Fight against racism on campaign trail in Hucknall

Councillors Lachlan Morrison and Nicolle Ndiweni
Councillors Lachlan Morrison and Nicolle Ndiweni

Hucknall’s first black district councillor has revealed how she had to fight racial discrimination on the campaign trail.

Nicolle Ndiweni was elected to represent Hucknall Central for Labour in the May 7 local elections and made the remarks to the Chronicle, a daily newspaper in Zimbabwe, during a recent visit.

She said: “When I ran for council I thought that everyone will receive me well and when you start knocking on neighbours’ doors and people you don’t necessarily know, you start to realise that people have different ideas on different things so yeah, there was some racism that I did face and there was a lot of prejudice against immigration as a whole. There’s a lot of frustration in the UK at the moment with immigration.

“There were times when I thought ‘Why am I doing this?’ I was being called all sorts of names that weren’t really pleasant and I think it really was a character-building experience, you think you’re strong until you’re tried.”

Ms Ndiweni, 26, grew up in Karoi, Mashonaland, after her father opened a pharmacy there and left Zimbabwe 13 years ago.

She studied criminology and international relations at the Univeristy of Lincoln before founding an online hair extensions company called Nicolle’s Boutique.

She added: “It’s truly an honour to represent my country in such a positive light abroad and to be the first black councillor in a town that is historically is known for racism here and there. Not so much now - but it’s still there.”

She added: “Whether you’re the only black person or the new person in a workplace, you’re always eager to please and do the best you can.

“I would say that being the only person of colour in the chambers sometimes is interesting to say the least.”