October 23 2015
The GG2 Leadership Awards are in their 17th year and recognise the achievement of Britain’s ethnic communities
FILMMAKER Asif Kapdia was presented with the GG2 Leadership awards for media and the creative arts at a glittering dinner on Wednesday (October 21).
A high powered judging panel conferred the award – one of 11 presented on the evening – for the year he has had and principally the impact of his film, “Amy”.
The documentary about Amy Winehouse, the hugely popular North London Jewish jazz singer-writer, who died tragically early aged just 27 in 2011, has been a huge critical and commercial success.
Made loosely in the style of his previous hit “Senna” about the Brazilian Formula 1 star, “Amy” has similarly gone on to break records and cement Kapadia’s reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative filmmakers of his generation.
The film has grossed £3.44 million in the UK, a record for a home-made documentary and follows on from “Senna” which racked up £3.17 million and “Amy” continues to be screened around the world.
The GG2 Awards could be one accolade among many as the major awards seasons looms in early 2016.
“Amy” has received huge international attention after it screened in Cannes early this year at a special midnight screening.
Many critics hailed it as a masterpiece and stated that Kapadia has left an indelible stamp on documentary making. Eschewing the conventional format of interviewing people who were close to Winehouse on camera, he spent thousands of hours of sifting through the star’s own videos films and pictures, and broadcast footage.
He interviewed those closest to Winehouse off camera and recorded their testimonies.
The resulting film, putting together the audio commentary, her songs and video footage is a complete triumph and a genuinely moving cinematic experience – and the test is that many who knew nothing about the tragic trajectory of Winehouse are affected and express an interest in her music, where once there was none.
It was a night of stranger occurrences though – the audience was treated to a special ‘Sri Lankan rap’ from chief guest Justice Secretary Michael Gove, who teased BBC Asian network presenter and DJ Nihal, the compere for the evening, with it. (Wait for the video).
Business Secretary Sajid Javid received a special prize for being no1 on this year’s GG2 Power 101 – a publication annually released at the dinner, and which profiles 101 of the country’s most influential Asians.
Javid told the audience his mother would be very proud and helped his cabinet colleague Gove and Ramniklal Solanki CBE, editor-in-chief of the Asian Media and Marketing Group, which organises the awards, launch this year’s widely anticipated “GG2 Power 101“.
The top award of the evening went to Rakesh Kapoor, the CEO of consumer goods powerhouse firm Reckitt Benckiser (RB). He received the GG2 Hammer Award, given to the person who has proverbially broken the glass ceiling.
Among its many brands is Nurofen, Gavsicon, Cillit Bang and Durex. Kapoor is only one of two ethnic minority CEOs of FTSE 100 firms. Since taking the helm he increased shareholder value in RB by 80 per cent.
Before being presented with the award, and unknown to the 700-plus audience at the time, he participated in an entertaining, informative and amusing Q&A with GG2 Leadership Awards compere, Nihal.
Known as something of a hard-task master, Kapoor told the “GG2 Power 101“, he was only interested in extraordinary targets and people who could reach them. At the awards, he spoke about his upbringing in small town India and how he had learnt to cope with the bitter pills of life.
He also said that he liked to recruit staff who thought of themselves as entrepreneurs and who took ownership of their ideas and that while professionals built their resumes, owners were inclined to build their companies.
Most memorably, Kapoor recounted how in China they can make personalised Durex condoms and the man behind the idea had made one specially for his boss with a message inside.
“It said: ‘Don’t push too hard’,” Kapoor regaled.
More seriously, much of the audience was touched and hugely moved by one of the few awards ever to be presented posthumously in the award’s history.
Seema Jay Sharma died in the summer after battling several different bouts of breast cancer. When it became clear she had only months to live, she embarked on a remarkable whirlwind of activity, launching a charity and inspiring others and touching many with her bravery, courage and good humour, despite the terrible prognosis. She even made a five-minute video of hope and positivity made specially for her own funeral.
Her son and mother accepted the Editor’s Award from pop music sensation Naughty Boy and Eastern Eye entertainment editor, Asjad Nazir, amid prolonged applause.
Priti Patel, the current employment minister, was named Woman of the Year for her heady rise. The MP for Witham only entered parliament in 2010 but established herself as one the prime voices of the community, championing small shops and newsagents – she used to help out her own Mum and Dad when younger. She also visited India on David Cameron’s last trip was made diaspora champion – promoting links and greater understanding between the UK and India.
The Man of the Year Award was presented to Lord Kamlesh Patel. He has become the first non-white director of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the game’s governing body. He also has a long and distinguished record of public service and is chairman of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest trusts in the country. He is also chair and patrons of 33 different charities.
“I know it’s too many but I just don’t like to say ‘no’, he joked to the “GG2 Power 101“.
Dr Gaurav Atreja, consultant neonatologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was presented with the GG2 Pride of Britain Award for being the first doctor to successfully retrieve organs from a tragically deceased baby and use them as transplants for adults. The little baby girls’ parents didn’t granted permission after Dr Atreja said it could pave the way for thousands of other transplant patients to benefit from baby organs.
The very first award of the evening went to Polly Harrar, the founder of the The Sharan Project which seeks to assist and support young women and girls who finds themselves in difficult and dangerous situations. It often helps girls escape forced marriages or families who don’t believe their girls should be in higher education or attend university.
Jewish Chronicle journalist Sandy Rashty was presented with the GG2 Young Journalist of the Year Award. Intending to become lawyer, she dropped her internship with a law firm after writing an article about her Iraqi Jewish origins and being offered a chance to work on the paper. She now edits a section about Jewish movers and shakers and often uses her knowledge of Hebrew and Arabic to break stories that would not otherwise hit the UK press.
The GG2 Inspire Award went to Mohammad Zafran, who set up pioneering organisation in Birmingham that seeks to draw young men away from violence and gang life. It has been hugely successful and as a consequence Zafran has been able to extend the work of All 4 Youth and Community to young girls who face family issues.
Newly elected Labour MP for Bradford West Naz Shah was the recipient of The Achievement Through Adversity Award. After a difficult upbringing caused by her father eloping with a 16-year-old neighbour and an early and abusive marriage in Pakistan, Shah became a campaigning care worker and was selected to fight the seat against veteran George Galloway and triumphed against him in May.
Among the other winners were Kwai Tsun Stanley Tse, chairman of SeeWoo Foods Ltd. A well-known celebrity restauranteur in his early days, he has gone onto establish one of the largest retail and wholesaling operations of oriental food products of its type in the UK.
“GG2” is the English section of an international news magazine, “Garavi Gujarat“, first created by Ram Solanki, more than 40 years ago.
Main picture top: Ramniklal Solanki CBE, editor in chief of Asian Media & Marketing Group, Asif Kapadia, Terry Mansfield, Hearst (sponsors) and John Kampfner, CEO Creative Industries
To see ACV gallery from the evening please click HERE
List of winners and sponsors
GG2 Spirit in the Community Award: Sponsored by : Royal Navy
Awarded to an individual or organisation for outstanding work in the community
Winner: Polly Harrar, Founder, The Sharan Project
GG2 Young Journalist of the Year Award : Sponsored by : Daily Mail
Awarded for outstanding work in the media
Winner: Sandy Rashty, Editor, Business and Movers and Shakers, The Jewish Chronicle
GG2 Media & Creative Arts Award : Sponsored by : Hearst Magazines UK
Awarded for exemplary achievement in the creative industry
Winner: Asif Kapadia, Filmmaker, On The Corner
GG2 World Food Award : Sponsored by : Waitrose
Presented to an individual who has shown exceptional creativity and flair in the promotion and development of world food
Winner: Kwai Tsun Stanley Tse, Chairman, SeeWoo Foods Limited
GG2 Inspire Award : Sponsored by AMG
Presented to an individual or organisation for outstanding work in the community, which has served to inspire young people
Winner: Mohammed Zafran, Director, All 4 Youth & Community
GG2 Achievement through Adversity Award : Sponsored by HT & Co Drinks Ltd
Awarded to an individual who has reached a high level of attainment through difficult circumstances
Winner: Naz Shah, Member of Parliament, House of Commons
GG2 Pride of Britain Award : Sponsored by Sun Mark Limited
Awarded to an individual for their outstanding contribution to society.
Winner: Dr Gaurav Atreja, consultant Neonatologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
GG2 Editor’s Award : Sponsored by AMG
Winner: Seema Jaya Sharma
GG2 Woman of the Year : Sponsored by Sun & Sand
Awarded to an individual for consistent high achievement.
Winner: The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions
GG2 Man of the Year : Sponsored by Karali Limited
Awarded to an individual for consistent high achievement
Winner: Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford, House of Lords
GG2 Hammer Award : Sponsored by : Shanti Hospitality
Awarded to an individual who has broken through the glass ceiling
Winner: Rakesh Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, RB