In May 2014 as Women4Africa awards was in its third year, we awarded the beautiful ‘Kanika Mayi’ as the winner of our ‘Young Achiever of the Year’. Her award was presented to her by Ike Onuorah of Strictly Entertainment and I’m sure like myself, we were all blown away by her confidence and boldness as she gave her award acceptance speech.
It was brought to our attention that at just age 27, last week Thursday 31st March 2016 Kanika passed away. This is both shocking and saddening not just to us here at Women4Africa but also to everyone who knew her most especially her family.
We want to continue to remember her and her great achievements so here are some that we have of her and some that has been given to us by her friends. Please feel free to add any other highlights of this great woman in the comment box below.
Kanika Wotherspoon (nee Mayi) a graduate from the School of Oriental and African Studies where she studied Politics and African studies.
In 2011 Kanika was selected to feature in the Future Leaders publication in which celebrates the top 100 black graduates across the UK. She was also a RARE Rising Stars nominee which celebrated the UK’s top 10 black graduates.
Kanika was recently elected as the only female trustee to the 2013 board of the British Youth Council – the largest youth-led council in the UK responsible for approx. 7 million young people, youth parliament, the young mayor network and 250 member organisations.
She was London’s regional manager for the charity and is also the faith representative on the board. She has been one of the faces of many national campaigns including the Change Things Now campaign started by the Cabinet Office and the Campaign for Youth Social Action started by the Prince’s Trust. Whilst working, she created the schools initiative ‘Building Bridges’ in Leytonstone, East London. The scheme aimed to raise the educational aspiration and attainment of the most disadvantaged BAME pupils in Buxton school by linking them to high-achieving BAME graduates across various sectors. Of the 30 pupils Kanika worked with, 70% jumped a grade or two higher in their English, Maths and/or Science grades. She has since been asked to roll the scheme out nationally, and her findings were included in policy reports written by the Centre for Social Justice.
Kanika had been invited to the House of Lords, Ghanaian Parliament, Harvard University, 10 Downing Street & Buckingham Palace
– She visited 10 Downing Street to advise on youth, female & race issues
– Served as a mentor & appeared on various youth debate panels
– Was also a brilliant poet & passionate writer
– Huge inspiration to many, both young & old
Most of all, Kanika was a God-fearing daughter, friend, sister, confidant and our WINNER.
Pictures taken from her facebook friends: Acha Rich, Sarah Abbeam Pro & Women4Africa