Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka with Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and Adenike Adenitire, editor of Future Leaders magazine. Photo by Sharron Wallace
Ssegawa Ssekintu Kiwanuka has topped a list of the UK’s most outstanding black students. The list was compiled by magazine Future Leaders, a publication which aims to inspire children from Britain’s African and African-Caribbean communities to apply to university.
The award was presented at a reception at City Hall, London, by the city’s mayor Boris Johnson. He said: "All too often our attention is drawn to the things that go wrong with our young people, and yet there is so much that we should be celebrating: the achievements and the contributions that 99 per cent of our young people are making to society."
Ssegawa took a first degree in Chemical Engineering in this department and is now studying for a PhD on the Ultra-sensitive optical analytics of liquids. He has won a number of academic awards, and is interested in opera and boxing.
He said: "This was a surprise and great honour, not just for me personally, but also for the University, as I have been here since I was an undergraduate.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to have achieved a lot, but I have also had people along the way who have seen something in me and taken a chance.
"It is true that certain groups have historically been under-represented, but this should not be confused with undervalued. I was black when I was offered a place at Cambridge six years ago, I was black when I was given the opportunity of a PhD by my Masters supervisor and unsurprisingly still black and proud to be at Cambridge. I really hope more people from all types of backgrounds apply and see what the number one university in the world has to offer them."