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Young, gifted and black

IN THE 2012 edition of the Power List, five pages have been dedicated to 20 black people under the age of 40 who are rising stars in their chosen professions. Below, The Voice highlights 10 of them.

LAWSON CRAWFORD

CORPORATE AND commercial law specialist Lawson Crawford, 38, says inspiring youngsters is the best part about being named as a rising star on the 2012 Power List.

Crawford, a partner at law firm Myers, Fletcher and Gordon, in London, since 2006, told The Voice: “I am humbled and very happy. Where my joy really comes from is that other people, especially youngsters, will look up on it and say this is something they would want to do and can achieve.”

Crawford, a law graduate of the University of the West Indies and Cambridge University, said his favourite parts of his job include mentoring junior professionals, handling deals across the globe and receiving appreciation from clients.

Lawson urges youngsters: “The crucial message is to work hard… be focused on what you do.”
He added: “The goal is for excellence – never be dissuaded from that.”

Crawford, who is actively involved in charitable work and the Church of England, also encourages young people to strengthen their interpersonal skills, building relationships at work and in their communities.

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CARLENE FIRMIN

EARLIER THIS year, Carlene Firmin received a MBE for her services to improving the lives of women and girls. Her stellar career included working for equality group Race on the Agenda and children’s charity Barnardo’s before her current role as principal policy advisor at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

However, Firmin, whose work with organisations and research has been highlighted, told The Voice what makes her happy is being able to influence policy changes that make a difference to the lives of women and girls in abusive circumstances, whether domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation or gang violence.

Firmin is “humbled” by the fact that she has been named on the Power List. She said: “I am always going to be grateful to all the people who believed in me, all the women who spoke to me, the work colleagues who supported me. All the work I have done is a team effort.”

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JOHN BOYEGA

ACTOR BOYEGA, who received critical acclaim for his debut role in hit film Attack the Block, has been named Screen International’s star of tomorrow.

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LINDA ASAFO-AGYEI

ASAFO-AGYEI is vice president of wealth management at Barclays Wealth, coordinating strategic business growth in West African countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. The 34-year-old told The Voice she enjoys her career because it allows her to help clients make sound investments. She also likes inspiring youngsters to achieve “because I came through this journey.”

The Power List nomination was “a pleasant surprise,” she said.

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DR NIKE FOLAYAN

A TELECOMMUNICATIONS engineer at engineering and development consultancy Mott MacDonald Limited, 33-year-old Folayan’s projects include improving the transport industry in Africa and the UK.

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RAHEEM STERLING

TALENTED FOOTBALLER Raheem Sterling made his reputation at Queens Park Rangers and during the 2010 FA Cup. The 16-year-old is now at Liverpool.

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NANA SARFO-ADU

SARFO-ADU combines his passion for sport and marketing as sporting giant Nike’s head of music and TV entertainment marketing. The 27-year-old handles the company’s music and entertainment activities in the UK.

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LEON CLARKE

CLARKE, 34, is one of the youngest directors in investment banking at financial management firm Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He started at financial firm JP Morgan.

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NYASHA MATONHODZE

ZIMBABWEAN-BORN Matonhodze, 17, has been among Britain’s most booked black models over the last year, modelling for top designers such as Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.

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JAMAL EDWARDS

THE FOUNDER of popular online music channel SBTV, 21-year-old Edwards also has his own record label and has signed deals with entertainment giants such as Sony. He is a growing force in the entertainment industry. After being named as a rising star on the Power List, Edwards said on Twitter: ‘(I’m) overwhelmed. That’s amazing.’

* The full Power List is available for purchase at www.powerful-media.com

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