GUBA’s night of excellence did not disappoint
The showpiece event for UK/Ghanaian community took place at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel on the Embankment, London on 16 November. The 4th annual GUBA Awards had aura of anticipation about it and as I waited in the lobby of the Park Plaza I could sense the excitement building. Team Me Firi Ghana were out in force to capture the best moments of the event and of course support our very own Creative Director, Samuel Mensah who was up for the Rising Star Award.
The ceremony started with the national anthem sang by the Trinity Youth Baptist choir in all black ensemble who captured the hearts of the audience and would set the tone for an inspiring evening . As guests We were promptly introduced to our hosts; from ITV news Charlene White and Vox Africa’s Henry Bonsu who would guide us through the evenings events which included an opening speech from GUBA patron Hugh Quarshie; “GUBA exists to celebrate achievement and promote investment” he said confidently from the stage.
So now we knew why we were all here on to the awards! One of the first to be given out was for the RLG development award which went to Edward Tagoe of Namdi Mobile fame. Edwin Broni Mensah founder of the crtically acclaimed Give Me Tap movement deservedly won the entrepreneur of the year award.
One of the most inspiring awards was the Student achiever gong won by Jason Ochere. The student from South London was a budding actor and footballer had joined the Labour Party aged 15, worked as a researcher and caseworker for the Deputy Prime Minister, was studying for a Masters in Oxford and had achieved this all whilst tragically losing his father. As he went up to recieve his award he spoke words of encouragement to the audience and serenaded us with a brief song. Ten Year old Lewis Appiagyei, a junior motor driver was the winner of the young & talented award and struck a confident pose alongside Mista Silva who presented him with the award.
Arguably the biggest cheer was reserved for the man of the moment, Fuse ODG who unsurprisingly won the music artist of the year. He came up to the stage to rapturous applause and it was clear from the moment his name was announced as a nominee on the big screen he would win. During his acceptance speech he was classy in paying homage to his fellow nominees and reiterating his aim to promote the “TINA” (This is new Africa) mantra.
There were also special awards and praise for certain individuals. Although not presented with an award British High Commissioner Peter Jones a sponsor and supporter of GUBA for a couple of years was given a signed Everton football Jersey which was a nice touch by the organizers. Kanya King MBE founder of the MOBO’s , Archbishop Kwaku Frimpong Manson & Herman Chinery-Hesse (CEO the SOFTtribe Limited) were also all recipients of special achievement awards on the night.
As GUBA founder Dentaa Amoateng ended the night by paying homage to her family and team of organizers/volunteers (none of whom are paid by the way). It was left to the live house band to play us out and for the audience to reflect on an evening that did not only celebrate outstanding achievement within the Ghanaian community but also inspired all to aim for greater things. Roll on 2014!
The full list of winners can be found on the official GUBA website – http://www.gubaawards.co.uk/the-awards/nominations/2013-nominees-winners/
Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)