By the editor: Simba Smp
Once again Black African Women Rock (BAWR) hosted a night to remember in Woking and for the third year in a row it was another sell out. A beautiful night made more beautiful by people dressed to impress, an unmatched networking platform, a marvellous three course meal and to top it all up it was in the swanky surroundings of the Double Tree By Hilton Hotel. Each of the fifteen award winners were voted for by the public, except one special women recognition which is traditionally awarded by BAWR. From the stage the show was driven by the immaculate co-hosts MC Chijota alongside Nyasha Michelle. The crowd were serenaded all night with music on the decks by the maverick DJ Graham Nice. In between the serious core business of the night, there were so many light hearted moments that brought smiles, laughs and excitement as the crowd took to the centre stage to showcase their dance moves.
. As part of its empowerment drive, BAWR gave the young, talented and beautiful Nyasha Michelle the leap from being a red-carpet host last year to the centre stage as a co-host for this event and she did not disappoint. It was a joy seeing her arousing the crowd and gelling effortlessly with the super duper side-kick MC Chijota. Naturally BAWR takes pride in providing a platform to blossom for young black females so it was a no-brainer toasting the continual rising of Nyasha into a top drawer show host. Besides an incredible set list by the host DJ, the event was spiced up with an Afro flavour by the hugely talented South African but UK based artist Busi Mhlanga. Promoting African arts is also within the ream of BAWR and Busi fitted the bill, not to mention the excitement her performance effected on the crowd.
Busi Mhlanga.. Nyasha Michelle…
Interestingly within the diversity of the room, there was ample evidence to suggest that people of African origin are increasingly feeling more comfortable in their own skin. This is significant because among all the other ethnic minorities in the UK, Afro people are often rightly or wrongly accused of being self haters or lacking pride in themselves. By the way this column uses the term Afro to encompass both Africans and Caribbeans regardless of where they were born or live. On this occasion it was particularly refreshing to witness the unity between those from Caribbean and African backgrounds whiling the night away excitedly as one big family. Indeed Afro people should be part of the wider UK community, but it is also equally important to find love, knowledge, encouragement and support within our African community first. Since we are beneficiaries of multiculturalism system in the UK, we should not be just mere pawns but a fully self empowered community and participating on an equal footing within the system. We are constantly reminded that charity begins at home, therefore the love has to start within ourselves and in order to speak with a clear voice it is important to find ways of empowering and embracing each other.
Admittedly, there is still a lot of work to be done for African people to be described as fully empowered but every small positive step should be celebrated. In order to keep progressing, it is imperative for African people to desist from the negativity of jealousy, hatred, backbiting and undermining each other if we are to reach the dizzy heights enjoyed by other communities. This is where the events such as this becomes relevant and BAWR are proud to play their small part in making us a better people. With more support BAWR can keep on empowering our marginalised people but the onus should not be left on BAWR alone, rather it should be a responsibility for every individual in the whole African community.
This event would not have happened without support from sponsors, nominees, supporters, attendees, contributors and volunteers. So a big thank you goes out to everyone who made this day a success. Complete empowerment for all of us may still be a pipe dream, but lets keep the vision going, lets keep the dream going into the new year. Together we can!!
P.S– Please check more pictures of the event at the very bottom…
2016 Award Winners
- Fashion Designer: Angela Plummer
- People’s Choice Award: Rutendo Joan Nyahora
- Leadership In Women Empowerment: Julliet Makaphila
- Female Artist: Queen Patience Khanyil
- Outstanding Woman Award: Primerose Makunzva
- Businesswoman of the year: Dee Mapusure
- Young Woman Award: Perdita Sam Otoo
- Social & Humanitarian Award: Evelyn Pindura
- Young Inspiration Woman: Nyane Lebatjo
- Author/Writer Award: Tsitsi Tsopotsa
- Media Personality Award: Pelagia Mutake
- Event of the year: LiftEffects Conference 2015
- Pageant of the year: Miss Pride of Africa
- Lifetime Achiever: Mary Suto
- Community Champion: Sarah Abbeam Danso
- Women Recognition;
Hampshire African Community Association (HACA)
Busi Christian Iwuagwu