Anne Wafula Strike
Anne Wafula Strike, MBE, is an inspirational and motivational speaker who draws on her own life experiences and achievements to inspire her audiences.
Born in Mihu, Kenya, to Nekesa Ruth and Athumani Wafula, Anne was a fit and healthy child before polio struck when she was two years old. She was given the middle name of Olympia at birth, a title of prophetic significance for the future and prescient of hurdles she would face in forthcoming years.
Superstitious villages believed the family were cursed following Anne’s partial recovery from illness, which forced her family into decisions and acts that would change her life forever
After completing A-levels and graduating from Moi University with a Bachelor of Education degree, Anne taught at Machakos Technical College in Kenya before meeting the man she would marry – which lead her to Britain, motherhood, wheelchair racing, disability advocacy and charity work.
2004 marked the beginning of an Olympic career when Anne became the first wheelchair racer from Sub-Sahara Africa to compete at the Paralympics in Athens. In 2006 Anne became a British citizen and joined Team GB and in 2007 she was officially recognised by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception for her work as a disabled athlete and for involvement in charity work for people with disabilities.
Charity work is something she does tirelessly, and as well as giving her time to a wide variety of charitable organisations she set up the charity, The Olympia–Wafula Foundation, whose main aim is to empower the differently-abled (disabled) people in the developing world.
Her book “In My Dreams I Dance” was published in paperback in 2010
In 2020, Anne was appointed as a Commonwealth special envoy Champion for Equality in Sports with a role to promote the Commonwealth’s values and principles around the world by connecting sporting initiatives and supporting the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals relating to sport, peace and development and improving equality in sport. She continues to advocate for an accessible and inclusive society.
Anne Wafula Strike has never forgotten all the people who helped her achieve her success and is determined to get as many people as she can to achieve their own potential and personal goals.
Her speaking topics include –
- Overcoming Adversity & Barriers
- Diversity & Inclusion
Annes contribution was invigorating, challenging and thoughtful. Her ability to translate her own personal experiences and life challenges to inspire is quite exceptional. She inspired so many to recognise the potential we hold inside which is fuelled by the need to be wanted and the energy that is drawn from happiness, fulfilment and support and the need to be in charge of the person we want to be.
— RCN Nurse Network Conference