I had the pleasure of being invited to attend The Black Magic Awards at the Criterion Theatre, in London’s dazzling West End.
I felt like a right celebrity posing for the mainstream and national media there including the BBC and tourists wanting in on the action. lol! One can dream.
Annika and Kojo
The sold out Black Magic Awards was just founded in 2017 by comedian, actor and producer Kojo-Anim and editor and all round extraordinaire Annika Allen, to celebrate black women and women of colour ripping the glass ceiling off in media and entertainment, business, fashion industries and more, as well as some incredible women creating change in their own communities. One community award that completely moved me, was Patricia Ann Hewitt who founded the young women’s charity – The Ashdon Jazz Academy to help young girls through expression and mentorship after losing her beautiful 14 year old daughter, Ashdon to suicide in 2015.
Now, I must give a special shoutout to Annika Allen, not only because she invited me to take part in her podcast published earlier this year, but because she is a woman is so incredibly generous. She wants to see people do well, especially black women and is ALWAYS supporting, nurturing and elevating others. That is RARE. And the awards were definitely an essence of how great Annika is at connecting wonderful humans and ideas to together.
Most of the honourees, were people I grew up with on TV, from the hilarious comedian Gina Yashere (LOVE HER!) who recounted why she moving to America to try and find work and not earning a penny for 6 years in pursuit of her dream and undergoing extreme racism and misogny on a daily basis as the only female and only black female to work in engineering and overcoming that all, to be the comedy sensation she is now and actress Ellen Thomas to the BEAUTIFUL Emeli Sandé . With entertainment from the brilliant stand up comedian and Youtube sensation Judi Love who is even more hilarious live (if you haven’t seen her jerk rice sketch, you have not LIVED!
From great performances from the lady with an infectious smile and her violin Just Kemi, to beautiful singer Rebecca Garton to spoken word from beautiful artists Raphael Blake, Lucrecia Selinex, Moak, Adaya Henry, Mekkita Speaks that left every single woman on their feet.
It truly was an inspiring event and I felt humbled to be in such great company. There were multiple standing ovations, whoops and cheers and there were several moments where I was physically moved to tears. From the entertainment and beautiful spoken word, to powerful testimonies, from the women who were being honoured for their gifts and their perseverance to carve their own way or achieve in industries that don’t often include them.
Nova Reid | Founder of Nu Bride and Diversity Campaigner
Huge thank you to the incredible Rita Colson who made this stunning jumpsuit especially for the awards in less than a week – with no fittings! This woman is a MASTER at understanding the female body and what will suit her clients and the occasion. Incredible experience and to Hazel Robertson for suitably beautifying. I managed to do my own hair – which is a miracle.
I shall leave you with the words of Joanna Abeyie award-winning diversity champion, social campaigner, TV executive, broadcaster and journalist:
Stay away from the people who bring out the madness in you and stick with those who bring out the magic
Images by Freeze Frame