BIOGRAPHY of Sir Kenneth Aphunezi Olisa, OBE KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

BIOGRAPHY of Sir Kenneth Aphunezi Olisa, OBE

I saw the obvious Nigerian name of Sir Kenneth Aphunezi Olisa, OBE, in the order of procession for the Queen’s funeral last week & was intrigued. (Read More Here).

Had a little time on my hands today and did a bit of a search. Sir Kenneth Olisa was born in the UK in 1951 to a Nigerian law student father and British mother. He never met his father.

He is High Bailiff & Searcher of the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, a lay role by which he was connected with the funeral, to which he was appointed 2021.

The High Bailiff acts as one of the principal external advisers to the Dean & Chapter of Westminster Abbey, and takes part in the Abbey’s most significant ceremonial occasions. But he’s also, since 2015, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. 

He’s the first black Briton so honoured. 

This is a very important ‘palace chieftaincy’, one of 96 courtiers who function as the Queen’s personal representatives in their localities.

They stand in for the Queen when unable to attend an event locally.

They also welcome her when she visits their locality. A successful businessman & philanthropist, Olisa is on the boards of a number of quoted companies.

He’s founder Interregnum, a merchant bank, & also the managing partner at Restoration Partners.

He’s past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (basically tech bros with a royal seal!)

He & wife endowed the £2m Olisa Library at his alma mater, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he studied Natural Sciences & later Political & Management Science. He’s widely seen as the most influential black Briton.

It’s not known if he will continue to serve the new king as Lord-Lieutenant. He’s the 2nd Lord Lieutenant I know of with connections to Nigeria. 

Peaches Golding, OBE Lord Lieutenant of Bristol since 2017, is an African American who lived in Ibadan & taught at Loyola College in 1970s.

Her husband, the late Bob Golding was the founding manager of UI Zoo. Just been informed that Sir Keneth Olisa is also the chairman of Interswitch. 

He also heads a relatively newly foundation, Charles Olisa Charity Foundation named for his late father, Charles Olisa of Aboh, Delta State, who died in 1963. 

It aims to aid SMEs.

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