Who We Are

PENINAH ACHIENG – AVF CHAIR

Peninah Achieng-Kindberg

 

Peninah is a Finance Business Partner currently working for the Ministry of Justice. She has over 18 years work experience in the public sector, 10 years experience working within local government in financial services in various areas since.

Outside her work she was a Union Activist for the past 12 years, leading on various roles within the Union i.e. the South West Regional Black members committee for self organised groups, being active within the Branch etc. She supports various voluntary groups in various capacities ranging from directing to taking direction. The voluntary organisations I support have varying aims i.e. the African Voices Forum seeks to empower people of African descent living in Bristol, whilst the Nilaari Agency is a community based drug treatment provider that administers accessible high quality culturally appropriate services.  She also supports Bristol Link with Beira in the development work that they do in Mozambique and their aims to improve the lives of others thus making a difference in Africa. She is a Progression Mentor for the Princes Trust, Diaspora Change-Maker which is a new project that seeks to identify and bring together the UK’s most promising individuals of African origin with a desire to Support African communities in the UK and Africa – not to mention being a Board member for Bristol 2015 – the Body responsible for the delivery of the European Green Capital Agenda.

Previously she was the Chair for St Paul’s Carnival for 4 years the organisation aims to deliver an annual carnival in Bristol every year, rejuvenating the African Caribbean Culture and providing the community with a platform to celebrate our diverse cultures. A school Governor for Brislington Enterprise College – she was one of the Founders of the African Community Network in Gloucester early in her community activism career.

She possess good organizational skills, project management, financial acumen and more importantly a passion and commitment to influence and deliver on the equalities agenda across the board.

 Abu

ABU SHERIFF – AVF VICE CHAIR

Abu has lived and worked in Bristol, UK for 24 years. He has a BA in Education, he is an experienced secondary school teachers in the subjects of Geography and English Language teacher. We worked with the Curriculum Development Centre of the Institute of Education, University of Sierra Leone where he was part of a team of 5 Curriculum Development Officers who developed a new Social Studies curriculum for the country.

In the UK Abu completed his Diploma in Higher Education and MA in Education by 1988 from the Universities of Leeds and Bristol respectively. For the next six years he worked as Local Government Officer for Bristol City Council. In 1998 he obtained a post-graduate Diploma in Housing Studies from the University of West of England (UWE) and also obtained his full corporate membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing (MCIH).

Since then he has worked as a Chartered Housing professional for 3 Local Authorities, the Armed Forces Defence Housing Executive and 5 Housing Associations in the South West of England. Until November 2010 he was employed as a Sheltered Housing Scheme Manager for Merlin Housing Society in South Gloucestershire, one of the largest providers of social housing in the UK. He is currently a freelance Housing Consultant, advising and advocating for housing options for disadvantaged Black and Minority Ethnic groups in Bristol and South West of England.

In his spare time he has been pro-actively involved in the development of his local communities in St Paul’s, Easton and Lawrence Hill areas of Bristol for 15 years. He currently sits on the Management Boards of the African Voices Forum (AVF), Black & Ethnic Minority Advocacy Clinic (BAC), and Africans In One (AIO). He is one of the founding members of the Sierra Leone Bristol Association (SLEBA). Previously, he was instrumental in the development and direction of the Centre for Employment and Enterprise (CEED), the then Bristol Racial Equality Council (BREC), Black Development Agency (BDA) and the Malcolm X Community Centre. His main interests are recruitment and training of staff and organising workshops in community development work.

David

DAVID GBAO – AVF SECRETARY GENERAL

David Gbao is the CEO of the Malcolm X Community Centre and brings AVF over two decades of senior management experience in public and private sector administration and a wide range of skills. David was the first Director of Amnesty International in Sierra Leone and was General Manager of two leading IT firms in Sierra Leone before coming to the UK in 2004. He is active in local community groups also serving as a trustee on the management committees of Positive Action Consortium (Chair) and BAC Charity (Chair). He has pioneered and led a number of projects community projects around confidence building, employment support and a apprenticeships, raising performance and attainment among BME pupils, crime prevention, heritage issues and the promotion of health and social care for the elderly. Working closely with other management committee members, David has helped raise the profile of AVF. He is Prince2 Project Practitioner, has a Level 7 Executive Management qualification as well as two MSc degrees (IT and Development).

David Gbao graduated with a BSc Ed degree in Biological Sciences followed by two MScs in Environmental Sciences and Information Technology. He has also completed professional trainings in Project Management, Executive Management and Housing Practice. David served as Country Director of Amnesty International, Sierra Leone, General Manager of two leading IT firms in Sierra Leone and the Gambia, and Centre Director of Malcolm X Community Centre in Bristol. He currently works for Home Group as a frontline manager responsible for operations in Wales. David is a community activist and provide capacity building support to several small BME community organisations in Bristol and other parts of UK.

Dravie John

DAVID DRAVIE-JOHN – AVF ASST-TREASURER

My name is David Dravie-John, the founder and Executive director of Performing Arts Exchange Productions Ltd, a multicultural, performing arts organisation that focus on Education, Training, Entertainment/Promotion, Health Related Issues, Consultancy and Research. A trained and qualify professional teacher, with over thirty years experiences. An artistic, events,  business and  management consultant. radio presenter and producer, a professional master of ceremonies, a menber of the Institute of Further Learning and ICM, a former TV presenter at TVM, Munchen, Germany, worked for UNESCO as a cultural consultant, a dancer, choreographer, player write, actor and composer. a father of four children and four grand children.

Sauda

SAUDA KYAMBULAKA – AVF ASST SECRETARY GENERAL

 Sauda has been a community activist for a long period of time. Having been involved with organisations such as Full Circle, St Paul’s Carnival, Malcolm X Centre, Kuumba – She currently hosts international students and has a degree qualification in Teaching which she uses for supporting across various schools in Bristol. She is passionate about the Equalities Agenda and has lead AVF as it’s Chair from 2012-2014.

 Buba

BUBA TOURAY – AVF TREASURER

 Buba Touray is Hotel Services Manager for Avon and Wiltshire Partnership and Cotham Primary School. His role as the Chair of Khombosillah presents him with various opportunities to promote the Gambian culture and to support various activities in his home country. As a professional he is meticulous in his work and very passionate about change.

 Forward

FORWARD MAISOKWADZO – AVF TRUSTEE

Forward Maisokwadzo is a journalist, trainer and researcher from Zimbabwe. Forward works part-time as Development Worker both for Bristol City of Sanctuary and Southern Africa Resources Centre which administers the twinning link between Bristol and Beira. He is a Research Consultant for Bristol Multi-Faith Forum carrying out a faith audit for Bristol. Forward is deeply involved with the Community in Bristol. He is Chair of the Bristol Zimbabwe Association and also a trustee of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre and The MediaWise Trust, an ethics journalism charity.

He is ex-Coordinator of the Exiled Journalists’ Network (EJN) (www.exiledjournalists.net) and Communications Officer of the MediaWise Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Media (RAM) Project (www.mediawise.org.uk). He worked on the Zimbabwe Independent until 2002 when he moved to the UK, and has freelanced for the South African Sunday Times, UK Sunday Times, Voice of America and the Guardian. He is also a final year PhD student researching on ‘The notion of framing HIV by Zimbabwean and UK press.’

Forward brings leadership, people management, project management, reporting, communication and excellent social skills to the organisation.

Donna

DONNA PINNOCK – AVF TRUSTEE

 I was born in the lovely district of Spring Garden in the Parish of St Thomas Jamaica 54 years ago. My first school experience started at Spring Garden Basic School, then to Spring Garden Primary School. Whilst at Spring Garden Primary School I sat the then Common Entrance School Examination and was successful in gaining a place at Morant Bay High School where I attained my secondary education and O level qualifications.

I worked as a voluntary teacher for the Jamal Foundation and later was employed and trained as a Teacher Training Officer. My role was to recruit train and retain volunteers working in the Adult Education Programme, my role further extended to the Compulsory Education Programme.

From then my job roles varied, I worked in a Food processing Plant as a Finance and Personnel Officer. I worked with the Parish Council as a Market and Parks Supervisor.

I became a member of the Church of God of prophecy and played an active part in the growth of my local church. I later became the parish Youth Director, choir director for my local church and Youth Camp Counsellor.

I migrated to the UK in the early nineties, gained qualifications in Business and Finance and later Social Work.

I have been working over the past 15 years in the Care and Support environment. I am  Currently employed and working as a support Worker with homeless men, supporting those with complex needs by signposting and empowering them to gain a stable lifestyle and to be socially  integrated.

I have say on a number of local organisations committee’s in my community and currently serves as the Chairperson for the Jamaica Folk Culture Group Tan Teddy.  I am involved with the promotion and delivery of a vibrant Performing Arts Project that involves an awareness programme around the Jamaican Folk Culture. Tan Teddy conducts workshops and rehearsals for young people and adults in singing, dance, poetry and drama.  The group has been performing at different l events both locally and in other Towns and Cities

My friends consider me to be a very happy and bubbly person who never finds time to stand still as I am always out doing something.  I am very passionate about the things I am involved with and will always go the extra mile if I think it will help.

My commitment to community cohesion and the work I have done around community development has been the basis for my involvement with the African Voices forum as their main ethos underpins my values.

Ingrid

INGRID SINCLAIR – AVF TRUSTEE

Ingrid Sinclair, born in the UK studied Literature and Medicine in England. Sinclair studied filmmaking and film production in South Africa. Ingrid Sinclair’s film “Flame” (1996) gave her recognition as a filmmaker of the African Renaissance. Her documentaries on the Zimbabwe Liberation Movement have received praise internationally, including at the Cannes Film Festival. (3/11)

 REBECCA SONSIAMA – AVF TRUSTEE

Rebecca took on the Chairposition of the Sierra Leonan Women’s Group in 2012. She juggles being a Mum and organizing social projects in her current role. Her contribution to raising the voices of women in the community and to African Voices Forum is her main focal point.

  Yassin

YASSIN MOHAMUD – AVF TRUSTEE

 Yassin joined the Board of African Voices Forum due to his passion to contribute to the Equality Agenda. His role within the wider Community and In St Werbugh where he works has led to his passion towards Change.

  

 Yusuf

YUSSUF SALAHI – AVF TRUSTEE

 Yusuf started volunteering for CSE in March 2010 and is the key link between our energy advisors and Bristol’s large Somali population – many of whom are refugees struggling on low incomes and in poor housing.

Working up to two days a week, Yusuf has, helped CSE support 420 households through in-depth casework, and to make 275 home visits. Community  worker ,  Mental  health  worker   and Energy  Advisory and  also  started recently   as  a  community  trainee  on Energy saving  on fuel poverty   and water   saving .    Congratulations to CSE volunteer, Yusuf Salah, who has been selected as one of National Energy Action’s Heat Heroes 2012.

This award scheme, which is sponsored by Scottish Power, recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to help people in fuel poverty within their communities.

  AFRICAN VOICES FORUM PATRONS

 Sarid

SARIF ROWE-TAYLOR – AVF PATRON

 Sarif has lived in the United Kingdom for over 30 years. A semi-retired Civil Servant – Sarif is very passionate across a range of subject ranging from Politics to Sports. A Man of Influence, he applies his knowledge and expertise from his life experiences in supporting African led organisations. In Gloucester he headed up various community safety initiatives working in partnership with various agencies. He simply has the Gift of the Garb.

 

 Paul S

PAUL STEPHENSON (OBE) – AVF PATRON

Paul Stephenson OBE (born 6 May 1937 in Rochford, Essex), is a community worker, activist and long-time campaigner for civil rights for the British African-Caribbean community in Bristol, England.

As a young social worker, in 1963 Stephenson led a boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company, protesting against its refusal to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. After a 60-day boycott supported by thousands of Bristolians, the company revoked its colour bar in August. In 1964 Stephenson achieved national fame when he refused to leave a public house until he was served, resulting in a trial on a charge of failing to leave a licensed premises. His campaigns were instrumental in paving the way for the first Race Relations Act, in 1965.[1] Stephenson is a Freeman of the City of Bristol and was awarded an OBE in 2009.

 Ibrahim

IBRAHIM SHAW – AVF PATRON

Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics and Programme Leader for MSc Mass Communication Management at Northumbria University.

ADSS Ibrahim Seaga Shaw Staffprofile 255I am Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics and Programme Leader for MSc Mass Communication Management at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. I am also Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) following my election at the organisation’s biennial conference in Japan on November 24-28 2012. In 2013 May and December 2013, I was nominated Best Lecturer for student-led teaching by the Northumbria Students Union, and for an award for Communication for Social Change run by the Centre for Communication for Social Change at Queensland University, Australia, respectively.

My background is in journalism as a reporter, editor, sub editor and correspondent in Sierra Leone, France and the UK. I am founder, editor and publisher of Sierra Leone’s award winning Expo Times newspaper published in print in Sierra Leone between 1995 and 1998, and since 2000 available online (www.expotimesonline.net). I worked as sub editor in London and correspondent in Paris for New African magazine between 2000 and 2003. I still write for Expo Times and other news outlets from time to time since moving into academia in 2007. I was postdoctoral fellow at the University of West of England between 2007 and 2009, and then Senior Research Fellow and RMS Project Manager until 2011. I joined Northumbria university in September 2011 as Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics.

I hold a PhD from the Sorbonne and have published several articles in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Global Ethics and International Communication Gazette.I am author of two books: ‘Human Rights Journalism’ Palgrave Macmillan (2012) and co-editor of ‘Expanding Peace Journalism’ Sydney University Press (2012). I guest co-edited two issues of journal of International Communication Gazette and Journal of African Media Studies in 2012. I was recently commissioned by UNESCO to do a module on humanitarian journalism as a contribution to the revised UNESCO Journalism Education Model curricula (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002211/221199E.pdf) launched by the organization’s Director General in July 2013.I am editor of the newsletter of the Black and Minority Communication Commission of the Association for Journalism and Communication Education. Before taking up my post at Northumbria in 2011 I served as Senior Research Fellow in media and politics, and Project Manager of the Refugees and Migrant Support Hub at the University of West of England in Bristol. I also served as a commissioner for the Bristol Legacy Commission between 2008 and 2011.