From empowering speeches to a surprise appearance from GQ Solo Artist of The Year 2017 himself, Stormzy, the debut Black Magic Awards at the Hackney Empire last Saturday (9 September 2017) was a huge success.
Founders and organisers, Kojo Anim and Annika Allen pulled out all the stops and created an uplifting and inspirational evening that was pure magic.
Comedian, Eddie Kadi and model/presenter Annaliese Daye whose vibrant energy as a duo helped to set the vibrant pace for the fun-filled night.
Twelve inspirational women, from the worlds of entertainment, business, sport and much more were honoured. First up was GQ Publisher Vanessa Kingori. Receiving her Media Mogul Award which was presented by Casualty and EastEnders star Charless Venn, Kingori’s empowering speech set the bench mark for all of the other honourees after her.
From comedy queen, Angie Le Mar, veteran actress, Angela Griffin, seasoned journalist, Jasmine Dotiwala, humanitarian Beverly De-Gale OBE to Lady of Soul, Jenny Francis, a theme soon emerged in all of their speeches – never give up and keep on trying.
Singers Jamelia, Alesha Dixon, rapper Eve, newsreader Charlene White and England footballer Rachel Yankey were also honoured during the night.
Entertainment on the night was spectacular. Notably social media sensation, eight-year old dancer Princess K, showing off her African-inspired moves. Spoken word poets Dylema, Mina West and Dan Bosi sent chills through the audience and who could forget the powerful voices of MOBO award winning singers Rachel Kerr and Lurine Cato?
There were surprise guest appearances from model Munro Bergdorf and Stormzy, the highlight of my night. With more than 20 years in the radio industry, Jenny Francis was awarded the Radio Personality award and who better to present it to her than the grime artist himself? Jenny featured on an interlude on the grime artists debut album, Gang Signs and Prayers, Stormzy spoke highly of the impact that Jenny Francis had on not just him but in the music industry.
Through the speeches and performances, we were reminded of how much events like this are vital. It’s important for women of colour to see women like themselves grace the stage and be honoured for walking the walk, become role models and ultimately, be celebrated for their achievements. Reminding us that we too can make it if we try.
Jenny Francis said it best on the night:
“Black don’t crack when you’ve got black magic.”