A BRADFORD man has been recognised for his work in the community after being nominated for a national award.

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez, who lives in Wyke, has been shortlisted at the National Diversity Awards.

Tony runs Bradford community organisation Africa4U and has been nominated in the Positive Role Model category.

Africa4U aims to give a platform to African and Caribbean people in the district, while also aiming to “bridge the gap” between people of all backgrounds in Bradford and encourage community cohesion.

“I feel very humbled by this nomination”, said Tony, who is originally from Nigeria and has lived in Bradford for five years after moving to the city from London.

“I don’t have any expectations, being nominated is enough in itself, and I want to embrace the moment for what it is.

“Overall, I feel overwhelmed to have been recognised.”

Tony has organised Black History Month celebrations at the Houses of Parliament for several years, and through Africa4U has organised events honouring Bradford’s inspirational people, including the district’s women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

“I try to bridge people together and promote Bradford to the rest of the world”, he said.

“I hope what we do today will go a long way in the future.”

Tony also wants to encourage more people from Bradford’s Black communities to get involved in local politics.

“There are no Black councillors in Bradford. I want to encourage Black people to get more involved with the decision-making process of the communities they live in”, he said.

“I also think there is room for improvement in Bradford in terms of community organisations, I think we need to work together more.”

Bradford4Better, one of Africa4U’s partners, has also been nominated at the National Diversity Awards, in the Community Organisation for Multi-Strand category.

Dr Sohail Ahmed, Bradford4Better chairperson, is also shortlisted, in the same category as Tony.

“I feel positively encouraged by Dr Sohail’s nomination, but I am not surprised”, said Tony.

“Last year he was shortlisted for a national GP award, and he’s been doing great work for years.”

Speaking earlier this week, Dr Sohail Ahmed said: “Bradford4Better represents a lot of hope and genuine passion.

“It fills a vacuum that exists in Bradford, and we hope that we can continue to have that support from the people to keep us doing the work we are doing.

“We are working on highlighting all the diverse parts of our community and showing the rich culture the city has to offer.”