Young people of Medway awarded for their achievements in the MACA 12th annual Young Black Achievers Awards

A record-breaking 21 young people were awarded for their achievements during the 12th annual Young Black Achievers Awards.

The ceremony was hosted by Medway African Caribbean Association on Saturday to award those from Medway for their effort in arts, education, sports and citizenship.

Those who had championed diversity and inspired others in the community were also honoured.

Aliyah Simpson, 13, who performed at the awards ceremony, received an award for her achievements in the arts. She was invited to apply for representation with a London agency, Break a Leg Management, after taking part in the Black History Live shows, an initiative that MACA has created to educate people about black history in Kent.

JD Douglas, director of Black History Lives shows commended her for her role as Ida B. Wells.  Miss Simpson said, “He’s a very well known director so to be able to say that I’ve worked with him and been recognised by him at my age is pretty cool.”

Spoken word pieces, singing and acting were performed by members of MACA which provided the night with great entertainment. Special guest Israel J Allen, a contestant on The Voice UK, performed a number of songs towards the end of the night that had the audience up on their feet.

The youngest winner was eight-year-old David Olawale who was recognised for his exceptional mathematical skills and determination to succeed.

MACA is keen to educate people in Medway about Afro-Caribbean culture as well as the history of black people in Kent.  After Rochester Grammar School was caught up in some controversy over the teaching of slavery, the school submitted a number of nominations this year, one of which was Shernova Abiona, 18, who won two awards last night.

MACA believes this is testimony to the school’s commitment to ensure that they address the delivery of black history in the curriculum.

Carol Stewart, Chairperson for MACA, hosted the ceremony.  She said, “We were totally bowled over by the award recipients this year. There were so many inspirational stories and such amazing achievements from the young people.

“We will keep these awards going as it’s important to our young people to recognise and encourage their aspirations. Thank you to all who continue to support us.”