Nigerian-Canadian medical doctor, Chika Stacy Oriuwa, has emerged as one of the 50 most influential people in Canada, coming at number 37.
Oriuwa, whose parents – Stephen and Catherine Oriuwa emigrated from Nigeria to Canada in the 1980s, came 37th on the Macleans power list which is a ranking of the most influential people in Canada.
Raised in Brampton and Oriuwa graduated as the sole valedictorian of her class breaking the record as the only black woman to achieve that feat in the 179 years history of the University of Toronto.
Oriuwa is a serial overachiever, as she’s not only a resident physician at the University of Toronto, but also a very well accomplished spoken word artist. Her spoken word poem Woman, Black which she released in 2017 garnered over twelve thousand views on YouTube.
Oriuwa is very passionate about inspiring young girls, and she is quoted to have expressed how fulfilling it is to her that she can impact the lives of young girls.
Before her inclusion in the Macleans power list, Oriuwa was selected by toymaker, Mattel to be part of its Barbie Role Models Program as she was one of those who worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has a Barbie doll created in her likeness.
In an interview, she expressed her happiness at being selected stating: “It was such a full-circle moment for me, as a young girl who played with Barbies and always really wanted to see myself reflected. Not only as a child who wanted to be a physician but as a young Black girl.”
Oriuwa has so many other achievements to her name as she has shown countless times that she doesn’t shy away from challenges. She co-founded the Black Interprofessional Students’ Association (BIPSA) in Medical school in order to network students across graduate programs.
She is also the ambassador and public face of Black Student Application Program (BSAP), an optional application process created by the University of Toronto to help qualified black students get into the university seamlessly.
She delivered the keynote speech at Women’s College Hospital for International Women’s Day, entitled “Thriving at the Intersections: Being a Black Woman in Medicine.”
She has received several awards and honours like the 2018 African Scholars Emerging Academic Award – University of Toronto, 2020 Valedictorian of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.
Oriuwa is also the co-director of a non-profit youth leadership organization called Uflow, and was on the External Implementation Steering Committee to the Minister of Children and Youth Services, focused on shaping the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan.