Adekanmi Abayomi, LLB (Hons)

Founder & Executive Chair

Adekanmi Abayomi, LLB (Hons) is a UK multi award-winning volunteer, a lawyer, mediator, an inspirational sports administrator, socialpreneur, and a strong advocate of social justice, human rights, diversity, and racial equality. He is a football coach and referee with a National Football Coaching Certificate from Irish FA.

He is the Founder of EMSONI – an organisation he set up in 2018 to create integration pathways for migrants in Northern Ireland with the aim of promoting a diverse society. In 2017, Belfast City Council recognised his contributions to sports development in the city at the Belfast Sports Award 2017 where he was voted the Volunteer of the Year 2017.

Adekanmi has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable. He has written several published articles, calling the attention of government to the issues of inequalities, racism, education, poverty, and social change. His interest in defending the rights of asylum seekers and refugees – prompted him to join Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS) where he served as a Board Member of the organisation between 2015 and 2018 to provide leadership. He represented NICRAS on the Advisory Board that steered Belfast City of Sanctuary's project "A Part of Belfast Now" – a project that highlighted migrants’ difficulties and opportunities enjoyed since they arrived in Belfast and their resilience in making positive contributions to Belfast.

He is a Legal Volunteer at Legal Support Project – The Law Centre (NI), where he voluntarily supports workers and families to access pro bono representation at social security appeals and industrial tribunals.

As an astute volunteer, he has been recognised with several awards. Some of which include:

  • Winner – Belfast Sport Volunteer of the Year 2017 by Belfast City Council.
  • Winner – SportMaker Volunteer of the Year 2019 by Sport Northern Ireland.
  • Winner – Male Ally of the Year 2020 by NI Female Sports Forum
  • Runner-up – Brian McDowell Volunteer of the Year 2020 at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Mayor’s Community Award 2020.
  • Winner – BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero for Northern Ireland 2020
  • Finalist – BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero 2020

He also sits on several boards which include Northern Ireland Walking Football Federation and Northern Ireland Sports & Human Rights Forum.

He is happily married with children.