse
Name: Kafui Adjogatse
Occupation: Former Investment Bank Analyst, currently on sabbatical travelling around Latin America
Ethnic Background: Black British/African
Family Origin: Ghana
In what generation did your family come to the UK? I am a second-generation immigrant, my parents came to the UK from Ghana before I was born
Kafui Adjogatse was born in Exeter and spent several years of his younger life in Newcastle Upon Tyne before moving to Stoke on Trent, where he spent the majority of his upbringing. After graduating from Warwick University with an economics degree, Kafui spent 5 years working in London as a credit analyst in a prominent Australian investment bank (Macquarie Bank). He recently left his job to travel Latin America, after which he hopes to transfer his skills into a different career.
What inspired you to pursue your chosen career?
My initial career choice had two main drivers. Firstly, it seemed a natural path of progression from students studying the same course at my university. Secondly, and most importantly, I saw investment banking as a good industry to get an insight into business and build up a strong skill set.
Do you feel there is a proportionate representation of minorities within your chosen field? If not, what do you think the government or society could/should be doing to encourage more people of minority backgrounds to pursue similar careers?
I didn’t feel that the representation of all minorities was proportionate in my field, especially the firm I worked in. There are a couple of charities that exist (SEO and Rare Recruitment) that aim to help further participation of minorities in banking, but government pressure to consider applicants of a more diverse background (ethnically and economically) could be helpful in diversifying the sector in practice.
Are there any aspects of your family’s culture that you feel were particularly prominent or evident in your upbringing, or that you are particularly fond of?
I would say a strong sense of family and working together is something that was particularly emphasised as I was growing up.
How are you currently/or do you plan to preserve an awareness of their background and heritage in your children & future generations? Is this something that you consider important?
This is an aspect of my heritage that I consider very important. I will likely continue my regular trips to Ghana throughout my life even if I remain living in the UK to ensure my future children recognise their heritage and background.
Who would you consider to be the most iconic, pivotal or inspirational figure in black history & why?
Generally I would probably have to go for Nelson Mandela just for the pure magnitude of change he helped bring about. A bit of a more left field answer, though, would be Olaudah Equiano for the impact he made during such a difficult period of time.
Were you educated in black history growing up? Do you think, in light of and celebration of the UK’s diverse population, that black history should be taught in schools?
My knowledge of black history has largely been as a result of family or self-teaching. Outside of Martin Luther King, very little about black history is taught in British schools. It is particularly disappointing that black history relative to the UK, including colonialism, is omitted from the curriculum. Yes, I absolutely think these matters should be covered in schools.
Do you have any plans to celebrate Black History Month? If so, how so?
At this moment, nothing formal.