Born in Africa, living in Britain and about to be made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire wearing an original piece of fashion by Canadian fashion designer Izzy Camilleri, Anne Wafula Strike’s dedication and tenacity has been noticed around the world.

Scan 53Struck down with Polio at two years old, in her birthplace of Mihu, Kenya, Anne faced recovery from her illness, the subsequent relocation of her family and a number of other hurdles early in life. Living up to her middle name ‘Olympia’, Anne took on the challenges throughout her youth and flourished, graduating from Moi University with a Bachelor of Education before beginning her career as a teacher. Through her work, she met new people, bringing about a move to Britain, motherhood and an introduction to wheelchair racing.

In 2004, she became the first wheelchair racer from East Africa to compete at the Paralympics, the beginning of an Olympic career that also saw her join Team GB to compete again, as well as being selected as part of the torch relay at the London games.
On top of her contributions to wheelchair athletics, Anne has been actively involved in numerous charities including Able Child Africa, an organization that supports young people living with disability in Africa. She is also fiercely dedicated to raising funds for the eradiation of polio and awareness of PPS -post polio syndrome.

Scan 52Through her writing, motivational speaking and dedication to numerous causes, Anne provides a personal example of courage, commitment and determination that challenges misconceptions about Disability.

This year, her services to disability sport and charity work were recognized when she was named in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honors as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
News of this honor came to Izzy Camilleri who has her own line of fashionable, functional clothes specifically tailored for people who use wheelchairs. Impressed by Anne’s achievements, Izzy instantly offered to design and donate two custom gowns for the investiture where she will receive her medal at Buckingham Palace.

A celebrated and innovative designer for 30 years, some of Izzy’s past clients include Meryl Streep, David Bowie, Angelina Jolie and Daniel Radcliffe. She has crafted gorgeous collections featured in fashion magazines from Vogue to InStyle, but it was in 2004 when approached by a well-known journalist that Izzy saw the gap in the market and recognized the need for sartorially savvy, super-comfortable, groundbreaking fashions available to people in wheelchairs. Since then, IZ Adaptive has grown to include clients from around the world.

Using fabric that was gifted to Anne through her charity work in Africa, Izzy created a teal green dress with bright florals for the ceremony. It will be complimented by unique wheel adornments- created to look like a bouquet inspired by the florals of the dress, and a matching hat, designed and donated by another Canadian designer Karyn Gingras of Lilliput Hats. The sea foam green evening gown, accented by clusters of rhinestones around the neck is also complimented by jeweled wheel adornments created specifically for the occasion.

Both of the looks, which embrace the wheelchair that Anne uses and incorporates it rather than ignoring it or trying to hide it reflects Anne’s attitude to life and her Disability, a perfect tribute to the occasion and her achievements so far.

For more information on Izzy’s work, please visit: or Updates are posted on

More information on Anne and her charity work can be found at