Applause Africa honored and celebrated 16 African leaders in New York City last Saturday November 30 at our 3rd annual African Diaspora Awards (ADA). Conceived to recognize the achievements of African leaders and professionals with ingenuity and creativity, who work across categories of media, entertainment, community advocacy and philanthropy, the ADA, is the only major awards show that celebrates exemplary brands and individuals who have made a significant difference in the African community in the United States.
The prestigious ceremony was hosted by Three-time Emmy nominated media professional and PIX 11 News Producer and Correspondent, Ojinika Obiekwe and Veteran French radio presenter Nasser Diallo. Honors were given in the following categories: 
Advocate: Amini Kanjuju (CEO, The Africa America Institute) 
Actor: Yaya Alafia (As seen in the movies Mother of George and The Butler)
Community Service: Mpule Kwelagobe (Former Miss Universe & CEO, MPULE Institute for Endogenous Development)
Designer: Korto Momolu (1st Runner Up, Project Runway Cycle 5) 
Diplomat: Ambassador Fillipe Savadogo (Permanent Observer of La Francophonie to the United Nations)
Entrepreneur: Chinedu Echeruo (Founder, HopStop) 
Film: Mother of George, An Andrew Dosunmu Movie
Humanitarian: Munyang Reath Kher (Semi-Finalist, Do Something Award)
Lifetime Achievement: Leymah Gbowee (2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
Musician: Blitz The Ambassador  
Scholar: Emmanuel Ohuabunwa
Special awards were also presented in the following categories:
Company of the Year: IBM
Friends of Africa: Kara Gerson (CEO, Voss Foundation) and Barry Segal (CEO, Segal Family Foundation)
Person of the Year: Oluchi Orlandi (Creator, Africa’s Next Top Model)
Creative Artist of the Year: Wangechi Mutu
Michael Ikotun, Co-Founder of Applause Africa says: “The 2013 African Diaspora Awards continues Applause Africa magazine’s tradition of celebrating exemplary individuals and brands that have made a significant difference in the African community in the United States.  The platform this year celebrated 16 exceptional Diaspora African professionals in front of 500 guests.  The number of guests in attendance this year was more than 30% higher than the number we had last year.  This is extraordinary validation of our hard work in providing an innovative platform that reinvents the way Africans celebrate each other.”  
Debo Folorunsho, Founder of Applause Africa says that “We ultimately judge ourselves by our ability to pool together an audience that supports the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora.  Therefore, the fact that so many people came out on one of the coldest nights of the year,  to express their support, means a lot to us and is a confirmation that we are on the right track.  Next year, will be bigger and better.  You can count on it.”
Additional details about the 2013 ADA celebration, including nominees, sponsors, and acceptance speeches are available at www.applauseafrica.com/ada.
Download Press Release: HERE
Download HiRes Photos: HERE
Photo Credit: Solwazi Afi Olusola