Enterprise Minds Awards (EMA) 2019, a true ‘Celebration of Diversity, Achievement & Spirit of Togetherness’!

Ain’t no stopping us now, we’ve got the move!

It was truly a night to remember for delivering on a promise full of chillaxation and networking.
Cllr Sunny Lambe, man of many talents, founder and chief executive of BBI UK, event organisers, started the night with a Diana Ross classic, ‘reach out and touch, somebody’s hands, make this world better for you and me…’ while the adoring audience joined the chorus. That sums up the electric atmosphere at the 15th Enterprise Minds Awards 2019, ‘Celebration of Diversity, Achievement and Spirit of Togetherness’ which took place at the prestigious Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel on Saturday 26 October. It was a real night to remember for delivering on a promise full of chillaxation and networking. Congratulations to Paulo Miguel Volunteer of the year award winner and Hagir Ahmed who walked away with the prestigious Enterprise Minds Ambassador 2019 trophy for the guests’ interactive participatory competition session of the night. Wow, what a night! It was truly a night to remember indeed. Hope you don’t miss it same time next year!

The 15th annual EMA Awards 2019 is truly in a class of its own. This was the resounding verdict of the founder and executive director of BBI UK and the annual EMA Awards gala night. This was probably true, judging by the mood, atmosphere and comments from almost everyone present at the just concluded 15th annual EMA Awards 2018 held at the prestigious Hilton London Tower Bridge.

It has been another remarkable year for EMA Awards, which has gone from strength to strength in its mission to promote ‘diversity, achievement and spirit of togetherness’ by recognising hard work, perseverance and success among the diverse social and economic movers and shakers in the society, wherever they come from. Overall the event was a resounding success, with many guests commenting that it was yet again, the best awards event they have been to. An event that demonstrates class and professionalism!

The Hilton London Tower Bridge played host to this year’s magnificent awards ceremony and dinner on Saturday 26 October 2019. The venue came alive once again with an array of prestigious guests, including dignitaries, celebrities and some of our finest business owners.

We were pleased to welcome among our distinguished guests were Cllr Victor Okereke Eni, Worshipful Mayor of Elstree & Borehamwood and his wife Martin, past South Bermondsey Councillor and Mayor of Southwark Mr Paul Kyriacou, His Excellency Abdul Rimdap, Former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany and his wife, UN Ambassador/Special Envoy Orville Thomas, Cllr Joy Laguda MBE and her husband Dr. Shoaib Ibikunle Laguda in recognition of their exemplary Black Leadership qualities beyond ethnic and racial divides.

Among other dignitaries and sponsors are the Chief Executive of Kato Enterprises, Lynn Mann and Alessio Scalas, MoneyGram representatives; Michael Donovan Bermondsey Kitchen, Gary Edwards, Oratus Moretechs’ CardsOnTap, Chairman of Basic Business Initiative UK (BBI UK) and several well wishers.

The event was also complemented by Councillors and dignitaries across a wide political and social spectrum, all with one thing in common, sharing the true spirit of celebrating diversity, achievement and spirit of togetherness’, marking 70 years of the Windrush and National Health Service in the UK with the adoring guests. Among other VIPs at the event were Joyce Ohaja former ITV News Anchor, Femi Okutubo, founders of Trumpet Newspaper and annual GAB Awards, Mike Abiola, publisher and executive director of African Voice Newspaper and organiser of Afro Nollywood awards event.

Hosting the event was the founder and executive director of BBI himself, Cllr Sunny Lambe, who introduced the entertainment, which was without a doubt, at an optimum. Guests were treated to a cool soul and hilarious night of sheer entertainment and relaxation by live performers such as Anthony Everest (AREMUORIN), Beverley Wilkinson-Denny, Toni Tuklan and Evelyn Okwabi, Young Entrepreneur of the Year who treated us to a real taste of African fashion in display.

The night was further brought to a new start with music from DJ Big Mike who kept the evening in full swing.

Cllr. Sunny Lambe and Mr Russell Dryden, ‘local Bermondsey Fish Monger and Bermondsey BID Director) hosts of the guests interactive parts of the night, left the guests bowled over as they both hosted the raffle and ‘interactive fashion show, including the best dressed and dance competitions’ to determine the Enterprise Minds Ambassador of the Year, guest participatory part of the night with the prestigious trophy going to the Ms Hagir Ahmed, one of the volunteers of the night who stole the show; leaving almost everyone feeling part of the night. What a night to remember!

Then, down to the business of winning awards; 20 renewed and revamped Award Categories were available this year in recognition of over 260 quality nominations received by the deadline of 31 August 2019; just to name a few, including the YEGA 2018 Winner, Evelyn Okwabi of Kux Kouture, New Entrepreneur of the Year by Abdul Sankoh of Neets Plug; Enterprise Life Achievement by Carl Campbell of Carl Campbell Dance 7 (40 marking 40 years and still staying strong), Pride of Southwark by Gavin Rose of Dulwich Hamlets FC and I.N.S.P.I.R.E; YOUNG Entrepreneur & Life Changer Award of the Year by Leanne Pero of the Movement Factory; Outstanding Life Changer of the Year for Women Empowerment by Beverley Wilkinson-Denny of CAYA (Come As You Are); Outstanding Creative Professional Recognition by Toni Tuklan of Toni Sport, Mrs Bilikisu Savage, bagging the Exceptional Professional Recognition Award, Dr Rosalyn of the African Tide, Honorary Diaspora Woman Professional Recognition, Dr John George of ROTEX Group of Companies, Honorary Exemplary Diaspora Professional Recognition, Julius Nkafu, Honorary Exemplary Professional Recognition, ABN Radio & ABN TV bagging the Exemplary Professional Recognition, Mavis Amankwah of Rich Visions, Honorary Exemplary Business Leader of the Year, Dr Sylvia Forchaps-Likambi of Voice of Nations, Honorary Exemplary Diaspora Professional Leadership Recognition, Chief Lady Waynett Peters, Hon Alderman Erelu Lola Ayorinde, Exemplary Black Woman Leader of the Year, Patrick Vernon OBE, Exemplary Black Leader of the Year, Cllr Joy Laguda MBE & Dr Shoaib Ibiyinka Laguda, Exemplary Black Couple Leaders of the Year, Olalekan Odedeyi, Exemplary Young Black Leader of the Year.

The runner-ups did not need to be disappointed as they were selected from a list of top achievers within their category. Well done to you all!