British-Nigerian athlete, Kriss Akabusi* (b. 1958), was in foster care and a children’s home during his childhood.
Kriss Akabusi was born Kezi Uchechukwu Duru Akabusi in London to Nigerian parents. When he was 4, his parents returned to Nigeria but left Kriss and his younger brother in the UK. Foster care unsettling and impermanent but 4 years later, Kriss went into a children’s home which was a secure environment and a positive experience for him.
On leaving the children’s home at 16, Kriss went into the army, where he had a mentor and role model in his sergeant.
Having a positive role model to get you through the hard times is invaluable, as is being able to afford the first month's rent on your own.
Long term support, knowing someone is there for you and feeling positive about the future is what will make the difference. Every child in and leaving care deserves this.
In my case Sergeant Ian MacKenzie introduced me to athletics and, as they say, the rest is history.
From the army, Akabusi became a professional athlete, won silver in the 1984 Olympics and 2 bronze medals in the 1992 Olympics.
After retiring from athletics, Akabusi became a television personality and motivational speaker. He was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1992.