The Beijinger Among Nominees for the 2018 Pride of Africa Awards

Appreciate Africa Network – a cultural group aimed at coordinating events for and offering support to African expats in China, along with their friends – has announced the nominees for its 2018 Pride of Africa Awards. Over 100 nominees have been selected across 28 categories that encompass awards such as African Woman and Man of the Year, African Young Achievers, Award of Creativity and Enterprise, Outstanding China Africa Organization, Outstanding Achievement in Media, and more.

James Sserwadda, an artist and co-coordinator of events like BlackEXPO, was nominated in five categories, an honor that he described as "humbling." He adds that the awards are crucial because they showcase "the beauty and culture of Mama Africa! I am proud to be part of this event and am encouraged to aim higher in the fields of Visual Arts and Creative Directing."

"This is a pivotal time in the culture and a great chance to highlight Africa and the talented people that come from her," Sserwadda adds.

Such sentiments were shared by Mikka Kabugo, a Ugandan student at Peking University who heads the campus' African Students Association (PUASA) and was nominated in the Pride of Africa Awards' Community Champion category. He said the nod "makes one feel celebrated and recognized. Any child of my generation will tell you how much excitement the mere prospect of that can garner."

Kabugo also says the awards are important because they highlight "the work of different people who would otherwise have gone unnoticed. I think one's growth in their work is definitely upgraded in that respect [through prizes and nominations]."

The Beijinger, meanwhile, has been nominated in the Outstanding Achievement In Media category alongside top media insiders like Daniel Mmereki (Botswana) and Nina Solange (Togo), along with Opopo Magazine (or One People One Purpose, a Beijing-based publication whose mission statement is "uplift and empower Blacks everywhere"; find them on WeChat at gh_187a43139332) and Thrive Beijing (which bills itself as "an open market for international musicians").

TBJ garnered its nomination in part because of its coverage of Africa-empowering events like Africa 2.0's "Being Black In China" seminar, the aforementioned BlackEXPO that Sserwadda helped coordinate, along with Beijing-based Africans' efforts to nix a racially charged exhibit in Wuhan this past fall. That being said, it's no secret that we're up against considerable competition from the other forward-thinking and ambitious nominees in this category, people and organizations who will only challenge us to up our coverage in future.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Beijing Marriot Hotel North East on Jun 16. To vote for your favorite nominees, scan the QR code in the poster below:

Images courtesy of the Pride of Africa Awards