What began as an individual idea two years ago has transmuted into one of the awards that has caught the attention of the movers and shakers. The Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards highlight excellence in an individual or institution doing business in Ghana or for the Ghanaian community in the United Kingdom.
As the second edition is scheduled to hold November 6, Africanews.com caught up with the CEO and originator, Dentaa, to explain the award process.
Africanews: Briefly tell us about the awards
Dentaa: The GUBA Awards stands for the Ghana UK-based Achievement Awards, which recognises the achievements of individuals and organisation positively contributing to the Ghanaian community in the UK or Ghana.
Africanews: How different is this award from others?
Dentaa: The GUBA Awards are very different from other awards. All nominees, guests and judges share a common bond through the affiliation of our mothering Ghana. There are no awards that recognize Ghanaian achievement. It is the only Awards endorsed by the Ghana High Commission here in the UK.
Africanews: How do you arrive at your nominees?
Dentaa: We receive hundreds of recommendations for nominees. We have a vetting process in place and a clear criteria (which you can see on our site www.gubaawards.com) that each candidate has to satisfy prior to being accepted as a nominee. We only consider the activities of the candidates in the 12 months leading up to the Awards so that everyone stands a fair chance.
We have industry experienced judges such as Charles Thompson MBE (CEO of the Screen Nation Awards) that shortlist the candidates into the final nominees. We have three judges with diverse expertise to ensure that all decisions are impartial. This presents us with about four or five in each category. The nominees then go to the public vote, which ultimately leaves the decision with the public.
GUBA 2011 launch at the Ghana High Commission in UK
Africanews: What has been the motivation behind the awards?
Dentaa: The motivation for GUBA is multi-facetted. We are motivated by the continuing achievements of our nominees and winners. As long as there are Ghanaians putting their mark on their respective industries, GUBA will be there to recognise them. Also the GUBA Awards are here to inspire the next generation to aim big and achieve. It’s to say to the people that are doing well we see you and recognise your achievements. It helps to promote what they are doing now.
Africanews: How did it all begin and where do you see it in next 5-10 years?
Dentaa: GUBA is an idea that I’ve had for a long time and I finally began acting on it in 2009. As a proud Ghanaian myself I realised that there was nothing out there that promoted and enriched my heritage. I wanted something to say we are Ghanaians and this is what we have done! A celebration of us and where we come from.
In the next 5-10 years I hope GUBA will be an even higher profile event branching out to our UK counterparts. I would love to see the awards aired on UK mainstream TV and across Africa.
Africanews: What challenges have you encountered regarding the awards and how did you tackle them?
Dentaa: The first time doing the awards were hectic, there was the added strain of finding sponsorship as GUBA awards is non-profit. Perseverance and faith in God is our solution.
Curious to know what’s coming in GUBA Awards 2011
Africanews: How different is this year’s going to be from previous?
Dentaa: For those people who came to the launch they will know that the awards are very different already. We have a new logo and new look site. We also have a new location; the Awards will be at the Park Plaza Embankment, which is more luxurious. We have invited the vice president. Our guests are really in for treat. I wouldn’t want to give away all of the additions let’s just say it will surely be a great night. We have introduced new categories such as Best African Sports Personality to share in the success of our African brothers and sisters and acknowledge what they are doing. It is about showcasing the talents of nominees and winners and spurring them on to greater success.
Africanews: What are the future plans so far as GUBA is concerned?
Dentaa: We want to maintain a high level of following and expand our reach. We want to be able to celebrate Ghanaian achievements across board which means looking even more diligently at the achievements of those in other sectors. We want our event to be bigger and better year on year.
Voting has started for the awards; cast your vote at www.gubaawards.com