BBQ AWARDS TURNS SWEET, SASSY 16!

Like a fine wine, the Big Time Strategic Group Black Business Quarterly Awards gets classier and smoother with age, this year celebrating its 16th anniversary with an evening to remember

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Hosted at Emperors Palace on Friday, 20th October, the 2017 BBQ Awards promises to be one of glitz and glamour. As the saying goes, ‘All that glitters is not gold’, however, in this case, the twinkle from this crown jewel of the South African event calendar is as real as it gets.

One of the country’s most prestigious and longest-running business awards ceremonies, since inception, it has gone from strength to strength, attracting the best of the best of the black business elite within our country.
The BBQ Awards recognises and rewards excellence in black business across all industries and enterprises. From distinguished leaders to rising stars, the creatively talented to innovative and impactful entrepreneurs, the BBQ Awards applauds their determination, hard work and integrity. Champions of South Africa’s business elite, along with numerous foreign dignitaries and senior government officials will be in attendance to celebrate remarkable business achievements.

Luminaries who have previously been honoured by the BBQ Awards include Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Thulani Majola, Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, Siyabonga Gama, Daphne Mashile-Nkosi, Phuti Mahanyele and Bheki Kunene. Among the high-profile 2016 winners were South Africa’s Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu, Nonkululeko Gobodo (Chief Executive of Nkululeko Leadership Consulting), Felleng Yende (FP&M SETA’s CEO), Mteto Nyati (MTN South Africa’s CEO) and Tebogo Ditshego (CEO of Ditshego Media). This year, the competition is even fiercer as nominees battle it out against the top of their class.

The keynote address of the evening will be delivered by Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, a stalwart in championing for transformation in every sector of our country. The host for the evening will be the popular South African choreographer and radio personality, the ever-fabulous Somizi Mhlongo, whose vibrant attitude and larger-than-life personality is guaranteed to infuse an element of celebration into the evening.

In keeping with its reputation of providing quality entertainment, the BBQ Awards 2017 welcomes the award-winning R&B performer, Vusi Nova, as the headline act, who will mesmerise the audience with songs like ‘Naninina’ and ‘Ndikuthandile’.
David Tlale, one of South Africa’s leading fashion designers will be providing the winners of each category with their outfits and doing what he does best, making them look absolutely fabulous!

The awards will consist of 13 categories open to individuals, black-owned and empowered companies and organisations in South Africa, which include Best Established SMME, Outstanding Woman in Business, the Young Business Achiever Award and Community Builder of the Year Award.
Winning an award that recognises your business offers exceptional marketing and PR opportunities, as well as increasing your credibility and standing in the eyes of your esteemed peers and clients. And of course, along with the trophy comes the bragging rights.

In between the wining and dining, attendees will have the opportunity to network with other game-changers in the black business community. We will salute you on the red carpet, while you sip on welcome drinks, courtesy of Hennesy, and have the opportunity to be photographed by the paparazzi in attendance.

The BBQ Awards will be broadcasted live on CMTV streaming and covered by mainstream media, print, radio and television. So, dust off that suit, shine those shoes, put on that lipstick and join us in shining the spotlight on these amazing candidates, and make all those sleepless nights of hard work worth it. Tables are limited, so book yours now.

This year, we have an amazing group of judges overseeing the selection process.
McLean Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer of The Innovation Hub; Phuti Mahanyele, Executive Chairperson of Sigma Capital and Xolani Qubeka, CEO of the Black Business Council

Xolani Qubeka, an entrepreneur and self-taught businessman, is the past CEO of the Black Business Council, and he is very passionate about entrepreneurship and economic transformation. He has over 20 years of general Management experience and has held senior management positions in several companies, including DENEL, Gijima, Multichoice and MTN.
Prior to joining the Black Business Council he was Managing Owner of Qubelisa Enterprise Empowerment & Training cc., a corporation focusing on entrepreneurial development and training and capacity building for SMME’s. Xolani played a pivotal role in the formation of MTN, as well as being part of the project team that successfully tendered for the C3 MTN license in 1992/3and also played an integral role in the new Telecommunications policy process that culminated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

McLean Sibanda is an engineer and patent attorney. He has been Chief Executive Officer of The Innovation Hub since February 2011. He has extensive experience in intellectual property, entrepreneurship, innovation, and in particular, working with startups. He has held senior and executive roles in a number of private and public sector organisations in South Africa.
He has served as an Expert to the African Union, World Intellectual Property Organisation and the Department of Science and Technology. He has served on the boards of the CSIR, and International Association of Science Parks. He currently serves on the boards of Meniko Records Management Services, African Agricultural Technology Foundation and the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), which he chairs.

Phuti Mahanyele is the Executive Chairperson of Sigma Capital an investment holding company. Ms Mahanyele is the former CEO of Shanduka Group, an investment holding company she joined in 2004 and left in 2015. Prior to that, she was the Head of the Project Finance South Africa business unit at the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Prior to the DBSA, she was Vice President at Fieldstone, an international firm specialising in the financing of infrastructure assets. She is involved in a number of activities with youth in her personal capacity. She mentors young professionals and supports students. She is involved with the “Dignity Day” programme which is led by Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. She was awarded the Forbes Woman Africa Business Woman of the Year Award as well as the Platinum Award by Motlekar Holdings BBQ Awards in 2014.

A word from Robert Arendse, Managing Director of Cape Media Corporation

How has the BBQ Awards evolved over the past 16 years?
Since the creation of the BBQ Awards, it has continued to expand and increase its reach. It has attracted companies and individuals who are dedicated to making a difference and who are excelling in sectors such as entrepreneurship and enterprise development in the public and private sectors.

How is attending the awards/being nominated/winning a valuable "addition" to any company/individual?
There are too many to list! Entering and, subsequently, winning an award makes your company shine and sets it apart from your competition. Attending the awards provides excellent network opportunities and provides a platform for everyone to interact before heading back to their busy schedules.

What is the importance of celebrating black business and transformation in SA?
South Africa desperately needs to address important issues such as education and unemployment, as the associated socio-economic problems directly affect our dream of a prosperous rainbow nation. Promoting and empowering leaders of transformation in business is a key priority as it offers solutions to these socio-economic difficulties. Events like the Big Time Strategic Group BBQ Awards provide a platform to celebrate and honour such individuals and organisations.

What are your future aspirations for the BBQ Awards for the next 16 years?
My hope is that it continues to create this legacy of inspiration for the country’s black business elite. Organisations and individuals are recognised for their good corporate governance, leadership and esteemed business achievements at the annual awards ceremony. We want the BBQ Awards to be a milestone for them, an achievement that each and every one of them is working towards.

Describe the atmosphere one can expect at the awards?
It's glamourous, it’s fun, it's memorable. And it’s inspiring. At the BBQ Awards, you are surrounded by people who are driven and who have persevered, and the best part is that they are all celebrating each other.

What is your favourite part of the awards evening?
Seeing all attendees having a brilliant time, and having these amazing achievers interact with the organisers of the awards, showing their appreciation and interest in the important nature of this event and how its sole role is to celebrate their achievements.

What is your most memorable BBQ Awards moment thus far?
When one of my employees accepted an award on behalf of one of the winners as the individual was approaching the stage. Eventually she reluctantly handed the trophy to the winner.

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