John Junior Ikonneh Son of John and Maria Ulumma Ikonneh and the youngest of their six children. Born in the United Kingdom in 1967 John has lived a quite textured life. He was a singer and actor and writer in the early 80s. In the late 80s early 90s he ran a comedy club with his cousin before that he mentored young people and became a youth worker, working in Hackney, Harlesden and Kilburn. In 1992 he organised a live show at a world famous venue in the heart of Hackney.
He had an idea to have a 3 panel Judge system, of which he was one, to determine which artists, singers, dancers and performers in Hackney would grace the stage of the live show. The word go out and we had queues of people around the country and neighbouring boroughes coming to audition to win a spot on the live show at the Hackney Empire (this idea would never catch on) The show was a success because at that time we were living in Thatchers’ Britain where unemployment was a high a 67% of black youth unemployment compared to 37% white youth unemployment.
Around 1999 John arranged his own work experience with Hackney council as time became financially tough for him and I.T was the new black. He offered what little knowledge he had gathered about I.T after doing a failed course in MCSE Microsoft Certificate. After redefining the meaning of failure to “oops” it was time for a new strategy to get up to that mountain. Although John had an ability called Dyslexia his thinking modality was never designed for theory based learning.
It was very much role up your sleeves and get elbow deep for total accumulation and emersion of learning. Learning was difficult for John because he always saw learning as a punishment. His father was a violent man when he was child. His father would beat or punish him for playing and used books as a way of stopping his fun. So the association of fun, enjoyment and freedom was shut down with “Have you read your books” or “Go read your books” or his fathers favourite catch-phase “Go to the garden and bring me a stick” As much as we today can talk about black families and fathers beating their children and laugh about it. His rage and violence left lasting psychological problems to his two older brothers. One of which he no longer speaks to.
It was God’s Grace and Mercy as to why he survived the mental torture. The need to serve others was born out of the loneliness of Childhood. As he grew up he wondered if other people had experienced what I had endured. The isolation and fear, confused identity being a British born Igbo, who lived in three worlds. First world his fathers house in Hackney was Igbo land. Second World United Kingdom at School and third world when he was in neither situation. They had but not like Johns’.
In 2004 John discovered NLP and Hypnotherapy. He trained as a Hypnotherapist in 2005 and helped many people. It was a rewarding experience and he soon entered the world of personal development. He still helps people today where he can. The Birth of Ulumma-B The Nigerian Igbo Restaurant and Bar is an opportunity to serve, to be kind, to be welcoming and to set a standard by which all African Restaurant can follow so that All African Restaurant can be a might force in the Catering market in the UK and Europe.