Enterprise is proud to mark Black History Month, by acknowledging the tremendous achievements, influence and impact of our Black colleagues. Black citizens have enriched our communities for generations, and our workplace is no different.
Bami shared with us how important he feels it is to look back and learn lessons from our past, but that we should also look forward to a brighter future:
Tell us about you and your career journey at Enterprise:
I was born in Nigeria and spent my early adulthood there before relocating to the UK after completing my university degree. I started as an Accounting Co-ordinator in 2014 and after only 3 years I was promoted to Accounting Supervisor at the European Headquarters. I was then promoted to Accounting Manager before becoming the Assistant Financial Controller for Enterprise’s Southeast operations earlier in 2020.
What about your heritage makes you most proud?
My Yoruba culture. It taught me to love all, respect irrespective of status and always give, even if only little.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
It’s a month dedicated to exploring, discovering and celebrating black history, heritage and culture; as well as revel in the achievements of the pacesetters. We should also take this opportunity to encourage and celebrate our current black leaders, talk about our history and its impact on our present and now; but also come together, openly talk about racism, learn lessons from the past and celebrate the possibilities for the future.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I initially wanted to be a doctor but then I wanted to be a basketball player. Problem was I wasn’t very great at sciences and just because you’re tall, doesn’t mean you’d be good at basketball; so, I found a middle-ground in Accounting and I have no regrets whatsoever.
If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be and why?
Harriet Tubman – I recently saw the movie about her life and it was awe-inspiring to see someone put their own life and freedom in jeopardy for the benefit of others. Hers was an ultimate example of selflessness. How do you get the courage to not just look after yourself but think of the greater good?
What are you most proud of?
Relocating to a new country as a young adult and not being inhibited in any way by the experience.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I’m 6’8” but I’m terribly scared of heights.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
To always be the best version of myself.
Who do you look up to?
A lot of people have inspired me throughout my life and helped shape my views. Probably most importantly, my mum and dad for their ability to see the good in everyone and unwavering integrity respectively. I have also had a few indirect mentors within Enterprise: Khaled Shahbo (Enterprise UK and Ireland MD) for his inspirational demeanour and his ability to command a room.
What motivates you?
Life itself and the determination not to waste any minute of it. Thankful for the opportunity to live, love and grow.
A cause you’re passionate about and why?
Homelessness because it must be horrible not to have a safe place to lay your head at night. As someone once said, “The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head.”
Describe your journey at Enterprise in one word?
Who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
Bear Grylls – Just to be able to climb a mountain without being scared.
What initially attracted you to a career at Enterprise?
Actually, Enterprise found me! I received a call from a colleague who saw my CV online and asked if I would be interested in a career with the company. I subsequently did my own research and the opportunity to progress and promote-from-within culture was what got me excited the most. I haven’t looked back since.
What keeps you at Enterprise?
Without a doubt it’s our people – I’ve honestly worked with the best people throughout my career in Enterprise and that remains consistent across all the roles I have held over the years.
At Enterprise we know that it’s more important than ever to do our part to help fight racial discrimination and inequality, and effect meaningful, lasting change. We take this opportunity to elevate Black voices, supporting our colleagues like Bami, as we know that diversity in perspective, opinion and voice can only strengthen our business. Could you be next?