BEFFTA Award 2014 Nominations Open

Europe’s biggest award ceremony celebrating black and ethnic personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts has officially opened it’s grand 6th year anniversary public nominations. BEFFTA awards, founded by entrepreneur, TV presenter and philanthropist Pauline Long in 2009 is back for the 6th year to celebrate greatness within the African and Caribbean community.

The 6th year BEFFTA UK anniversary is set to take place on 24th and 25th October at The Hippodrome. The awards ceremony is expected to be celebrated in a very grand style bringing together several international and UK stars under one roof with a common goal to celebrate and honor both unknown and known hard working and extremely talented personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts.

With legendary personality Sir Trevor McDonald celebrated at past BEFFTA UK with a lifetime achievement award, BEFFTA awards UK team looks forward to celebrating yet another deserving legend who will be revealed soon.
The general public can nominate in the following categories by sending names and details of nominees to

Entertainment Category


1. Best Female Act
2. Best Male Act
3. Best Gospel Act
4. Best International Act
5. Best UK AfroBeats Act
6. Best UK Caribbean Act
7. Best International Afrobeats Act
8. Best International Caribbean Act
9. Best Producer
10. Best Video Director
11. Best Music Video Producer
12. Best Music Video DOP
13. Best Music Video


1. Best Dance Act
2. Best Dance Choreographer

1. Best Comedian

1. Station of the year
2. Radio personality of the year


1. Best Community Newspaper
2. Magazine of the year
3. Journalist of the year
4. Blog of the year


1. Best Events Promoter


1. DJ of the year
1. Best Photographer
Fashion Designers
1. Best Male Fashion Designer
2. Best Female Fashion Designer


1. Best Hair Stylist
2. Best Wardrobe Stylist

Make-up Artists

1. Best Make-up Artist

Fashion Choreographers

1. Best Fashion Choreographer


1. Best male model
2. Best female model
3. Best Modelling Agency

Beauty Pageants

1. Best Beauty Pageant
2. Best Beauty Queen
3. Best Former Beauty Queen
4. Best Beauty Pageant Director

Film Category

1. Best director
2. Best Actor
3. Best Actresses
4. Best Film
5. Best screenwriter/Scriptwriter
6. Best theatre production
7. Best Cinematographer
8. Best Producer

TV Category

1. Best Actress
2. Best Actor:
3. Best TV Station
4. Best TV Show
5. Best TV personality
6. Best presenter
7. Best Webseries
8. Best online TV

ART Category

1. Best Spoken Word Artist/Poets
2. Best Art Director
3. Best Author

BEFFTA UK Special Awards 2014


BEFFTA UK public nominations will close on 28th August 2014.

For more information visit

To sponsor BEFFTA UK 2014 6th year grand anniversary email

To get involved in BEFFTA UK 2014 6th year grand anniversary email

Radio Television Whats On

Media Watch: Sunday 22nd June – Friday 27th June 2014


BBC World Service

9.06am: The Forum: Forgiveness

Samira Ahmed explores the complexity of forgiveness. What effect does it have in the aftermath of violent crime, conflict or injustice? Is it possible without remorse and is there any crime that is beyond forgiveness?

With the Rev’d Mpho Tutu, co-author with her father Archbishop Desmond Tutu of a book about forgiving; author and teacher Michael McGirr, and Marina Cantacuzino, former journalist and founder of The Forgiveness Project.


BBC World Service

10.32am: Global Business: What Does the Future Hold for the African Economy

The African Development Bank is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Donald Kaberuka has been president of the AfDB for the past decade and has been responsible for major changes in the bank’s strategy for development and poverty reduction. There is more emphasis on the growth of the private sector, and on the importance of major infrastructure developments in areas such as road, railways, power plants and communications. Kaberuka says infrastructure is crucial in promoting regional integration in Africa.

Donald Kaberuka talks to Peter Day about the key issues facing a continent with rapidly growing economies – including the critical importance of improving domestic trade links, tackling the image of corruption, Africa’s youth and the controversies of Chinese investment.



BBC World Service

7.06pm: Global Beats: Ghana

Eight up-and-coming Ghanaian musicians perform songs especially for the BBC and talk about what inspires them in Ghana and beyond. Efya, queen of Afro pop, was discovered through a talent show, and recently nominated for the World Music Awards. Kyekyeku is giving a modern twist to traditional palm wine music and making Ghanaians chuckle with his witty lyrics. There’s also Yaa Pono, with a unique rocking rap, and Ayisoba, with his distinctive gruff voice and northern style, plus gospel artist Cwesi Oteng.

The programme is presented by Rita Ray, respected London DJ and authority on African music, who is originally from Ghana herself.



7.30pm:  Talk to Aljazeera: Doyin Okupe

Why has the Government in Nigeria been unable to defeat Boka Haram?



10.20pm: Venus & Serena

A profile of tennis stars the Williams sisters, telling the story of their rise to stardom and following them throughout 2011, which proved to be a demanding year. Venus struggled with autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome, while Serena was working her way back to fitness after suffering a pulmonary embolism in 2010 caused by stepping on broken glass in a restaurant





8pm: Rise of the Continents: Africa

Geologist Professor Iain Stewart examines key moments in the development of the world’s major land masses. He begins by looking at how Africa was formed from the wreckage of a long-lost supercontinent, with its landmarks, mineral wealth and wildlife providing clues that help piece together the story of its creation. He also reveals how this deep history has left its mark on modern day Africa and the world





9pm: Stacy Dooley: The Truth about Domestic Violence

With one in four women and one in six men in the UK suffering abuse in their lifetimes, the presenter looks into domestic violence in young people’s relationships. She speaks to victims and perpetrators to try to understand the issues surrounding the attacks, and joins Lancashire police officers as they tackle some of the 9,000 cases of abuse they investigate every year.

Stacey also talks to Home Secretary Theresa May and gains access to the National Centre of Domestic Violence

Radio Television Training/Workshops

BBC launches BAME Expert Presenter Days

Following the significant success of its Expert Women training days, the BBC it is to launch two ‘BAME Expert Presenter Talent Days’ – one in London and one in Salford.

The training days will be aimed at members of the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnicity) communities who are highly regarded experts in fields that match broadcast editorial areas where there is a need for expert presenters and experts.

The training will cover television, radio and news, and as with Expert Women, will include taster training sessions in studio and interview situations, delivering a piece to camera, master classes with key industry figures, advice on how best to navigate the business, and a networking lunch where the successful applicants meet senior editors and producers from across the industry.

The application process will be open to all from the BAME communities who can demonstrate expertise in their chosen area, which needs to match an editorial need identified by BBC programme and content areas. They will need to submit a short self-shot film, story idea and their CV, and each event will train between 20 and 30 people.

Details of how to apply will be posted at a later date here on the Academy website. To register your interest, email

Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, says: “The BBC is passionate about reflecting the diversity of our audiences. We are committed to putting BAME experts at the heart of the media and to better reflect BAME issues and voices across our programming.”

Mary Hockaday, head of BBC Newsroom, says: “BAME Expert Presenter day will undoubtedly help to enrich our news content for audiences in the UK and around the world, and it will also help to demystify the process of appearing on radio and TV for the successful applicants.”

Anne Morrison, director of the BBC Academy, says: “Many of the women who took part in the Expert Women training days have gone on to considerable success as broadcast presenters and contributors. I’m delighted that we’re now able to offer the same type of training to BAME experts to give them greater opportunities both on and offscreen.”

The BBC Academy created and produced the Expert Women’s Day events, held in London, Salford, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. More than 2,500 women applied overall and the Academy trained 164 women (16.5 per cent BAME) in the quest to help address the poor representation of women as experts on air.

To date, there have been 249 media appearances by 67 of the Expert Women, including news bulletins for the BBC (radio and TV), CNN, Channel 4 and other outlets. In addition, a number of the women have secured agents and are in active discussion with programme makers.


Flashback International News Television

Flashback 1: Vimbayi Kajese Leading The Way For Africa in Chinese Media


My name is Vimbayi Kajese. It’s Shona, one of our native languages in Zimbabwe meaning “Have Faith Small Yellow Bird”. A meaning & destiny I fully intend to live up to. I have recently returned back home to my native land to start my own production company after a 6-year stint in China, where I lived & worked. Most of my immediate family, my parents & 2 younger siblings are in here in Zimbabwe. My oldest brother lives in Texas, US. I am also the proud aunt of 2 nieces and a nephew over the past year.

Journey into Broadcasting

On the surface, getting into journalism looks like it all happened by accident but on close inspection my whole life was basically geared towards a career in TV…I mean I didn’t go to Journalism school nor did I have formal training to start with, but I was brought up on a diet of the news from a young age. In 2008, while in Beijing, I needed a change in career from PR consultancy to allow myself more flexibility and time to pursue my other interests outside work. The financial crash had just started so it wasn’t the most opportune time to job hunt. Nevertheless I pressed on with my decision to leave my job, narrowed down my passions and picked one, the news. I used my resources and my contacts, literally creating myself a career in networking for a few months. From that, I landed an internship at Reuters TV. I learned the ropes producing news packages for news network clients. I was directing, editing & scripting stories. One day my boss approached me and suggested I try my hand at broadcasting. Since Reuters doesn’t broadcast news with anchors (it produces news content for other networks to present) I wasn’t going to get that type of experience there. I remember looking up at the screens, one of the channels was on CCTV, and thinking, “there are no black women on that channel! Heck I don’t think they’ve ever had an African, …and given the extent of our relations, that makes no sense!”

So that moment essentially started the ball rolling. I networked my way into CCTV, faced a few setbacks that would have most people give up…eventually got put in touch with my boss and in August 2009 I was the first African on Chinese Television.

Some Difficulties Faced

It wasn’t easy at the time I was trying to get in. CCTV is huge, 10,000 plus people, over 20 channels. The English channel alone has around 15 shows, which behave like their own mini companies and contacts inside who’d forwarded my CV came back saying I was the wrong colour and that my African accent might be unintelligible to viewers. I didn’t care, I kept trying other departments, I knew I’d come across someone forward thinking enough to see an opportunity in attracting new viewers from a different part of the world…and I did.

Also because I didn’t have formal TV training, I had to teach myself a lot. I didn’t have the luxury of making my mistakes in the privacy of a cubicle or my boss; I made them in front of millions. That was very daunting at first. Plus as the face of the program, you bear the brunt of any mistakes that are made: faulty scripts, technical malfunctions, wrong instructions from the director, they all look like your faults. I used to take such mishaps personally; I thought I was being judged if I didn’t come across as perfect. I had to learn to leave my anchor self and any problems that happened that day, at the station move on, and improve for the next day.

Speaking Chinese

I picked the Chinese language up fast. I started the basics in Kansas at my university as I was preparing to go on a scholarship tour in 2004.  It is one thing to learn a language in a remote country…it’s another to live it in its natural habitat. Living in Chinese…living as an African in Chinese, is a fascinating experience because it stretches your brain, your thought process, your tongue & jaw muscles in ways that other languages can’t. I was top of my class at the China Foreign Affairs University when it came to dictation. I could read and write better than I could speak. Reading is wrought memory and writing is memory plus tactic, but speaking…that’s where practice, skill and some serious tongue dexterity differentiate you from all the other ‘laowais’ (foreigners). It took me 6 months to reach a level where I could teach myself.

Other African’s in Media

There are a lot more famous Africans than I in Chinese media and with local viewers, however they are more on the local entertainment side. For example there is a fancy Nigerian pop star called Hao Ge/Emmanuel, my Cameroonian friend, Francis who is a master in the arts of cross talk, and there is my Sierra Leonean friend actor, singer, comedian and host, Maria. I’m very proud of the trailblazers they are and really challenging the Chinese to re-think the notion of Africa.
Outside of being a TV Presenter

I write opinion articles for The Charitarian Magazine as the Women’s Affairs & Sino-Africa Editor

I am the PR & Media counselor for YAPS (Young African Professionals in China)

I work in our family business as a Client Relations Developer

I enjoy spending time with friends I’ve made in orphanages and shelters

I’m a women’s activist and got my early start working for a rape crisis center while in University

My Mission and Vision

I believe my purpose is to inform the world about Africa but first and foremost, inform Africa about itself. And with that information I plan to attract the African diaspora back, redirect the brain drain and make it our brain gain. All too often are we experts in the backstreets and businesses of other nations outside our continent but have never been a tourist in our own country…what more our neighbors? It’s a tall order but if I can have but a miniscule impact on changing one person’s mind to come back and contribute their skills to building their country, thus starting a ripple effect, then I will consider my purpose completed.

I will be doing this with info-taining travel shows around the continent.

My short-term goal is to officially launch my company VAMBOO MEDIA PRODUCTIONS and my travel shows before the UN Tourism Summit takes place early next year in Vic Falls. Then from there, venture into other African countries and expose the continent’s hidden treasures to the world; its diverse people and business opportunities.


Oprah is my main inspiration, plus all the CNN World female anchors.

Lessons I didn’t expect to Learn or Teach

First and foremost I’ve learnt that what I do is not just about me, there is a bigger agenda and I have a part to play. For example there were times when I physically couldn’t get up to go to another broadcast, my health took a beating from all the lack of sleep due to the strange hours. But, on those particularly tough days there were always people who’d write & tell me what an inspiration I’d been; how they’re considering a move to CHINA now; how they now think it’s possible to have a career in TV, in a strange country as a person of colour; how I’d brighten their day; how they used me as an example of WHY China IS safe for black people to live in- especially for all their worried relatives back home.

It was like the bigger agenda had no time for my complaints, there were ripples to start, people to inspire and conversations that needed to be had. One of the many conversations that my role on CCTV stirred up, was the issue of racism in China, and this new immigration trend as Africans to bypass the West as staples of opportunity. So if I can inspire people to move to China, what more Zimbabwe or South Africa or Kenya? Are there opportunities in our countries we aren’t taking for ourselves? So this is why I returned home, to lay the groundwork for the diaspora, show them that incentives do exist in our countries and that we’ll make a bigger impact at home.

Core Foundations that Steered my Path

One, my parents were very influential in how they taught me to think, to see the world and to react to challenges. As a result I am a happy person who is positive thinking and I believe good things happen to happy positive people. I move on quickly from bad things, I don’t waddle in sorrow; I see setbacks as springboards to make a comeback. I always speak in faith; I encourage people’s dreams, and then celebrate their victories.

Two, living and traveling around the world has played a big factor in my journey, I would never have moved to China if I wasn’t open and curious about other parts of the world.

And three, I have friends who truly epitomize the experience of true love. They lent me a couch or a bed when I needed a place, they spread out their business cards when I needed a job, they gave me services that shouldn’t have been for free, but most importantly they prayed for me and encouraged me and let me be all sides of me without questioning or judging aspects of my personality that didn’t add up. To them I am eternally grateful.

Achievements I’m Proud of

My biggest accomplishment is my walk with God, understanding His purpose for my life and being able to have a spiritual relationship that inspires others to bring their spirituality into every aspect of their life.

  • I was one of 9 students in a university of 30,000 to win an all expense paid scholarship tour that first brought me to China.
  • I was featured on the first Kansas University ” Women of Distinction” Calendar for my academic and community service achievements
  • The Chinese government appointed me as a Special Friendship Envoy and Cultural Ambassador for drawing the continent’s attention to China
  • I was invited to speak as a panelist at the 2011 Harvard Business School Africa Conference
  • I was listed as one of top 100 most Influential Zimbabweans under 40
  • I was one of 192 selected amongst thousands across the world by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader this year. I am one of 4 nominated from Zimbabwe since the YGL group started in 2005.


My thoughts on China in Africa, advantages:

Africa has a new and powerful alternative that is bigger than the World Bank or the IMF. As lines of credit and loans are more flexible and ‘conditionless‘- where sovereignty is concerned- the traditional financial institutions represented by Western countries, have to be more creative in how they deal with Africa and not just expect their under bided offers to be accepted. All while we wait decades for anything tangible to come to fruition. The Chinese are superfast and are willing to barter, “give us tobacco and we’ll build you a road since you don’t have cash” is how they negotiate, “we can start next week and be finished in a month”. This is a progressive step in the right direction and music to the ears of our governments from non-traditional economies (Zimbabwe is a perfect example). We are not longer treated as a basket aid-case, but for once a partner for trade. The trickle up effect of this is that China, as a serious competitor for Africa’s goods, will create a bidding effect with increased demand, which will push the market price of our products up.

Some of the disadvantages:

Well, China like any other sovereignty is going to put their interests firsts. So let’s not fool ourselves into believing all the buzzwords of the day. There is hardly ever a true ‘win-win’ situation, and certainly not at this stage of our engagement. For example, China has a history and the power to mass-produce for the masses. Done in Africa undercuts our local prices, forcing small time entrepreneurs out of business. There is also this problem of Africa being China’s latest dumping ground for cheap and bad quality goods. Although this gives the lower economic echelon access to goods they could not previously afford, these goods seep their way into high-end stores creating a negative impression of the ‘Made In China’ brands when they break.

(Now, I get annoyed when the Chinese are labeled as neo-colonizers, folks need to be careful with just throwing that accusation around. No one is putting a gun to our heads, or forcing us to change our religion, culture, language and way of life, while pillaging our resources, our women and our land in exchange for our lives and the ‘opportunity’ to try and produce crop from barren, arid, dust.)

China is a developing nation itself, so its relationship with the environment is also developing. One of the biggest disadvantages I see is the effect China’s presence will have on our delicate and clean environment. I’ve coughed up the black and brown effects of deforestation during Beijing’s springtime’s Gobi desert sandstorms, and I would hate to have such an environmental effect for the sake of infrastructure development, imported to our continent.

Advice to Fellow Africans

Think outside the box to careers that aren’t limited or based on an education system that isn’t even geared towards our countries’ development. Yes lawyers, doctors and accountants are good, but trust me there’s life beyond these professions. We need entrepreneurs to grow our private sector and middle class, we need engineers and folks with technical skills to build our roads and introduce ways of conserving our energy; we need sports men and women to represent our country and we need TV presenters to tell our own stories! What we don’t need is more obscure ‘business men’ because at the end of the day we’ll still just be middlemen asking someone else to build our roads; we should be building our own. Plus aim at being well balanced; build a resume of community service so that you understand how to use your highflying paying job to assist others.

My advice is also at African parents, foster your child’s interests in sports, martial arts, dance, music, the arts etc because these things will keep them balanced and creative in their professions. Plus such extracurricular activities are more likely to take them abroad at an earlier age, exposing them to a broader network before a job will.

For Africans seeking opportunities in China

China is just one example, but we cannot just focus on China alone, there’s a whole other continent of Asia and the entire world. I would say look to your neighbors first before deciding to embark off the continent. Yes, China is at the top of it’s game, because its leading the way for how emerging markets will one day take over the world and change the global economic and interacting landscape. So to use China’s example, we as African’s shouldn’t just depend on one country alone, China hasn’t. We should diversify our economic and cultural partnerships. My suggestion, if you have that itch to leave home, yes do come to China, but also invest in our developing-market, sister-economies, because this is where growth is, and this is where the new money will come from. Traditional industrialized economies are exhausted; their markets are saturated, so unless you’re an iphone/facebook apps engineer or the next Mark Zuckerburg, your talents, skills and education will make more of an impact in our sort of countries. Besides, all of the best talent is being harnessed here anyways.

School wise, the US still has the best tertiary education, hands down; and that’s why it attracts a lot of us, but as far as secondary education goes, the world is your oyster. So as a new strategic career path – for those that are young enough- I’d do part of my secondary education in Chinese at a top Beijing high school, go to the States for university then go back home, and facilitate emerging market to emerging market relations… Or I’d definitely do a post grad here in China in Chinese.

Unknown Fun Fact about me

I was in love with superman when I was 3/4. Christopher Reeves was my first crush, and my dream was to grow up to be Louis Lane and fly around the world’s cities at night with him, go to the moon, check out his village, planet Krypton…stuff like that. I don’t think people realized how affected I was by his passing decades later.

Source: Africans on The Move

Vimbayi Kajese featured in the African Journal documentary, titled Africans in China, watch below


Radio Television UK Whats On

Media Watch: 7th January – 11th January 2013


Community Channel

8am: Africa Goes Digital                                                                                                       Is Africa being left out of the digital revolution? This documentary highlights how Africa is making inroads into leveraging information technology for the continent’s development.

BBC Radio 4

11am: Phelophepa

Laverne Antrobus visits rural South Africa to tell the story of the extraordinary Phelophepa Health Train.

The Phelophepa (meaning good, clean health) is a mobile clinic which weaves its way through rural South Africa bringing doctors, nurses and psychologists to a population which has approximately one doctor for every five thousand people. Owned and operated by South Africa’s state freight rail company, Transnet, and funded by a variety of organisations and companies, the Phelophepa has twenty permanent staff who live on the train and up to forty medical students who come and go on placements.

For the programme Laverne caught up with the Phelophepa in Alice, a small town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. She met doctors, student doctors, and of course the patients; many leave having received the treatment they need, however the painful truth is that not everyone can be seen. Often the train has to pull away for the next town, leaving patients (who had travelled miles to be there) behind.



Channel 4

10pm: Don’t Blame Facebook

Documentary tracking down people across the UK who have made extraordinary blunders on Facebook and other social media websites, revealing the potential dangers of sharing too much information online. Stories include the friends arrested on terror charges at a US airport after a joke tweet, the McDonald’s employee who went to jail after hacking an international superstar’s Facebook page and the model arrested in her pyjamas after police burst into her home investigating claims she was harassing a celebrity


BBC Radio 4

3pm: Money Box Live: Tax and Self-Assessment

Perhaps you want to know about your personal allowance, tax on savings, shares, pension contributions or buying a home?

Will there be tax to pay if you give away or sell a valuable possession?

And what happens if you transfer an asset to a current or former spouse or civil partner?

Waiting to share their knowledge will be:

Anita Monteith, Technical Manager, Tax Faculty, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Head of Taxation, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Eric Williams, Tax Partner, Grant Thornton

Whatever your tax question, our experts will do their best to help.


people power

10.30pm: People & Power – Ndiyindoda: I am a man                                                        

 Investigating allegations that circumcision rituals in South Africa result in the mutilation  and death of hundreds of young men every year.


10.30pm: People & Power – Spirit Child

Investigating the ritual murder of disabled children in Ghana – innocent victims of a belief that they are possessed by evil spirits.




8pm: Tutu’s Children (2013) Ep 1

Young professionals are coached to be inspiring African leaders of the future, in an experiment championed by the legendary Desmond Tutu.




10.15pm: Dame Shirley Bassey at the BBC

A compilation of archive performances by the singer to mark her 76th birthday – some 60 years after her vocal talent first achieved public recognition. Featuring footage from Show of the Week, The Shirley Bassey Show, the 2007 Glastonbury Festival and the star’s Electric Proms show in 2009. Songs include Goldfinger, Big Spender and Diamonds are Forever