Princess Ademola and Jacqueline McKenzie
Princess Omo-Oba Adenrele Ademola was the daughter of an important king from the southern region of Nigeria. After attending school in Somerset, Princess Ademola began a 30 year nursing career, which she maintained alongside her duties as a working royal.
Though unconfirmed, it’s thought she attended the coronation of King George the VI in 1937. Princess Ademola returned to the UK from Nigeria alongside her father and brother that year and she spent the summer attending numerous other royal events. Upon her return she was recorded as a midwife, characterising the path her career is thought to have followed.
A segment of Princess Ademola’s career and training as a nurse was captured in the lost film ‘Nurse Ademola’, which shared the different training she undertook whilst working at a London hospital. She spent six years training to be a nurse and first appears on the nursing register in 1941.
The lost film ‘Nurse Ademola’ is thought to have highlighted her work and experiences as a black woman and nurse working in London. Without it, little is known about Princess Ademola’s experiences as GDPR restrictions combined with haphazard record keeping make it hard to ascertain the facts of her life.
The lack of proper records are reflective of the perception and treatment of black people in the UK during the mid-1900s, even royalty was not exempt. As black people were viewed to be second-class citizens the need for accurate records wasn’t seen as necessary. Black History Month draws attention to such mistreatments and helps bring stories like Princess Ademola’s to the forefront of conversation, preventing them from being lost to time.
Jacqueline McKenzie is an award-winning solicitor, who practises in England and Wales. Alongside this she is a Barrister in Grenada and a teacher, having previously taught at university level in the UK and USA.
McKenzie specialises in refugee, asylum and immigration law and currently leads on cases surrounding Windrush, immigration and social justice. She uses her work as a solicitor to advocate for small voices that are often lost and unheard when trying to challenge large bureaucratic systems. In 2015 she founded the Centre for Migration Advice and Research. Through this organisation she works on tackling policy issues surrounding undocumented children and their deportation.
Over the course of her career, she has sat on multiple advisory groups and committees, examining the UK Government’s actions throughout the Windrush scandal and advising how to proceed from it. Even before the scandal hit headlines McKenzie was working to uphold and secure the rights of the Windrush generation.
Over the course of her career McKenzie has won multiple accolades including Campaigner of the Year at the European Diversity Awards in 2019, the Black Excellence Humanitarian Award in 2020, and the Hero Award at the British Diversity Awards 2022. Jacqueline McKenzie is a great example of a successful black woman who is making history as she fights for, and succeeds at making real world change.