As a highlight of Black History Month pre-eminent black Britons were celebrated (Tuesday 17th October) at Boisdale of Canary Wharf for their outstanding contributions to the cultural and economic development of the UK.
Founded by Boisdale, in partnership with The London Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), the Black Excellence Awards (BEA) returned for its second year on Tuesday 17 October 2023. Hosted by ITV broadcaster Charlene White and the Eddie Nestor MBE, the spectacular evening highlighted the outstanding achievements of Black British luminaries from a vast cross-section of industries, professions, and vocations.
The event was co-produced by Janelle Raeburn of Jay Rae Productions and Paula Powell of Sphere Hospitality.
The initiative is the result of a collaborative venture between Boisdale, LCCI and their Black Business Association (BBA).
Quotes on the night:
joined the event by video from New York and spoke to the audience from the plasma screens she said:
“I wanna say I’m really fond of Boisdale, I’m really depressed I can’t be with you, because I think celebrating the contribution of our community is really an amazingly great endeavour and one, I think people don’t always think is happening … Keep reminding people who we are and where we came from. You know we’re one world, but we we’ve all started out somewhere and its sometimes very important to hold a light up to say hey here’s why I’m here, here’s where I came from and here’s who I am.”
David Harewood OBE won Outstanding Contribution to Stage and Screen said:
“To stand amongst the winners last night was surreal. Their names conjure images of triumph and success, so for me to be alongside them feels extraordinary. I’m a very proud man today.”
Jazzie B of Soul II Soul won the Lifetime Achievement Award said:
“In this room tonight, I wanna say that this might only be the second time I’ve been surrounded by such British greatness…I’m so, so proud today to come to Boisdale, because I’m among my community.. I’m looking around in this room today, and let me tell you, I am one of the proudest sound me ever! I want to encourage you all to look around, look at each other, and realise that we are the coolest generation ever to grace planet earth.”
Vanessa Kingori OBE who won the Outstanding Contribution to Business Award said:
“ A huge thank you for last night. It was such a beautiful evening. The energy in the room was so electric, my mum really enjoyed it too!”
Omar Lye Fook MBE won the Outstanding Male Contribution to Music Award:
“So honoured to be given this award and what a star event it was!”
Menelik Shillingford of the BBA said:
“We are proud to collaborate with the Boisdale Group to host these awards that celebrate the inspirational contribution of the Black British community to the UK.”
Ranald Macdonald Founder of Boisdale said:
“ It was an incredibly special evening of acknowledgment, joy, and friendship and is now fully established as the highpoint of the Boisdale calendar.”
Categories and award winners:
1. Outstanding Contribution to Youth & Community Services
Kindly Sponsored by Canary Wharf Group
2. Outstanding Entrepreneur
Kindly Sponsored by UBS
3. Outstanding Contribution to Business
Presented by Levi Roots
Vanessa Kingori OBE
4. Outstanding Contribution to Professional Services
Kindly Sponsored by the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Marcia Willis Stewart KC (Hon)
5. Outstanding Male Contribution to Sport
Presented by Paul Canoville
Linford Christie OBE
6. Outstanding Female Contribution to Sport
Presented by Paula Powell, Sphere Hospitality
Christine Ohuruogu MBE
Dame Denise Lewis DBE
7. Outstanding Contribution to Literature
Kindly Sponsored by The Wren Press
Bernadine Evaristo OBE
8. Outstanding Contribution to Visual Arts
Presented by Carina White
Neequaya ‘Dreph’ Dsane
9. Outstanding Male Contribution to Music
Kindly Sponsored by Xerjoff
Omar Lye-Fook MBE
10. Outstanding Female Contribution to Music
Kindly Sponsored by Xerjoff
Hilary Mwela of Hil St. Soul
11. Outstanding Contribution to Fashion
Presented by Brenda Emmanus
12. Outstanding Contribution to Stage & Screen
Presented by Janelle Raeburn, Jay Rae Productions
David Harewood OBE
13. Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented by Terry Jervis
Jazzie B OBE
14. Posthumous Special Recognition Award
The late Jah Shaka – accepted by Nicky Ezer of Culture Promotions & Jah Shaka’s son, Young Warrior.
Notes to Editors
- All 2023 hi res images can be download here https://we.tl/t-iCcFVnqdXM
- Highlights of 2022’s BEA can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLP6P14Dgn4
- BBC Radio London’s Eddie Nestor received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Comedy at the BEA’s first event in 2022
- Late media mogul Jamal Edwards was bestowed with a Posthumous Special Recognition award at the 2022 BEA
- Nominees are determined by the organising committee and winners will be selected by an independent panel of judges
- Sponsorship of BEA 2024 award categories is open to businesses and media partners for negotiation
About the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry is London’s key hub for the city’s business community.
Founded in 1881, LCCI supports a network of over 6,500 member organisations through a range of services, advocates on behalf of London’s business community and promotes ‘Global London’ as the best city in the world to do business – whether that’s to trade, invest, learn, or find new commercial partners.
In 2020, the LCCI launched its Black Business Association (BBA) to champion success within London’s Black business community and provide a platform for Black-owned businesses to network and address barriers to equality.
The late Queen Elizabeth II opened the LCCI’s current office on Queen Street, City of London, in December 1992.
About Boisdale of Canary Wharf
Boisdale is an award-winning Scottish restaurant and bar group founded in 1989 specializing in great British food and live music every night. Boisdale of Canary Wharf is a two-floor venue overlooking Cabot Square and the city skyline, comprising the main restaurant with a 25-meter stage and the best sound system in Europe powered by Nexo, four beautiful private dining rooms and the Hine Bar & Garden Terrace.
Boisdale was awarded Best Spirits List in the World 2022 by The World Of Fine Wine and has an award winning wine list. Boisdale has also been at the forefront of cocktail innovation since the mid-90s. Boisdale also boasts one of the best cigar selections in the UK with walk in humidors and cigar terraces at both premises.