Confetti celebrates Black History Month
When we consider today’s world and the glowing achievements that humans have made over the years, how many of us can articulate the positive achievements and legacies Africa and Africans have provided to our current existence?
Africans have consistently been key players, and in some case forerunners, in the continued development of our world. But, for many, Africa and African involvement has been forgotten, masked or removed.
This year, Black History Month provides the opportunity for us to look positively at Africa and African achievements both historically and in a modern context, providing a vehicle for us to share in the vast history of the African continent and the many diverse experiences of the African diaspora. We’ve selected just handful of people to showcase – to find out more, visit Black History Month website.
Catapulted into office in 2018 following the resignation of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, the politician has made a huge and positive impact at home and internationally.
In a very short space of time, he has made peace with Ethiopia’s neighbouring Eritrea; released 60,000 political prisoners; calmed ethnic tensions; signed multimillion-dollar infrastructure deals with China; started liberalising the economy; persuaded diaspora Ethiopians to contribute $2.4m to a trust fund; filled his cabinet with women; and diffused a potential military coup by doing press-ups with soldiers.
Abiy Ahmed Ali
Nobel Peace Prize 2019 winner
Dr Mae Jemison is an American astronaut and physician who, on 4 June 1987, became the first African American woman to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program.
In 1992, Jemison finally flew into space with six other astronauts aboard the Endeavour on mission STS47, becoming the first African American woman in space. In recognition of her accomplishments, Jemison has received several awards and honorary doctorates.
Dr Mae Jemison
Astronaut and physician
Dubbed the ‘King of Nigerian Music’, Davido has riches (he’s worth $16m), good looks, fast cars and political clout.
Using his music to inspire Nigerians to vote in the 2019 elections, he also lent his star appeal to presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s campaign. His next goal is to crack the tough US market.
Global singer-songwriter and producer
The actress has starred in some of blockbusters, such as sci-fi thriller, 28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and Skyfall, as well as a long and successful career in TV that started at an early age in a number of children’s television series.
Along with multiple acting awards, Harris holds a degree from Cambridge and is supporter of numerous charities including Save the Children and the Prince’s Trust.
Naomie Harris OBE
Akon is an established bona-fide global superstar. The American-born Senegalese artist has sold over 35 million albums worldwide, received five Grammy nominations and collaborated with an array of A-list artists from many genres including Lady GaGa, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Daddy Yankee, Lil’ Wayne, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and many more.
Akon’s global vision is rooted in music but has expanded to include renewable energy. His “Lighting Africa” initiative put him at the forefront of the sustainability movement, and he’s driving a government-backed futuristic Pan-African smart city in Senegal, built in the mould of Wakanda – the fictional, technologically advanced African nation depicted in the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther.
Singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor
The British fashion designer has had a transformational impact on menswear fashion for almost three decades, with a design aesthetic rooted in Savile Row traditions but defined by international style, detail, and artistry.
His instinctive use of colour, cut and fabric fuses traditional classic British tailoring with a high-end modern design focus on the refinement of a man’s silhouette, this has brought tailoring to a whole new generation of men.
Ozwald Boateng OBE
Celebrated fashion designer
Parsons is the former CEO and chairman of global media and entertainment organisation, Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), that includes a host of big brands such as Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, CNN and many more.
Parsons has given substantially to education through scholarships and supporting foundations.
Today, he chairs The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, which was founded in 1913 to help find solutions for the world’s biggest problems.
American business executive
Although he has retired from international play, Didier Drogba’s heart will always belong to his home country, the Ivory Coast. Arguably the greatest African footballer to ever grace a pitch, Drogba’s decorated career includes winning Chelsea its first Premier League title, scoring 10 goals in 10 finals, and winning 10 trophies at club level.
championship after a 50-year drought, in his rookie season no less, as well as a second title a year later, and becoming the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals. Thanks to a career record of scoring 10 goals in 10 finals, and winning 10 trophies at club level, he’s been referred to as the “ultimate big game player.”
Off the pitch, through his various charities and philanthropy projects, the football legend is focusing on rebuilding the education and healthcare systems around the Ivory Coast.
Football star and philanthropist
Reggie Yates’ career has seen him move from fronting children’s programming, to national radio to become an RTS award-winning documentary maker.
The popular figure works closely with Mind and The Tate, and his documentary work has raised awareness of some socially important issues, such the refugee situation in Syria and the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.
Actor, television presenter and radio DJ
Nigerian-born, British singer, songwriter and producer Helen Folasade Adu CBE, gained worldwide fame as the lead vocalist of the English band Sade.
She’s not just one of Britain’s most successful solo artists in history. Hip hop legends, including Missy Elliott and R&B legends Beyonce and Aaliyah, have all cited Sade as their influence!
Singer, songwriter and producer
Sir David Adjaye OBE is an award-winning Ghanaian-British architect who has designed many notable buildings around the world.
On the internationally-renowned architect’s list of designs includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, the Stephen Lawrence Centre in London, the striking Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, and Sugar Hill Housing; a project in New York’s Harlem containing affordable housing units, a kindergarten and a small museum.
His artistic work and ethos for community-driven projects has led him to become one of the most celebrated architects in the modern world.
Sir David Adjaye OBE
James LeBron is considered one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, and ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s most influential athletes.
Aside from his glittering career, the sports star is an active supporter of non-profit organisations and even has his own charity foundation – the LeBron James Family Foundation – that has raised valuable funds for many causes. The entrepreneur is also a co-owner of the production company SpringHill Entertainment.
The mastermind behind 17 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows, a New York Times bestselling book, and his very own studio, Tyler Perry Studios; one of the largest film studios in the US, establishing Perry as the first African-American to outright own a major film studio.
Born and raised in New Orleans, his childhood was marked by poverty and a household scarred by abuse. Since 2008, Perry, through his charity, has donated funds to bring clean water to almost 100,000 people across four countries, including nine communities in Ethiopia, four in Haiti, one in India, and six provinces in Cambodia.
Actor, writer, producer, and director
The British-Nigerian initially rose to prominence for his role as Moses in the sci-fi comedy film Attack the Block, and later became best known for playing Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
Boyega is an active supporter of Black Lives Matter and has spoken up about characters of different races being pushed aside in blockbuster films.
Actor and producer
The international model was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her contribution to Arts, Broadcasting and Charity work.
Born in Scotland to Nigerian parents, Olumide has appeared in world-wide campaigns, fashion weeks across the globe and editorials such as New York Magazine, Vogue and Pride.
When she’s not walking for designer’s including Mulberry, JJ Noki, Christopher Kane, Henry Holland and Harris Tweed, she spends her time raising vital funds for charities like Children’s Hospice Scotland, The Well Foundation and The Columbus Hospice.
Eunice Olumide MBE
International supermodel and actress
The Guyanese-British actress is best known for her role as Shuri in the blockbuster moive, Black Panther.
Despite only being 26 years old, the 2019 BAFTA Rising Star winner’s career has already seen her co-star in the likes of Black Mirror, Humans, Holby City, and Steve McQeen’s Small Axe.
Asher-Smith joins a long list of black athletes who have carried the flag for British athletics.
She’s the fastest British woman in recorded history, winning countless medals in world championships, and has been listed in the Powerlist as one of the UK’s most influential people from African/African Caribbean descent.
Nottingham’s very own MistaJam recently announced that he’ll be leaving the BBC after spending 15 years on air as a DJ and presenter.
A guest at one of Confetti’s Industry Week, MistaJam started DJing in Nottingham at the age of 14 before joining local hip hop crew, Out Da Ville. He’s now heading up a new station, Capital Dance.
DJ and radio presenter
Like our partners, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), we’re planning a year-long of events and activities to celebrate Black History Month – keep checking our website and social channels for further updates.