7 Must-Reads From Previous OBV Champions


It is without doubt that our organisation has been graced with a multitude of phenomenal individuals who have gone on to do, create, make and produce, as you would expect, phenomenal things.

A number of previous alumni members have published some equally great books ranging from autobiographies to testimonies of cultural appreciation which we felt needed due recognition and highlighting. We applaud and congratulate all our alumnus who have done and continue to do great things in both their wider and smaller communities as well as the personal accomplishments they have each succeeded.


Lord Simon Woolley - ‘Soar’

What better way to kick off this incredible list of authors – Co-founder and previous Director of Operation Black Vote (OBV), Simon Woolley, Lord Woolley of Woodford launched his first book in April 2022. Lord Woolley, as his title suggests, is currently serving as a nominated member of the House of Lords as of 2019. Alongside this responsibility, he also became the first Black man to head an Oxbridge college in 2021 at Homerton. Middlesex University officially presented him as an Honorary Graduate during July 2022.

Lord Woolley played a commendable role in our launch during 1996 and ever since we have seen huge leaps and advancements in the way our political cabinets look. We even have the most diverse candidacy we have ever seen in the run to be Britain’s next prime minister – albeit some controversy. Positively though, a lot of the change we have seen in historically marginalised communities having the confidence and tools to enter the political hemisphere have stemmed from the tireless campaigning and work carried out by OBV.

With such an esteemed list of roles, responsibilities and accomplishments already you might be surprised that on top of it all he is also a published author! His recent book, ‘Soar’ will take you on a personal journey from his council estate upbringings to his current position in the upper house of Parliament. But as a public review by Jagwant Johal suggests it is a story which “is much more” than this journey - ‘Soar’ will teach you what it means to have courage, commitment and perseverance. But most importantly, Lord Woolley’s personal narrative will show you how maintaining a focused and productive mindset in the face of institutional racism can take you to the most remarkable places.

Soar’ can be purchased here, here as a Hardcover or Kindle Edition and is also available as an audiobook here.


Jasvinder Sanghera CBE

British author and campaigner against forced marriages and abuse, Jasvinder Sanghera took part in the first OBV MP Shadowing Scheme in 1999. Lord Woolley has quoted Sanghera telling him back then that “she wanted to understand power so that she could change the world.” Her passion-fuelled activism as Founder of Karma Nirvana all these years on have been a true testament to her desires 23 years ago.

Sanghera has published a series of books based on her own personal journey facing a forced marriage and abuse from the age of just 14. The most recent being ‘Shame’ which she released in 2016. ‘Daughters of Shame’ (2009) and ‘Shame Travels’ (2012) each offer the same attributes as her latest book: as revealing as they are necessary as she shines a light on the destructive realities that arranged marriages can cause and have caused. Her book series are must reads for anybody looking for unapologetically raw insight into the abuse that can occur from those we trust to love us the most.

For more information on Sanghera’s books as well as the relevant links to purchasing and supporting her work visit here.


Cllr Sunny Lambe - ‘Unbroken’

Sunny Lambe FRSA is currently an elected British Labour Party and Cooperative Councillor for the South Bermondsey ward in Southwark. He is also the Founder and CEO of the Black Labour Movement UK. Lambe has developed numerous youth and community empowerment initiatives and as such has become a well respected community leader and passionate campaigner for equality, fairness and social justice.

Lambe is a member of our Pathway to Success Cohort and has since supported us at more recent Civic Leadership Programmes such as our successful launch in Greater Manchester in May 2022.

Unbroken: A Dream for My Sister’ is the councillor’s debut novel which tells the biographical story of a love and hate relationship between two siblings separated by a family break-up, extended family fostering, abuse; and the consequential effects of these traumas in their later lives. “What a life journey of determination, focus and hard work,” reads one review. “Destined to be great and succeeded despite all the setbacks.”

You can purchase Lambe’s book here.


Dr Sylvia Forchap-Likambi

Dr. Sylvia Forchap-Likambi is a leading empowerment and transformation authority. Likambi has successfully founded a multitude of organisations including: Voice of Nations, Global Visionary Women Network, Dr Sylvia Likambi International Ltd and Dr Sylvia Likambi International Health & Wellbeing Clinic. She has featured on several radio and television stations and has been selected as a keynote speaker for a wide variety of audiences - ranging from community groups to universities - both nationally and internationally. Likambi joined us for our 2020 Liverpool Civic Leadership Programme and clearly her talents are genetically favoured as she has a family of young authors and cosmeticians all under the age of just sixteen!

As another novelist of multiple publications, Dr Sylvia Forchap-Likambi’s most recent book ‘Unleash Your Authentic Identity’ came out in 2021. She has also written 'Success Blueprint’ (2020), ‘7 Powerful Strategies for Overcoming Life Challenges’ (2017), ‘Principles of Resolution’ (2017) and ‘A Father's Tender and Compassionate Love’ (2013).

All of Likambi’s books are available for purchase in various formats including Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover editions here.


Jaspreet Kaur - ‘Brown Girl Like Me’

Jaspreet Kaur has a trio of professionalities under her belt as an educator, poet and author. She is better known by her pen name ‘Behind the Netra’ and is also a spoken word artist, writer and teacher from East London. Kaur has committed herself to using writing and spoken word to tackle gender discrimination, mental health stigma, the postcolonial immigrant experience, and taboo issues within the South Asian community. Her passions have taken her to the likes of Westminster Abbey, Theatre Royal London, The House of Lords, Wembley Stadium and Oxford University. She has also spoken at TEDxLondon in which she shared how the power of words gave her the confidence to overcome her own mental health struggles.

Kaur joined us for our Pathway to Success Programme in joint partnership with Oxford University’s Magdalen College in 2019 and we even feature in the Acknowledgements section at the end of her book!

Brown Girl Like Me’ was written as a testament to South Asian women and girls - telling the stories of ordinary daughters and granddaughters. It's the first novel to speak directly to the experiences of South Asian women in Britain since 1978 and deep dives into some of the most complex conversations brown women are tackling today. Interwoven into the book is a ‘brilliant’ collection of interviews from South Asian women living in the UK and around the globe. As Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, MBE notes in her recommendation of Kaur’s book: “I believe all brown girls and beyond will find a piece of themselves between these pages.”

You can purchase ‘Brown Girl Like Mehere.


Brian Kokoruwe

Deaflympian Brian Kokoruwe, although born in London, spent much of his earlier life in Nigeria until he became deaf and unable to walk upon contracting meningitis at thirteen years old. Kokoruwe later vowed that this would not be a barrier to his previous dreams of achieving great things in his life. After putting in extraordinary efforts, he represented Great Britain as an international athlete, as GB Athletics Team Manager and Assistant Technical Director for European Deaf Sports Organisation. More recently, Brian has been selected as a Batonbearer for the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay in the Commonwealth Games.

Brian became part of our Pathway to Success Cohort in 2021 and has since encompassed a large amount of support from his fellow cohort members which speaks volumes of his positive and optimistic nature.

Kokoruwe has already published two other books: ‘When Mother Cried’ and ‘My Father Tried’; these both give readers an insight into the roles both of his parents played in his life from sending him on a plane from London to Lagos to coping with his meningitis infection. ‘Deaf Not Dumb Or Stupid’ is the third part in Kokoruwe’s series of autobigraphies on his life which he officially launched in Newcastle-under-Lyme on the 18th of July 2022. His latest book follows adolescent Brian’s journey from schooling in Nigeria to an – at the time – unbeknownst place to him: London.

Brian’s three-part autobiography is available to purchase here.


Shereen Daniels - ‘The Anti-Racist Organization’

Activist Shereen Daniels has grown and continues to grow a community of engaged professionals and anti-racists on the internet. Daniels’ dedicated work in HR Consultancy and anti-racism has enabled her and her team to create ‘safe spaces for brave conversations’ which has unlocked ‘over 100,000 global conversations about race’ and caused seismic transformations within organisations. She is the Managing Director of HR rewired which she established herself to champion racial equity in the workplace – all stemming from her own extensive experiences. Shereen’s story has been featured in Forbes, she was recognised as a LinkedIn Top Voice 2020 and winner of HR Most Influential Thinker 2021. She is also Chair of the African Diaspora Economic Inclusion Foundation.

Daniels took part in OBV's MP Shadowing Scheme Programme in 2019.

The Anti-Racist Organization’ aims to tackle systemic racism in the workplace with pratical strategies. Published in 2022 at a crucial time when organisations are being pushed to incorporate serious discussions such as the ethnicity pay gap into their business model plans; as well as meeting other inequalities and tensions that have arisen since the world was overtaken by a pandemic. Shereen draws on her own client-facing experience, historical facts, legal proceedings, HR insights and quantitative analysis to equip readers with the knowledge and tools they need to transform their companies. It is available both as a Hardcover and in Kindle Edition.

Purchase ‘The Anti-Racist Organizationhere.


By Meesha Cru-Hall