Florence I. 'Cuppy' Otedola (2021, MSc African Studies) has given £100,000 to the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) for the creation of the Cuppy Africa Oxford Scholars Fund, which aims to support future leaders from the continent by enabling them to access the necessary skills, resources and networks to maximise their impact across Africa and beyond. 

The fund will support African graduate students at the University of Oxford to meet unexpected and urgent financial needs and undertake activities that will ensure the pursuit of excellence in their graduate studies. In particular, the Cuppy Africa Oxford Scholars Fund will offer additional support to the African Graduate Support Fund and enable AfOx to meet the needs of the most vulnerable students, including those with any form of disability and students with caring responsibilities. AfOx is a cross-university platform which aims to make engagement with Africa a strategic priority for Oxford.

Cuppy, who recently attended her graduation ceremony in Oxford, joined LMH in 2021 to study for her MSc in African Studies, her third degree. She is one of the foremost DJs in Africa and has performed internationally, including at the MTV Africa Music Awards. Cuppy’s philanthropic endeavours include supporting a range of organisations tackling critical issues such as child protection and education for girls and persons with disabilities.

Passionate about nurturing future leaders from her home continent, Cuppy says: "I am so proud of this partnership that not only extends my relationship with Oxford University but empowers future generations to come. Having just graduated with a MSc degree in African Studies myself, I saw first-hand the variances in university life experiences for students originating from my continent, Africa. The fundamental role that the Cuppy Fund will play is to narrow resource gaps for those who need it the most so they can fully commit to pursuing the education they deserve. The opportunity to study at Oxford is an accomplishment but one fully realised when you are able to complete your course."

Dr Anne Makena, Co-Director of AfOx, University of Oxford, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Cuppy is so generously supporting African graduate students here at Oxford. We both share the experience of being African graduate students at Oxford and it is a great honour for AfOx to partner with Cuppy to address some of the unique challenges that African students might encounter during their time in Oxford. The Cuppy Africa Oxford Scholars Fund will help to ensure that they have access to the best possible support to navigate and succeed at Oxford, and continue on to remarkable careers as champions of development in African countries and globally."

All photos copyright Florence I. 'Cuppy’ Otedola.