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International Women's Day with Kanya King CBE, CEO & Founder MOBO Group

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International Women's Day with Kanya King CBE, CEO & Founder MOBO Group

This International Women's Day (IWD) we welcomed Kanya King to discuss how she overcame obstacles to become the founder of one of Europe’s biggest music awards ceremonies, the MOBO Awards (Music of Black Origin).

From being told by her careers adviser she’ll be lucky to get a job in Sainsbury’s, to being named one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK, Kanya King's journey is testament to what persistence, hard work and a vision can achieve.

Kanya's talk was befitting of this year's IWD theme: Break the Bias. 

The youngest girl of nine born to a Ghanaian father and Irish mother, Kanya grew up in a crowded council flat in North London. Following her studies at Goldsmiths University, she earned a role working as a TV researcher. This is where Kanya saw the glaring gap in the market for a mainstream British awards ceremony celebrating black music and musicians. 

The MOBO Awards is now a globally respected brand that engages with business and political leaders, and allies with cultural icons and creative visionaries. It has provided an early platform for British artists such as Stormzy, Amy Winehouse, Goldie, Skepta and Rita Ora amongst others, and has become one of the most prestigious events on the international music calendar.

Her advice? See obstacles as opportunities. Not everything will go your way and you must be prepared to challenge, work hard and dedicate yourself to a goal. If you combine these approaches with a passion, then no bias, stigma or prejudice - which you must stand up to and call out - will stand a chance. Be relentless!

Kanya has succeeded against the odds to create a cultural and social footprint which will continue to be an agent for positive change in arts, culture, music and society as a whole.

Thank you to Kanya for her inspiring words!

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