Okayafrica was on the red carpet to document some of the best looks at this year’s African Diaspora Awards in New York City.
On Saturday, our friends from Applause Africa held the fifth edition of the African Diaspora Awards in New York City. Hosted by Ghanaian TV presenter and actress Peace Hyde and Nigerian comedian Seyi Brown, this year’s awards opened with an all-acoustic Fela performance by Fela! On Broadway star Sahr Ngaujah.
In total, ten awards were handed out throughout the night.
Danai Gurira was honored as the African Diaspora “Person of the Year,” just one month after the Zimbabwean playwright and actress’ Liberian Civil War drama starring Lupita Nyong’o was confirmed to be headed to Broadway.
Malian designer-to-the-stars Alhassan Toure was named Designer of the Year.
An African City creator and executive producer Nicole Amarteifio received the “Creative Artist of the Year Award” for her work launching the successful Accra-set web series.
Akon and his partner, Senegalese entrepreneur and political strategist Thione Niang, were honored as Advocates of the Year for their work with the Akon Lighting Africa project. “Africa will not develop without its diaspora,” said Niang, who last month was appointed by President Obama and the Energy Secretary as Ambassador at the US Ministry of Energy representing minorities in energy. “Together we can unify our continent. And together we can create a better Africa,” he added during a memorable acceptance speech to close out the awards.
“There is much to celebrate in Africa’s social and economic progress over the past decade,” Applause Africa co-founder Debo Folorunsho says. “But if the continent is to build on educational foundations of his youth and stop the seeping away of skills, talent and human potential caused by the crisis in education and political leadership. Africa’s youth have a right to an education that offers them a better future – and they have a right to expect their leaders and the international community to get behind them.”
Okayafrica was on the red carpet to document some of the best looks at this year’s African Diaspora Awards. Browse through NYC-based photographer Leon Williams’ red carpet photos above.
"I couldn't be more excited to be an African woman than today." —Liberian model and philanthropist/founder of the MacDella Cooper Foundation @macdella_cooper delivers the opening remarks at tonight's @africandiasporaawards in NYC. #AfricanDiasporaAwards #ADA2015 A photo posted by Okayafrica (@okayafrica) on
"Africa will not develop without its diaspora... Together we can unify our continent. And together we can create a better Africa." — Senegalese political strategist, entrepreneur & Akon Lighting Africa co-founder @thioneniang said as he accepted the Advocate of the Year Award for @akonlightingafrica at tonight's @africandiasporaawards in NYC. Last month, Thione was appointed by President Obama and the Energy Secretary as Ambassador at the US Ministry of Energy representing minorities in energy. #AfricanDiasporaAwards #ADA2015 #AkonLightingAfrica
A photo posted by Okayafrica (@okayafrica) on
The 2015 African Diaspora Awards Honorees
Person of the Year: Danai Jekesai Gurira, Actress Eclipsed, Zimbabwe
Advocacy: Akon & Thione Niang, The Akon Lighting Africa, Senegal
Life Time Achievement: David Adjaye, Architect, Tanzania
Entrepreneurship: Chid Liberty, Liberty & Justice, Apparel Manufacturer – Liberia
Community Service: Atti Worku, Founder Seeds of Africa – Ethiopia
Creative Artist: Nicole Amarteifio, Creator of An African City – Ghana
Humanitarian: Kennedy Odede, Social entrepreneur, Shining Hope for Communities – Kenya
Friend of Africa: Laurie A. Cumbo, Council Member, Office of New York City – USA
Designer: Alhassan Toure, Toure Design – Mali
Organizational Impact: Young African MBA’s – Pan African
Excellence in service: Dr Oluyemi Badero, Cardiologist – Nigeria