Last Saturday saw the first installment of Divas of color , the largest gathering of the most powerful women of color in the UK. A platform created to celebrate, reward and discover great talent of women of color. The event ceremony saw a mix of great beauty, fashion, book and media brands showcase in the morning section of the day . Followed by the fashion show, pageant and award ceremony in the evening.
In the great and luxurious halls of Hilton Hotel Tower Bridge London, at the heart of the great city of London was a star studded power packed event as we raise funds and awareness on the menace of domestic violence.
The pageant saw 6 talented models go head to head in what was a tight one as all the contestants possessed on unique talent or another. On the panel were talented experts – Eryca Freemantle – global beauty ambassador for women of color, Adebayo Jones, a renowned luxury couture designer, Kwame Koranteng , creative designer at KKBT bespoke tailoring and the renowned celebrity stylist Dee Maat.
The finalists, went on two spectacular runs on the catwalk . First was the fun casual wear followed by the glam evening look . On the later round, the contestants were subjected to some random aptitude questioning from the judges for which they were tested on their public speaking ability, confidence and level of articulation. Combined with the online result, they judges were able to arrive at choosing the deserving winner for the diva face 2014.
Vanessa NM as she is popularly know is a multi talent – medical student, fashion designer (designed most of her outfit for the day) and also a celebrated hairstylist emerged the winner . The round of applause that thundered all through was enough evidence that the judges made the right choice. Vanessa epitomizes the true essence of Divas of color initiative which is to discover, empower and celebrate the best of women of color from all works of life.
Her outstanding beauty, intelligence and humility has earned her the most prestigious recognition of women of color, placing her in the ranks of women of change of this era. As part of her duties as the face of Divas of color, which is to inspire, motivate and help empower young girls to achieve greatness, she will be appearing on the Royal night – never again , girl child network on 5th of April to speak to young girls on self esteem and how to take pride in themselves. Never again girl child network is a charity by Bettty Makoni a Zimbabwean woman , CNN heroes awardee who campaigns against violence against women and against FGM . She has received global recognition for her work with women and also was awarded the woman of Honor on divas off color 2014.
As part of Divas of colors work to work with charities to raise awareness and empower women, this years diva face Vanessa will be going from time to time to speak in these forums to encourage women and young girls using her position as the diva face to instill positive affirmation in these girls. As a medical student and an entrepreneur , she has what it takes to intellectually and moral impact in others . Her beauty and her brain has earned her the most prestigious honour for women of color.
Vanessa has already been featured on this months Black hair magazine and has been tipped to be the cover girl for C.hub magazine due out next week. She is already positioned for many more opportunities not forgetting her cash prize of £500 . She is also officially the brand ambassador for Manubiah greeting card publishers and so many other brands coming forward to be associated with Divas of color .
In receiving her title award, she had this to say of herself and heritage.
“Firstly I want to give thanks to God because everything I have been able to do, am doing and will do is by His grace. Being honored with the title as the ‘diva Face’ is a great achievement as young 23 year old lady who is a model, a 4th year medical student, hairstylist, does fashion design, among other talents I have been blessed in having. My title means more than beauty or splendor it is indeed a concept that encapsulates what is to be a lady of color proud of her heritage, knowing where she has come from and where she is going, living life with zeal and poise. I am a hardworking lady of Nigerian heritage and on my path to becoming general practitioner, during my studies I have volunteered at brownies girl scouts, been involved in cultural shows raising money for charities such as African Caribbean Leukemia Trust, Diabetes UK and Touch of light a charity for blind people in Ghana.
Furthermore I was president of the African and Caribbean Society at my medical school, I found it a great experience learning more about my culture, making me even more proud of the achievements of fellow men and women of colour. During my time as president I organised a fundraising cultural show with my committee raising £1,050 that we donated to 2 charities. I am very happy to help promote charities associated with Diva of Colour such as Glowing Future and Girl Child Network, as their work should not go unnoticed and be celebrated for their endeavours. Currently I am involved in my medical school committee with the BMA. I came third in the well known modelling competition top model of colour 2012, and since then went on to win Official face of makeup show live 2012, I model for Mahogany model management, Vision model management and RJW Model academy. I have so much more to do and in doing so I pray that I will be an inspiration for fellow ladies of colour out there of all ages”
About Divas of colour .
Divas of colour is a special day set aside to celebrate , recognize , reward and discover the best of women of color from around the globe. The essence being to use the platform to address each year a particular issue affecting women as we celebrate. Each year, a charity is chosen based on the cause being focused on. Women of outstanding qualities who are making impact in our world are awarded – diva ambassadors and women of honour. Usually done in the month of March to commemorate International women’s day. The global divas of colour award next year is poised to be bigger and better given the huge success of the first installment.