Brilliant, black and Welsh

10 October 2018

Low angle photograph of neon stars

The work of a university professor, a social entrepreneur and Cardiff Bus’ first female MD has been celebrated in a list of 100 African Caribbean and African Welsh people marking Black History Month.

The list, published on Wales Online, has been collated by members of the Black History Wales-wide network around the theme ‘Icons of Black Wales’.

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna, Yaina Samuels and Cynthia Ogbonna join 97 others chosen for their extraordinary commitment and contributions to public life, science, health, education, the arts, sport, business and equal rights.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Portrait of man in suit

A Professor of Management and Organisation at Cardiff Business School, Emmanuel Ogbonna’s recent research focuses on equality, diversity and inclusion, and explores the position of black and minority ethnic communities in the labour market.

He was part of a team that completed a British Academy and Chartered Management Institute sponsored research project on diversity in the management pipeline of FTSE 100 organisations.

Man and woman speaking in office building

Race under wraps

Top British companies unable or unwilling to publicise ethnic makeup of management

His publications have received national and international citations of excellence, including: best paper in services research (USA), top 50 most read management articles, most downloaded articles and editors’ choice.

Emmanuel has sat on editorial boards for many leading management journals and is currently a trustee of Race Council Cymru.

Truth-teller social entrepreneur

Yania Samuels

Recently appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cardiff Business School, Yaina Samuels has used her own experience of substance misuse, addiction, treatment and recovery to help others during her 25 years’ experience working in private, public and third sector organisations.

She describes herself as a truth teller social entrepreneur, seeing the world as it is and how it can be.

In 2010, she established NuHi, a social enterprise which offers education and training workshops for people with substance misuse problems.

Over the last decade, Yaina has offered training and set up charitable aid projects including a women’s leadership group in Sierra Leone.

She was recently appointed regional co-ordinator for the Ethnic Minority and Youth Support Team, an All Wales BAME engagement programme.

Her work has been recognised by the Welsh Government through the St David Award for Citizenship. In May 2016, she was awarded the Iconic Innovative Trailblazer of the Decade by the Women Economic Forum.

Accessibility and sustainability

Cynthia Ogbonna
Cynthia Ogbonna

In 2012, Cynthia Ogbonna became the first woman in the 110-year history of Cardiff Bus to be appointed managing director.

Since her appointment, Cynthia has worked to make public transport more accessible and sustainable and has also committed the company to be a living wage employer.

The company has more than 200 buses, 700 staff and a turnover of £34m.

A qualified chartered accountant, company secretary and mother of two, she has an MBA from Cardiff Business School and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Art.

In 2018, Cynthia was made an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.

Find out more about the celebration of culture and diversity marking Black History Month in Wales this October.

Get a behind-the-scenes look from our students, staff and partners as they share news and views on all things business.