The Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Awards highlight the value of Scotland’s youth from all minority ethnic backgrounds. The awards recognise the achievements of Scotland’s minority Ethnic youth in the following categories: Community Contribution; Best Arts Contribution; Sports Achievements; Friend of the Environment; Career Achievement; Future Political Force; Science & Technology/Engineering Initiative; Apprentice of the Year; Spirit of Scotland. This years event took place on Friday September 5.
Community Service Finalists:
Kalonde Kasengele nominated for his dedication and service to his community through the medium of football. Kalonde is a football-ing community activist of East African origin – playing a massive role in the development of his team Afro-Scots United FC. As club treasurer he spearheads the clubs fund raising activity, helps organise matches, and helps his fellow players develop not just playing skills but life skills as well.
The Young Leaders of the 8th Blackford Scout Group nominated for their ground breaking Scouting. The Young Leaders of the 8th Blackford Scout Group have been actively involved in the development and running of a Scout group which allows young Muslims to experience Scouting and what it offers in a group setting with an awareness of the background and concerns of their members.
Arts Contribution Finalists:
Knightswood Youth Theatre nominated for their contribution to the Arts. Knightswood Youth Theatre is a dedicated group of young asylum seekers, refugees and local Glaswegians working together to devise and perform exciting and original work. Treading the boards across Scotland – for their local communities, Glasgow wide and all the way up in Inverness – the members of Knightswood Youth Theatre group are fantastic role models not only for younger children but their peers as well and through the National Theatre of Scotland’s Exchange Youth Theatre Festival they have made a great contribution to Youth Theatre.
Levis Albano nominated for his outstanding contribution to African and Caribbean music. Levis Albano, a young Angolan refugee, is a key member of Fugees United – the Sighthill-based hip-hop group. Levis has always supported anti-racist and community events with his talent, performing at many BME events. A talented artist and mentor to other local hip-hop artists including his younger brother Mauro and G1FT.
Sports Contribution Finalists:
Nony Gloria Mordi nominated for her athletic achievements in triple jump. Twenty-one year old Nony Gloria Mordi is currently the Scottish Senior female Champion in triple jump and is on course to represent Scotland in triple jump in the upcoming 2010 commonwealth games in Delhi and has aspirations for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 2008 sees Nony compete twice for Great Britain and thrice for Scotland; so far she has broken 5 Scottish records.
Ifrah Raza nominated for her ever expanding sporting accomplishments in badminton. Ifrah, aged 16, attended the UK Transplant Games in Bath in 2006 and Edinburgh in 2007 taking Gold two years running in singles badminton. 2007 Ifrah headed to Bangkok, Thailand for the World Transplant Games as the sole Scottish competitor in the junior UK team – bringing back Silver in badminton doubles and Bronze in badminton singles. In August this year, now aged 18 and eligible for the adult game, she attended the UK Transplant Games in Sheffield and won Silver in the badminton doubles.
Career Achievement Finalists:
Justyna Chmurzynska nominated for her career development and achievement. Justyna came to Scotland to seek better opportunities and despite being a qualified journalist her first job in Scotland was as a waitress in a café. In 2007 she took a new career path studying HR at Napier University. She currently works as a personnel clerk with ASDA and in her free time has started a placement with Fife Council’s HR department with the support of Equal in Fife, an organisation that helps ethnic minority people into employment.
Umer Ashraf nominated for his ever-rising standards of management and directorship and strong commitment to an ambitious and innovative professional ethnos.
In 2004 Umer, aged nineteen and in the process of completing his honours degree in Business, entered into his first business venture. Umer took over a local movie rental store on the highly trafficked Great Western Road – quickly turning the business around, both conceptually and financially. By 2005, the business had been radically transformed to comprise a state of the art internet café providing ready internet access, great coffee and a trendy Halal menu all set in an atmosphere befitting Glasgow’s cosmopolitan West End.
Umer is currently in the midst of opening his third iCafe.
Apprentice of the Year Finalists:
Marcus Whyte nominated for his exceptional dedication and professional approach to his apprenticeship. Marcus commenced his joinery apprenticeship in September 2005, and has recently started his 4th and final year. He has progressed well throughout his apprenticeship, and has received excellent marks from both the college and on-site with regards to attitude, ability, health and safety and timekeeping. Marcus is a very mature and well mannered individual, who puts 100% into every task given to him. Ghazal Asif nominated for her contribution in raising the profile of Apprenticeships and her continuing belief in the need to go back to basics to learn.
Since Ghazal’s appearance on The Apprentice in 2007 she was promoted with a Global IT firm and moved to London to gain corporate & commercial business experience. However, Ghazal’s dream was to create her own fashion brand – with no background or any experience in fashion Ghazal had to go back once again to learning the basics – the basics of design, manufacturing and distribution.
Future Political Force Finalists:
Anas Sarwar nominated for being a formidable force for progressive and positive social change. Anas is one of the youngest people in Scotland to be selected by a major political party to contest the winnable Westminster Parliamentary seat of Glasgow Central. A young man of character and dignity he is resolutely committed to improving the political and social landscape of Glasgow and beyond – undertaking various projects and activities to achieve positive change.
Osman Mehmood nominated for his political ambition and his ongoing community work empowering local young and strengthening community links. Nineteen year old Glasgow University student Osman Mehmood is an ambitious young man who is very active in politics and his community.
He is Vice-Chair of the Active Life Club, an organisation set up to empower young people through sports and other personal development measures. In this capacity, Osman is involved in organising activities for young people and organising events in the local area to foster stronger community links – this includes Eid in the Park and the Twenty:20 annual cricket match against Strathclyde Police.
Spirit of Scotland Finalists:
Ivy Phoenix nominated for being an unwavering voice for others and an inspiration to us all. Ivy tirelessly campaigns for the rights of disabled people and continually challenges stereotypical attitudes towards disability. Ivy is a board member and volunteer of Ethnic Enable – a charitable organisation supporting individuals with disabilities from the minority ethnic communities. Ivy represents the voice of disability from the minority ethnic community at numerous public events – including the Ethnic Minority Civic Congress, Disability Rights Commission consultation event on Disability and Transport, addressing at CEMVO’s Showcase event at Dynamic Earth, and meeting with Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Bashir Ahmad MSP and questioning them about the role of disabled people in today’s society.
Universal Football Club nominated for their successful endeavours to combat racism in football. Universal Football Club is a truly multicultural club based in Glasgow, founded in May 2005 by Moran Nthoiwa, the current team’s Manager. It was set up to challenge and combat racism in football throughout Glasgow’s communities by bringing multi-racial groups together to play the sport without having to worry about race, religion or cultural differences.
Faiza Amid, Campaign Manager with Oceanic Consulting said “The positive response and feedback received so far for inaugural Young Scottish Minority Ethnic Award has been fantastic – we have numerous organisations on board lending their support for the venture; EMEC, The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, Careers Scotland, One Scotland – Scottish Government, and the African and Caribbean Network; Pauline McNeil MSP and Bashir Ahmad MSP have been active in voicing their support; and the nominations came flooding in for the majority of the categories."