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Meet Dr Yinka: Saluting our Sisters for Black History Month

Photograph of Dr Olayinka Monisola Fadahunsi-Oluwole (Yinka) smiling closeup
24 October 2023

Meet Dr Olayinka Monisola Fadahunsi-Oluwole (Yinka), Specialty Doctor in Community Paediatrics!

We spoke to Yinka about who inspired her as a child, what attracted her to becoming a doctor and advice for others starting their careers.


How did you first get into your chosen area of work?

“I am a Daddy’s girl so followed in my Dad’s footsteps. My Dad was the kindest, most humble soul I know with a listening compassionate and empathetic nature.”

What first attracted you to becoming a doctor and working at Sheffield Children’s?

Yinka wearing yellow The Children's Hospital Charity tshirt and orange hat smiling

“I moved to Sheffield with my then husband and was disappointed I could not progress in safeguarding as child protection and a voice for children and their families is my real passion. I feel every behaviour is caused and it remains a fine line for us all regarding coping with what life throws at us. I see the shades of grey in all situations and children want very simple things – to be loved, to be played with, listened to, to be respected. Yes, we as adults need to earn the respect of our children and be their greatest advocates at all times.

“We, as doctors must walk humbly, with overflowing compassion and kindness as it is a privilege to journey with our families. I am especially keen to see equity, to take time with the parent who is hurting, anxious, not articulate and often may say things that may be inappropriate/hurtful and act in a manner we may find distasteful at times. We have not walked in their shoes, and even those who may have made the wrong choices – there is always a reason.
“In Nigerian Pidgin English we often say ‘na situation wey make crayfish bend’. I have however found ways to be a voice and advocate for all my patients and I think my colleagues must sometimes think, I think I am ‘Mother Africa’ to all children! We are all learning to celebrate difference.”

Who inspired you when you were a child?Yinka and her dad smiling

“My darling dad, and my mother too! He listened to us all. There were six of us and I was the eldest. My mother was a teacher (an accountant really, but she chose to be a hands-on mother and found the teaching profession let her care for us) I always marvelled how after mum had kept dad’s special dish of food for his return from work – we would all sit round the table, and he would listen to us while he ate and shared all his special dish with us! We certainly had the last laugh but what I learnt from that was love from so many angles as my mother was also a very clever a lady!
“Our parents gave us a secure base! They believed in us, and we flew knowing that the sky was not the limit! I think this has been the rock that has kept me and my siblings to this day despite the knocks of life! May dad’s beautiful soul continue to rest in perfect peace. Amen.”

What reflections do you have on challenges and achievements in your life?

“How long do you have?! We face this daily, but I have chosen always to face it all with faith, love, joy, hope and thanksgiving always! I believe however bleak a situation is there is always something to be thankful for! We are all biased. I have bias too! We must recognise this, reflect on it and do better next time! This journey is together!

“My only sadness is that we don’t have more good Samaritans who show mercy to their fellow man and not turn a blind eye, cross the road or just walk-on! Our allies, of which we all should be to each other, must be brave to stand up to call it out and to be counted! It gets easier as it forms a ripple and soon, we will all be doing it, and the world will be a better place filled with love for all!
“8 minutes 46 seconds is etched in my heart for life as I will never understand why nobody said stop!! The death of George Floyd in Covid times and having a son who speaks out has been instrumental in my life!
“I hope I can give something back to this world which remains beautiful – like a rose despite the thorns, before the Lord calls me home!”

Do you have any helpful advice for others that you wish you knew while progressing in your career?

“Be kind to yourself!
Be kind to others!
Be realistic in ambition!
Be true to yourself!
Be an ambassador for good!
Work hard but also play just as hard! Covid taught us that.
Listen well!
Aim for the skies!
As I have got older, I have learnt as my brother taught me that the ‘relationships built’ is the real golden goose!
And if you have a faith – PRAY!”

Thank you Yinka for sharing with us – you’re amazing! This story was shared as part our celebrations in Black History Month 💙

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