On December 1st, Grange City Hotel opened its doors to over 150 BYP members and special guests including Black Girl Fest founder, Nicole Crentsil, and Slay In Your Lane authors, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené to celebrate another year of Black Excellence in style. After months of preparation, Xmas in Wakanda was finally ready to go love. So, what happened on the night?
Guests were welcomed into the lobby and ushered into the 'networking room' to meet fellow BYP members. Icebreaker bingo was played, drinks were poured and soon everyone was getting to know one another.
Guests then entered into the main room to see it decked out with lavish decorations, and found their way to their seats. Kicking off the night were our talented drummers, and before long, everyone was sat and ready for their meals.
As starters of Okoye's Spear (beef skewers), Nakia's Love (sauteed king prawns with sweet chilli) and T'challa's EMP Discs (avocado and tomato salsa on mini poppadoms) were placed on tables, whilst guests poured wine, beer, supermalt and ginger beer.
As our steel pan player got our guests excited with his calypso-sounding renditions of favourite RnB, Afrobeats and Hip Hop tracks, mains were served. Hey Aunty (fried red snapper fillet in a zesty orange and ginger sauce with diced fried ripe plantain and baked potatoes), Dora Milaje Special (grilled chicken breast with jollof rice and yam chips), De Strent of De Blak Pantha (curried lamb and potato with saffron rice), and M'Baku's Breakfast (sweet potato curry with boiled rice), went down a treat, accompanied by the wonderful words of our very special guest and the awe-inspiring, Reggie Nelson, on taking opportunities!
As desserts hit the tables - Gift of the Ancestors (coconut tart), Kimoyo Beads (puff puff and vanilla ice cream with toffee drizzle) and Nectar of the heart shaped herb (mango and passionfruit sorbet), guests were getting livelier. We ushered our Black Excellence Awards to the stage to claim their prizes - Asheligh Ainsley, Genevieve Bent, Ernestina Agyei, Olalekan Sulaiman, and Alex Alleyne.
Not wanting the entertainment to end, we put on a little raffle with winners securing Moët, nail polish sets and many more special gifts.
It wasn't long before plates were cleared, chats were finished and guests were hitting the dancefloor. With our Wireless Festival VIP DJ, DJ RBC hitting the decks, the dancing didn't stop until midnight when the lights came up and guests were given their coats, sending their goodbyes and heading out into the night.
It was the perfect end to 12 months of growth. From a small-scale network to one with over 30k members in 65 countries, and with our Finance Unmasked Event, Charity Quiz, Summer Social drinks, and our biggest ever event; Diversity Recruitment Fair, behind us, we wanted to go big.
Next year, we're going even bigger - starting with the relaunch of our app which will be a platform for all Black networks globally, and working on even more events, so don't miss out on this night!