There is a a Zulu proverb which has been adopted by the whole of Africa which says "Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu" basically translating to "a person is a person because of other people".

I couldn’t agree more as time and time again this is a proven.

It also reminds me of calls and messages I get from young creatives who are trying to make their way outside the big cities such as London.

They want to know how I managed to make a successful career based in Norfolk.

And this same Zulu proverb comes to mind every single time.

I have been based here for over 20 years, but there was a time when I did move away from Norfolk to London after being fed up with some organisations not taking me seriously when I said I was based in Norwich.

They always questioned me as to why I was here, asking whether anything ever happens in Norfolk, whether there is much of a diverse community, how, what, why and so on and so on.

But I am glad to say that, after a few months in London I came back to Norwich and have been determined ever since that if anyone wants to work with me they will find me here.

I am still very defensive and proud when I go out into the big wide world and I talk about my love of our county and how much I have been welcomed and how my contribution is appreciated and acknowledged.

So yes, I do say to the young people “you can make it outside London, travel the country and the world and just be good and passionate about what you do”.

And that very statement came true a couple of weeks ago when I was invited to the House of Lords to accept an award from Euroknowledge for Philanthropy and Leadership in Nation Building. I was invited to attend the event, accept my award, give a short thank you and also sing for 10 minutes. It ended up being longer with an encore!

The 120 guests in attendance had travelled from  as far away as Nigeria, Australia, America and Sierra Leone, as well as all parts of the UK.

My award was given alongside some impressive individuals who are making a real difference in the world.

These included chiefs, preachers, property developers, professors, doctors, broadcasters, scientists, charity fundraisers, pharmacists and sportsman Dalton Grant, a twice commonwealth Gold medallist and captain of the British Athletic team.

Of the 12 awards given, two went to women, myself and one other. We listened to a men’s and then a women’s panel discussion about: the leadership role in nation building; women in leadership position and governance; leadership and philanthropy; and the closing speech from Mark Furlong, President of Forbes Customers Emerging Market.

He spoke very passionately about the strong emerging projects coming from the continent of Africa, and just to show how small our world really is, it was whilst networking after lunch that a young man approached me.

He was there as a representative of a High Nigerian Chief who was part of a big housing development in Kings Lynn. We swapped numbers and, next time he’s in Norfolk, I’ve invited him to our house to eat some Norfolk Black Chicken!

It was a very moving moment too when I was asked to sign the House of Commons Nelson Mandela Book of Tribute, adding to notable previous signatures such as David Beckham, Barrack Obama, Maya Angelou and many more.

I left London afterwards and headed back home to rural Norfolk to put my feet up in front of a log fire; but there is no doubt that it was a life changing experience, shared with like minded people, driven to bring positive change through passion and a strong belief in their practice.

And as for me, my name would not have meant anything to the organisers if it wasn’t for someone here in Norfolk putting me forward. So as the saying goes, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for other people, so thank you nominee. And here’s to the next chapter!