A former Christ’s Hospital pupil has made history after being the first guest speaker at the Lord Mayor’s election ceremony for more than 800 years.
Onyinye Udokporo gave an inspirational speech at the ceremony for the new Lord Mayor of the City of London to an audience of 1,200 on Wednesday, October 2.
Onyinye’s speech was about her education at Christ’s Hospital and the positive impact it had on her life. Onyinye boarded at Christ’s Hospital for her full seven-year secondary education, from 2009–2016.
During her speech, she said: “Moving from North London to West Sussex took a lot of getting used to; when I first arrived, aged 11, I asked my parents where the nearest tube station was,” said Onyinye in her speech. “But I soon grew immune to the smell of cow dung and got used to being dressed like someone out of Harry Potter.
“All jokes, aside, Christ’s Hospital gave me the best education any child could ask for. It really did change my life for the better! Education is one of the most powerful tools in the world... I received an education that helped me break barriers and create positive change.”
Speaking about her address at the Lord Mayor’s election, Onyinye said: “I am hugely honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity.”
Onyinye was presented to Christ’s Hospital, when she was just 11 years old, by The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, which is one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London. Christ’s Hospital has close links to the City of London and a number of City livery companies provide bursarial support for pupils. Both the Tylers and Bricklayers and the school itself helped support Onyinye with a bursary. She was then chosen to be the first female apprentice in history of The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers in 2016. The apprenticeship takes seven years, after which she will be given the Freedom of the City of London and will be a Liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers.
Onyinye has finished an undergraduate degree in religion, politics and society and is now completing a masters degree in education, policy and society at King’s College London. She is also running an education business, Enrich Learning, and is on the King’s College London alumni advisory board.