NEW YORK, Nov. 19, 2014 — In one of the most electrifying and highly anticipated awards shows, some 400 attendees came out in full force to salute exemplary individuals who are working towards the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora and in Africa at the 4th Annual AFRICAN DIASPORA AWARDS, held on Nov. 15 at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College in New York City.
The 2014 Honorees were: Actor of the Year: Ger Duany, star of “The Good Lie” [South Sudan]; Creative Artist of the Year: Kemi Adetiba [Nigeria]; Entrepreneur of the Year: Meck Khalfan, Puku Charger [Tanzania]; Community Leadership Award: Semhar Araia, Dawn Inc. [Eritrea]; Musician of the Year: Somi [Rwanda-Uganda]; Friend of Africa: Bernadette Paolo, The Africa Society [U.S]; Advocate of the Year: Dr. Olajide Williams, Hip Hop Healthcare [Nigeria]; Designer of the Year: David Tlale [South Africa]; and Company of the Year: Ogilvy & Mather [U.S.].
Co-hosted by Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah and actress and producer Ebbe Bassey, iconic tributes from honorees to their mothers, spouses, children and their faith for their success were highlights at this year’s awards show.
World-class entertainers, fashion mavens, entrepreneurs, and scholars from the Diaspora attended the evening affair that lifted up the awards theme “Homecoming Revolution”, which drew attention to inspiring movements of Africans in the Diaspora who are driving the revitalization and economic progress in the global African community.
“Tonight we celebrate, tonight we honor those who are making a significant difference in the African community in the U.S. and Africa. Tonight we inspire one another. This is the most important generation ever,” said Debo Folorunsho, co-founder of Applause Africa.
“The honorees are a testament to the progress in the African Diaspora,” said Michael Ikotun, co-founder of Applause Africa.
Broadway star Ngaujah’s opening performance set the inspirational tone for the awards show and Nigerian recording artist Sheyi Shay kept the crowd on their feet to close out the event. Comedian Seyi Brown had attendees laughing out loud during his set.
A special presentation by AFRICA RESPONDS urged attendees to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Ngaujah and Bassey sported custom-made African attire from Vlisco and designs by Yaovi Marius Ahiale. Madiba Restaurant provided a delectable spread of South African cuisine for the VIP reception.
Event sponsors were Vlisco, Arik Air, Madiba Restaurant, and John Jay College.