The True African Heritage Awards 2015
By Simba Smp
Saturday the 26th September 2015 was a hive of activity at the True African Heritage Awards in London. For those who profess to have love for what being African is all about, this was the type of platform you have to be seen around to be believed. The day reflected a true African-ness beyond the demarcations set by our erstwhile slave masters and colonisers. There was a wide representation of the African community in the diaspora, that is the present day people with backgrounds from all corners of Africa and the Caribbean. Organisers of this event clearly went out of their way to make sure the crowd had adequate food, drinks, hospitality and entertainment was galore.
The CEO of True African Heritage, Rukayat Aderewa Basaru is an impulsive orator of the word “networking” so I expected networking to be a definite part of the menu here. For sure it happened, there were handshakes, smiles, typing of digits in the phones, etc.. For a moment I could not help thinking of the immeasurable potential benefits of Africans appreciating, supporting and loving one another as our creator intended. Most people under estimate the power of such platforms in pulling together the big but dis-jointed African family from the divisions caused by slavery, colonialism and the persistent mental slavery attitudes still exhibited by Africans worldwide. But I personally think Africans coming together can play an educational role to fill gaps that are not articulated in the Western education curriculums. Evidently the Western Education system is not designed to remove the past legacies of slavery but it is there to serve the status quo. It is also clear that Africans are still haunted by this brutal past and up to this day we still find it difficult to accept who we really are. Just like what Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, roots and culture is like a tree without roots.” This is where organisations such as True African Heritage perfectly fit in because they at least bring in pride about our African heritage.
Inevitably any platform that honours and encourage self-esteem to all Africans is very much needed because the legacy of slavery still generally continues to define Africans worldwide. In order to remove that negativity, more pro-African enlightenment is still needed on a very large scale. Hence it is important to support organisations like True African Heritage for playing their small but vital and positive part in the African community.
Enough of the education and back to the TAHA event
In true African style, lead presenter Lydia Tett Olet wore an attire and jewellery that give Africa a swaggerlicious identity to be proud of. There were traces of African pride everywhere in the venue, from the food to the cultural dressing and the rarely seen African togetherness. The award ceremony was graced by an impressive list of progressive African minds ranging from religious, cultural, educational and entertainment luminaries. Among the high profile individuals present was H.E Edward M. Turay (High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to the UK) who was also a recipient of the True African Heritage Award. The event was powered by the high flying Pamtengo Radio, the airwaves maestros who have become persistent award winners in their field. Entertainment was provided by a diverse array of talent such as the sweet voiced angel Jen Titi-Lola DaSweetnezz, the multi-talented Real O-Real and the amazingly gelling couple Dot and Darryl.
This event proved that the True African Heritage organisers led by the workaholic CEO Rukayat Aderewa Basaru did their homework well to fly onto such lofty heights. However in the course of achieving this feat, the TAHA team also created a future monster for themselves.. How are they going to match or surpass this standard?
For sure it was a good event but we now await for the next one with huge expectations, so over to you the organisers. Well done to the TAHA team 2015!!
TAHA WINNERS for 2015:
Ehi Oboh – Outstanding Achievement Award 2015
Mercy Kudakwashe (Ireland)- Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015
Ferdinard Lawson- Best Author Of The Year 2015
Kaft Trendz- Fashion Designer Of The Year 2015
Festac Bar- Afro Caribbean Restaurant Of The Year 2015
Clement Chunga- Best Politician Of The Year 2015
My Green Magazine – Magazine Of The Year 2015
Lydia Olet- Best Promoter Of Culture 2015
Dot&Darryl- Best Act Of The Year 2015
Toyin Moore- Best Performance In Film 2015
Lower Cut (FGM) African Film Of The Year 2015
NNC- Best Community organisation/ Group Of The Year 2015
Glam Event – Business Of The Year 2015
Dr Abbey Akinoshun- True Afro Caribbean Role Model of the Year 2015.
Pamtemgo Radio – Best Radio Of The Year 2015