Musical legend Mandy Brown-Ojugbana has agreed to attend this year’s forthcoming Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards (UNA) UK taking place on September 30 where she will hand out awards to some of the budding artists being honoured.
UNA 2017 is due to take place at the Mayfair Banqueting Suite in Chadwell Heath and will feature the handing out of 57 awards to unsung heroes and deserving Nigeriansin the UK. Now in its second year, the event will be a classy gala dinner that will attract community leaders, guests from Nigeria and high commission officials.
Ms Brown-Ojugbana, who took to fame in1986 when she released her debut album titled Breakthrough, is best known for her smash hit Taxi Driver. Her albumnot only included a reworking of Bobby Benson’s famous song but also included and rehashing of George Benson’s The Greatest Love of All.
Now resident in the UK, Ms Brown-Ojugbana has since opted for a career in broadcasting and presents several TV shows but is still widely revered by middle age fans who remember her from the 1980s. She has pledged to attend this year’s UNA event and hand out plaques and certificates to some of the awardees as her way of supporting the initiative.
Ms Brown Ojugbana said: “I think UNA is a good initiative as it involves recognising unsung heroes and upcoming talent. Those of us that have been fortunate to make breakthroughs in our chosen fields should use opportunities like this to give something back and encourage the younger ones coming up.
“Who knows, maybe me handing out an award to some young and budding artist might help him or her advance their career. When I started out, I was fortunate to have icons around who advised and assisted me to enable my career take off, so it is only fair that I try and do the same for the up and coming musicians.”
Ronke Udofia, the chair of the UNA awards sub-committee, said: “Unlike other awards ceremonies that only honour public figures, entertainers and VIPs, UNA recognises ordinary Nigerians in the UK. Recipients will include bus drivers, teachers, care workers, train conductors, nurses, doctors, entertainers, lawyers, local government staff, factory workers and all other toiling Nigerians in the UK.”
Bola Ganiyu, the chair of UNA’s events management sub-committee added: “We are delighted that Mandy has agreed to show up on the night. She will join a list of other top entertainers we are hoping to attract as we are currently talking to stand-up comedian Kenny Blaq, Whizkid, the saxophonist Kakaki, Deoba Authentic and a host of other high profile celebrities.”
She added that DJ Kachif will be on the turntables and the food on offer will be a true representation of authentic Nigerian cuisine. According to Ms Ganiyu, two top MCs in the UK Charles Emeka and Princess Deun Solarin have already agreed to anchor the event, while Charles Khiran has agreed to also present some of the awards.
Malcolm Benson, the chair of the publicity and marketing sub-committee added that for just £50 for standard tickets and £75 for VIP tickets, guests will be treated to an evening they will never forget. He pointed out that tickets are already on sale and urged anyone wanting to avoid the rush to go online www.uncelebratednigeriansawardsuk.org or to Eventbrite and make their purchase here
Organising committee secretary, added that among the distinguished guests who have been invited to UNA 2017 include; the acting high commissioner Simon Ogah, the chair of the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora Rita Orji and the special adviser to the president on diaspora affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. She pointed out that several traditional rulers have been invited too including the Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Alake of Egbaland Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Oba of Lagos Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Osemawe of Ondo Oba Olasimbo Kiladejo and the Olu of Igbokodo Oba Afolabi Odidiomo.
Ayan De First, the chair on UNA’s sponsorship and partnership sub-committee added that following the success of last year’s event, several sponsors have come forward to back the ceremony. He added that he is still speaking to several other high profile sponsors, pointing out that if anyone still wants to back the event, UNA is open to offers.
June Douglas, organising committee, vice coordinator added that she envisages that the event will be fantastic and guests will enjoy themselves to the maximum. She stressed that now that the event is in its second year, it is growing from strength to strength.
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