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Olutayo Arikawe: Pharmacy, Management & Aspirations

She was first nominated in 2009 for two awards – “New Pharmacist” and “Manager of the Year” – at the Chemist And Druggist Magazine Awards. Then, in 2016, Olutayo Arikawe walked away with the two most prestigious awards: “Community Pharmacist of the Year” and “Manager of the Year”.

But some years ago, Olutayo Arikawe left an established career in Nigeria, to start all over again in the United Kingdom. Today, the Women4Africa nominee, who is the pharmacist that many aspire to be, talks about what it means to build castles in the lives of others …


Name: Olutayo Arikawe

Best known For: Winning an award for being the best pharmacist in the UK

Website: (Still under construction)

Describe yourself in three words: Empathetic, Passionate, Inspirational

Previous occupation: Always been a pharmacist and a transformational coach

12-month goal: To support at least 20 people in achieving their dreams through coaching and mentoring

Describe your outlook: I like keeping things simple.

Your greatest career highlights to date: Winning the ‘I Love My Pharmacist’ Award and a prestigious Chemist and Druggist Magazine Award.

Is international appeal important to you? Yes

Most important piece of equipment you use in your career: Pen

A typical day for you is: 8am Check emails, and finish off any paperwork from the day before. 8.45am Arrive at pharmacy. 9am Pharmacy opens. 9-10am Preparing methadone doses and labelling and carrying out other typical tasks. 10-11am Attend team meetings. It’s also an opportunity to leave the pharmacy to run sexual health workshops or other public health outreach work. 11am-2pm Take patient appointments and walk-ins, meetings with other pharmacists. 2-2.30pm Lunch (or monthly 1-2-1 meetings with staff). 2.30-3pm Check emails, meeting with pharmacy stakeholders. 3-4pm More pharmacy tasks. 4-5pm Training work experience staff, students, pre-registration trainees or apprentices. 5-6pm Sorting through paperwork and prepare for next day. 6pm Pharmacy closes.

What legacy would you like to leave? I want to build castles in the lives of people. I learnt from my mother to treasure people over material things. I want to help people achieve their dreams.


Career Challenges

What is the hardest professional decision you’ve ever had to make? Moving from a well-established career in Nigeria to start all over again in the UK.

Single piece of advice you give your mentees: Your success lies within you.



You live in: United Kingdom

Favourite food: Yam and Fried Egg

Biggest spiritual/life lesson you’ve learned: To look unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of my faith, because he is the only one who does not fail.

What do you do for leisure? I like to spend time with my husband.

One app or piece of technology you cannot do without: My phone


You can catch up with Olutayo Arikawe on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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