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Stories from our Inspiring Community

I am Whitgift - David A

David Aboagye  TableTennis Champion & Chess Enthusiast

“Being at Whitgift has taught me to make the most of the many opportunities here and to aspire to be the best that you can be for yourself.”

David discovered many of his interests and passions at Whitgift including Table Tennis, Football, Cricket and Hockey. He also enjoys being a regular member of the Chess Club and the Debating Society, and his favourite subjects are Japanese and Theology & Philosophy. 

He has won multiple Tennis tournaments and achieved the title of Table Tennis ETTA Schools' National Champions 2019/20 with the Whitgift U13 Team.

I am Whitgift - Struan

Struan Fotheringham School Captain 2021/22

“Being a Whitgiftian is striving to reach your goals regardless of what they are, whilst being aware of your place in the world. All of the teachers, be it in an academic, co-curricular or pastoral role have always been willing to give up their time to help, which has allowed me to ensure that I’m balancing my time and reaching my goals.”

Struan was appointed School Captain and during his captaincy has been the student voice at many events, including speaking at the School’s annual Remembrance Day Service, giving a talk to the Boarding House during International Women’s Day and presenting on Postcolonial theory at a History and Politics Society (HiPSoc) meeting.  

He volunteered to be part of the Peer Mentoring course, coaching a younger student throughout the year and has enjoyed being an active member of the Whitgift community, engaging with his younger peers as well as Old Whitgiftians. His co-curricular interests include playing for the 1st XV Rugby, and being a member of the HiPSoc and Film Club. 

I am Whitgift - Joshua T

Joshua Tikare Deputy Vice Captain and IB Student

“Whitgift has provided me with wonderful opportunities to maximise my potential and flourish in all areas, with the support of inspiring, dedicated teachers and coaches.”

In 2022, Joshua has received offers from Oxford and Stanford University to study Mandarin Chinese. He has entered several academic competitions and received awards such as the UK Linguistic Olympiad Bronze prize, UKMT Senior Maths Challenge Bronze prize, UKBC Biology Challenge Bronze prize and a Highly Commended award for the NCH Essay Competition. Joshua is also Deputy Vice School Captain and Whitgift’s 1XI Hockey Captain. He plays for the England U18 Hockey Team and has won many national competitions with various Whitgift teams in Hockey and Football. 

Joshua is a talented actor/singer who has performed in the West End productions of 'Matilda the Musical', 'Motown the Musical' and 'The Bodyguard'. Whilst in Matilda, he performed at the Royal Variety Performance in front of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip. He has performed in several Whitgift productions, as well as being integral to ensembles like the Soul Choir. He enjoys being a part of the Senior Linguist Society and African Caribbean Society. 

I am Whitgift - Hussain Z

Hussain Zaidi
        Chair of Charities Committee & Young Reporters Writer

“Whitgift has provided me with many unique opportunities for which I am very much grateful.  To me, being a Whitgiftian means being open-minded, inquisitive, and supportive of those around you.”

Hussain has been a writer for the Young Reporters Scheme for four years, and has interviewed many renowned people, including Director-General of the BBC, Mr Tim Davie CBE during his visit to the School. He has written an article on the diversity of students at Whitgift, which was published by Tatler Magazine. 

As Chair of Charities Committee, he helped in many of the School’s community work and charity events, including the annual Charity Concert and volunteers at a local vaccination centre. 

He also enjoys Fencing and is part of the Advanced Biology Club, where he developed an interest in medical ethics, which led him to pursue an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) investigating the responsibility of healthcare, and wrote an essay on this topic for which he was highly commended in Exeter College's summer essay competition. He also took on role of Editor for Whitonomics Magazine, which received several Highly Commended awards at the Shine School Media Awards in 2021.

Femi Owalade-Coombes

Femi Owolade-Coombes Computer-coding entrepreneur and philanthropist

“Femi is a Design, Technology and engineering scholar at Whitgift. His passion for coding led him to set up South London Raspberry Jam – which looks to share his skills and knowledge with other young people.”

Since then, Femi has gone on to run many coding and robot workshops across the UK and internationally, as well as delivering keynote speeches at industry events for RedHat, Amazon and Lloyds Banking Group.  He has also travelled to South-East Asia and China, representing young tech talent in the UK for the Department of International Trade and Global Tech Advocates. The community events he runs with other volunteers, have been praised for being pioneering with their focus on diversity and inclusion. He has also won several prestigious awards including The Inaugural Legacy Diana Award, The Prime Minister's Points of Light award and a Tech London Advocates 25 Under 25 Award. 

He is a passionate hockey player, and having been at the School for a few years, he is often involved in mentoring  or supporting younger students at School events.

I am Whitgift - Bakari L

Bakari Leon        Talented Musician & Young Reporter 

“I’m always inspired by the School’s Music & Drama Departments, there are so many people who are dedicated and happy to teach you, it is such a welcoming community to be a part of.”

Bakari is part of the Young Reporter Scheme and enjoys attending Junior Drama Club, Programming Club, Badminton Club and Golf. He is well-known for his musical talents and is a member of the Soul Choir and Big Band, appearing in many performances such as House Drama, House Music, Hairspray and Around the World in 80 Days. 

He has achieved several awards for his singing talents and most recently won 1st place at the Lent Singing Competition 2021. He also plays the saxophone, loves writing poetry and regularly volunteered to visit and perform for the residents of Whitgift House.

Nifemi Bankole

Nifemi Bankole Stage performer and Lower School Captain (2018/19)

“Whitgift has greatly increased my confidence whether that be on the Big School stage or on the football pitch playing alongside my fellow peers.”

Nifemi is a polite, well-rounded young man and was Whitgift's Lower School Captain (2018-2019). 

He is a talented actor and a regular on the Whitgift stage. Performances in Around the World in Eighty Days, Hairspray, Guys and Dolls and Lord of the Flies have fuelled his taste for drama.

'Whitgift has allowed me to break from my comfort zone and expand my horizons on what is possible, whilst teaching me the importance of teamwork'.

Nifemi is also very sporty and is a dedicated member of the Athletics team, B team Football and C team Rugby.

I am Whitgift

Jack Godwin        IB Student & Thespian

“Choosing the IB diploma allowed me to keep my options open and explore different possibilities.”

Jack joined Whitgift at 13+ and from his first acting part at the School, met many peers, older students and staff who helped him transition and feel at home. Since then, he has appeared in numerous roles, demonstrating his acting range from the role of Macbeth to Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. 

Upon joining Sixth Form, Jack chose to study the International Baccalaureate, allowing him to study subjects he was passionate about at a higher level and challenging himself by studying a new language alongside his science subjects. 

He enjoys many co-curricular activities such as attending the Debating Society, Languages Film Club, Drama Club, and Guitar Club. He also enjoys playing for the Rugby A Team and has volunteered working as a sports coach at a local school during the holidays. 

I am Whitgift - Timi O

        WCSS Volunteer & Aspiring Linguist

“Both in academics and extra-curricular activities, Whitgift has set me high standards which have motivated me to strive for maintaining the best results. There is a sense of community between members of staff and students, where students are able to really voice their opinions and suggestions to teachers.”

Timi has taken part in many school activities and volunteered for the WCSS (Whitgift Community Summer School), helping to support local girls and boys in Year 5 who have been most affected by school closures since the pandemic. He was chosen to take part in a 10-day Investment Banking Internship by InvestIN Education and has written SIGCSE textbooks to help students achieve higher grades in their GCSEs and make it easier to understand topics. 

Timi also plays for the U18 1st Football Team and has joined many clubs such as the Afro-Caribbean Society, Spanish Debating Society, Hispanic Literary Society and Mandarin Chinese Enrichment. 

I am Whitgift - Adedamola A

        Passionate Musician & Actor

“Whitgift has presented me with so many opportunities for me to explore and develop my skills. This has enabled me to further my interests in the things that I'm most passionate about.”

Damola’s passion for Performing Arts is evident in all his performances and he has participated in many school events. He is part of the Soul Choir and Chamber Choir, and entered this year’s Singing Competition, House Music and House Drama competitions. 

Most recently, Damola has played leading characters in  Not About Nightingales, Chariots of Fire and during the Shakespearean play at the Summer Arts Festival. He also volunteered to take part in a Charity Fashion Show with other local schools to raise money for Raise your Hands and Women for Women Afghanistan.

His other interests include playing for the Rugby 2nd Team and he attends the Harcourt-Williams Society, Guitar Club and  A Capella Club.

Max Bateup

        Aspiring writer & Student Council Mentor

“Whitgift has supported me in many ways, and I have been surrounded by superb teachers who inspire me to reach my goals. I have joined the Student Council and signed up to become a mentor to younger boys in the School.”

Max was inspired to sign up to the Peer mentoring course, a programme to support younger students throughout their Whitgift career. He was awarded Winner of The Headmaster’s Award for Outstanding All Round Academic Achievement in (2018 - 2019) and has been appointed School Vice-Captain (2021 - 2022). 

He is also a member of the English Society and enjoys playing Football for the School U16A Team, recently joining the senior Football programme with the 2nd XI.  In his lunchtime he is either playing Golf or working on completing his Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), an independent research project for Sixth Formers.