The inaugural 2013 African Diaspora Awards event was a great success with praise and compliments’ coming from attendees on the night, and as word spreads, there has also been support from the wider public. The event was a landmark occasion and has undoubtedly made an imprint as one of the most significant and prestigious events in the UK African community calendar, which looks set to become a major annual fixture. We have made our mark!
The Awards were held in the luxurious Intercontinental London Westminster Hotel. Here the nominees, winners and audience were honoured in beautiful surroundings with fine art, champagne, a three course meal with beverages to suit, and plentiful conversation.
The Awards hostess was Ms Glorianne Francis who kept the audience amused and entertained throughout the evening with her lively wit and humorous banter.
During dinner guests had the opportunity to silently bid for amazing items with all proceeds going to Tutudesk Campaign. Ms Rebecca Sweetman, CEO of Tutudesk UK, spoke of the work being done to provide portable school desks to children in Sub Saharan Africa, where over 95 million school children don’t have the benefit of a classroom desk. For more information or to donate please contact [email protected]
The event was graced with the presence of and presentations by a number of internationally renowned personalities.
Algy Cluff, Chairman of Cluff Natural Resources made a rare presentation and spoke on building strategic partnerships with Africa and the Diaspora community in today’s globalised world, making the African Diaspora Awards his first stop of the evening.
Dr Knox Chitiyo, Chairman of the African Diaspora Awards (ADA) In his speech acknowledged that “Now is the time for the African Diaspora” he also paid tribute to African Diasporas past, present and future. Acknowledging our legacy and struggle for achievement “Walking in the footsteps of giants” both in Africa and in the UK. He commended the Award nominees and winners for what he called “The pursuit of everyday excellence”
HE Ms Thandi Modise, Premier of North – West Province, Republic of South Africa, spoke of her commitment to ending apartheid to promoting social justice, gender equality and women’s voice not just in South Africa but also internationally. She also spoke of the vital role women can and are playing, in community and global peace- building. Following her presentation, Ms Modise also honoured the role played by the African Diaspora in the struggles for equality in Africa and also for their contribution to the rise of contemporary Africa. She celebrated Africa’s partnership with the Diaspora’s Modise was presented with a special African Diaspora Award in recognition of her outstanding role in the advancement of peace- building and women’s empowerment in Africa.
HE Mohamed Omaar, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Transitional Federal Government of Somali took the stage and spoke on representing Somalia and the wider African Diaspora community here in the UK.
Ms Lillian Ogbogoh, who is well known for her community work in the UK African Diaspora, also spoke on the key role women have played in empowering the African Diaspora over generations.
In closing, Conrad Mwanza, CEO African Diaspora Awards, thanked the guests and pointed out that “This is a momentous time for us as a community; we acknowledge and honour the sacrifices that have been made to follow dreams while overcoming hardship to achieve success.”
The winners of the African Diaspora Awards 2013 were decided by a prestigious panel including Dr. Ellis L.C. Osabutey, International Management & Innovation Department, Middlesex University Business School, Joseph Harker, Comments Editor Guardian, Frances Williams, Managing Director Reconnect Africa, Patrica Lamour, Managing Director Aspire Education Group, Rolake Akinkugbe, Head Energy, Research Ecobank.
- Business Leader of the year – Tsega Gebreyes, Staya Capital
- Entrepreneur of the Year – Eric-Vincent Guichard, Homestrings
- Business of the Year – Dr Ismail Ahmed, World Remit
- Community Hero – Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, African Peoples Advocacy
- Community Organisation – Debbie Ariyo (OBE), Afruca UK
- Outstanding Achievement in Media – Minna Salami, Blogger, writer and commentator
- Outstanding Achievement in Television – Komla Dumar, BBC
- Outstanding Achievement in Education and Academia – Professor Ken Kamoche, Nottingham University
Future Leader Award
- Outstanding Future Prospects [under 35] – Kenny Imafidon (Kenny Report)
- Diaspora Engagement Award – Moneygram
Lifetime Outstanding Achievement Award
- For Outstanding service to the community – Margaret Feeny
Philanthropist of the Year
- For outstanding moral, financial and/or resource support and investment in the community – Sodje Brothers, Sodje Sports Foundation
Advancement of Peace and Women in Africa
- Advancement of peace in Africa – Thandie Modise, Premier of the North West Province in South Africa