We’re AB InBev, brewer of some of the world’s best beers, like Stella Artois, Corona and our American brand Budweiser.  

Introduce yourself, please. What is your role and responsibilities: 

I´m currently working in our IT Solutions team in Munich, Germany; helping to ensure the systems and technologies local colleagues use are in working order. I also provide guidance, assistance and help troubleshoot on IT issues. I love the variety and interaction the role brings, especially in setting our new joiners up for success by ensuring their IT systems and devices are all working.  

What does Black History Month mean to you? 

I give credit to Dr C.G Woodson whose contributions and dedication led to the establishment of Black History Month. Personally, it’s a solidarity call from my side to the BHM movement and African Diaspora during the transatlantic slave trade to different regions of the Americas and the Caribbean. Most of the courage and resilience Dr Woodson and others showed during this period made sure African-American contributions were not overlooked, but instead recognised and celebrated.  

Who is your role model? 

My Mother: Lolo Christian Chilaka (retired secondary school teacher); she is the most resilient and solution-oriented human being that I´ve ever known. With her prayers, support, and guidance we grew up with moral values and empathy. A widow with 7 children, she built a strong bond among all her children instilling in us the ideology that “family is everything”. I dedicate part of my Sunday’s to having a catch-up with her because she is my most trusted friend. 

Where do you feel we’re at in race relations in Germany? 

I am a bit indifferent on the topic of race. Racism is obviously there and exists, but we give a lot of energy and attention to discussing the differences way too much that it seems we will never get to move on and move away from it. I just want to have a cold beer with my colleagues or friends without remembering they are white or black…just Emmanuel having a beer with Lennart or Gary, period. 

I think the race relations in Germany has dramatically taken a positive turn and the negatives toned down. If I compare my culture shock experience 19 years ago when I relocated to Germany to now, I can categorically say that a lot has changed and there is a continuous conscious effort in Germany to project equality, diversity, and inclusion thanks to the equal treatment act implemented German law. 

Black Lives Matter protests around the world last year sparked a commitment across society and business for greater education about Black history, heritage and culture – as part of understanding racism and standing in solidarity against it. So, a year on, has anything changed for the better? 

Yes, a lot has changed for the better but one thing in life is that everything that exists in life grows slowly and steadily. I do not expect a swift transition, but the world is aware and can speak up against any racist act or discrimination they see without shying away. Most bold racists are tamed. I always say if you don’t want to be part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Even systemic or institutional racism is being put in check. Global companies like AB InBev show solidarity against discrimination and I am proud to be employed here. We all must be part of it. 

Working at AB InBev, how do you feel equality is recognized by colleagues and leadership? 

My experience in AB InBev has been incredibly positive about equality. It feels good when you work for a company who is a serious advocate for diversity and inclusion. The leadership in Munich cares and supports employees immensely, especially the people management without any preferential treatment. Also, my team starting from VP down to my direct line manager gives me a full sense of belonging and a clear line of equal growth opportunity for every team member with no exceptions.

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