Whether they were young or old, African or Caribbean sat together surrounded large chandeliers and green up lighting on Saturday, November 8,2014 for the 11th annual Planet Africa Awards.
Held at the Grand Victorian Convention Center in Mississauga, the night honoured individuals who have made a difference not only in the black community but also continue to make marks throughout Canada and different parts of the world. With different categories highlighting different achievements, individuals such as Marci Ien, Dwayne Morgan and Vanessa Morgan were honoured for their work. The theme of the night was The Power of Persistence.
Rogers TV personality and registered dietitian Beverley Edwards-Haines, who was dressed in a gown created with African Ankara, hosted the night.
The event had performances by entertainment recipient Eddie Bullen who was accompanied by his two sons, Quincy and Trey Michael. The recipient of the academic achievement award Yemisi Ogunjimi also graced the stage.
She performed two of her original gospel sons including one in her native tongue of Yourba.
The crowd was dazzled later in the evening by Beyond Sound. A musical group that combines traditional African drumming with the modern sounds of hip-hop, house, reggae and other sounds. Nigerian signing group ICU gave crowd two of their songs accompanied by a saxophone player.
As the night progressed and awards were handed out, majority of the awards recipients gave speeches.
Marci Ien who received the media award said she was the poster child who shouldn’t have been as she explained her upbringing in Scarborough with two parents who knew nothing about journalism. She encouraged parents to harness their children’s dream and support them in the academic ventures. Ien is the host of Canada AM on CTV and has been in the television industry for over 20 years.
“Grace under pressure, no matter how hard it is, you gotta smile with it,” said entertainment award receiver Eddie Bullen. He said that is his life’s motto and he lives by it everyday.
Landre Tunji Ajayi dedicated her visionary award to everyone who has been affected by sickle cell disease. Ajayi is the president of Sickle Cell Association of Canada and was first affect by the disease when her brother was diagnosed and unfortunately passed away.
Dwayne Morgan was the last to receive the Renaissance Award. He said he was able to make a career of something he loved and dedicated his award to all the dreamers. He graced the audience with a poem.
Planet Africa is a media corporation whose vision is to have those of African decent have an opportunity to live to their fullest potential and be recognized by their peers.
By: Daisy Badu (Ghanalinx journalist)
Below are some of the images from the event