Ngozi Fulani temporarily steps down as CEO of Sistah Space after race row
Ngozi Fulani has temporarily stepped down as CEO of Sistah Space – and slammed Buckingham Palace for not apologising to her properly after Queen Elizabeth II’s most senior lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey asked her ‘where are you really from?’
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Ms Fulani said the Sistah Space charity has suffered as a direct result of the race row. She said following the incident, ‘violence’ has been directed towards her and claims the Palace hasn’t intervened.
‘So what I’ve had to do, I’ve now temporarily stepped down as CEO of Sistah Space,’ Ms Fulani announced on Good Morning Britain today.
‘The service users and the community can’t access us properly. This whole thing has cost us a fortune because we had to pay our own PR to stop the press from coming up, it was horrible.’
Ms Fulani also hit out at the Palace, though an official statement of apology was issued publicly and she met with Lady Susan in December to discuss the issue.
She told GMB: ‘Who are they apologising to? If you’re sorry, tell me you’re sorry, if you’re not, it speaks for itself.’
‘If you have to ask somebody for an apology, it is not an apology,’ she added.
Lady Susan Hussey (pictured) has returned to performing official duties for Princess Anne
Ngozi Fulani said she felt she suffered ‘a form of abuse’ during her encounter with Lady Susan, who repeatedly asked her where she was ‘really from’, despite her making clear she was British
‘I’m just making the point so that everybody understands, I don’t see what is so hard to say I’m sorry.
‘You sent me the invitation so you know how to find me. You know how to say sorry.
‘If you’re sorry then say sorry, if you’re not, I get it.
‘But when you make this apology to everybody, I don’t know who you’re apologising to.’
But she said she does not regret speaking out about what happened as she is ‘about discussing and making aware violence against women and girls, and I’ll go anywhere at any time to fight that cause.’
Ms Fulani had accompanied a friend to a Buckingham Palace reception, hosted by the Queen Consort, to highlight violence against women and girls.
She said Lady Susan repeatedly asked her where she was ‘really from’, despite her making clear she was British, during the event.
Ms Fulani appeared on Good Morning Britain today where she said she does not regret speaking out about what happened
She hit out at the Palace and announced she has temporarily stepped down as CEO of Sistah Space
What is Sistah Space?
Sistah Space is a not-for-profit charity which supports women and girls of African heritage who are victims of domestic violence.
The charity was founded in 2015 in direct response to the tragic murder of Valerie Forde and her 22-month-old daughter by Valerie’s ex-partner.
In a statement, Sistah Space said: ‘It’s been an extremely challenging but rewarding journey of love and care.
‘Starting as a small idea in 2015 and continuing seven years later with the advocacy, training and support we offer today.
Ms Fulani says she was left feeling ‘violated’ after Prince William’s godmother ‘interrogated’ her.
The former lady-in-waiting, who served the late Queen for six decades and was retained by the King in an honorary role, stepped down ‘with immediate effect’ in November amid a furious outcry after Ms Fulani tweeted about her experience at the event.
Ms Fulani previously described her Buckingham Palace ordeal as a ‘form of abuse’.
She also said Lady Susan moved her dreadlocks during the exchange so she could read her name badge.
‘That’s a no-no,’ Miss Fulani said. ‘I wouldn’t put my hands in someone’s hair, and culturally it’s not appropriate.’
After Ms Fulani made a string of media appearances about the incident, the pair met at Buckingham Palace in mid-December.
The Palace said following the meeting: ‘At this meeting, filled with warmth and understanding, Lady Susan offered her sincere apologies for the comments that were made and the distress they caused to Ms Fulani.
‘Lady Susan has pledged to deepen her awareness of the sensitivities involved and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the issues in this area.
‘Ms Fulani, who has unfairly received the most appalling torrent of abuse on social media and elsewhere, has accepted this apology and appreciates that no malice was intended.
‘Both Ms Fulani and Lady Susan ask now that they be left in peace to rebuild their lives in the wake of an immensely distressing period for them both.
‘They hope that their example shows a path to resolution can be found with kindness, co-operation and the condemnation of discrimination wherever it takes root.
‘It is the wish of both parties that, at the end of the UN’s 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, attention can now return to the important work of Sistah Space in supporting women affected by domestic abuse.
‘Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort and other members of the Royal Family have been kept fully informed and are pleased that both parties have reached this welcome outcome.’
MailOnline has contacted Buckingham Palace and Sistah Space for comment.