Tolü Makay has been named best female artist at the Black & Irish awards in Dublin. The Nigerian-born, Tullamore-reared soul singer rose to prominence this year following her emotional rendition of the Saw Doctors' N17 song with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on New Year's Eve 2020. Makay has just finished a headline tour, The Tolü Makay Experience.
She was presented with the award at Dublin's Hilton Hotel on Saturday night. The inaugural event celebrated Ireland's most influential members of the black and mixed-race community here. "Black & Irish gave out 10 awards to key members in the black and mixed race community in Ireland for their incredible work. These awards will occur annually and will only grow in years to come," said Leon Diop, founder of Black & Irish.
Mamobo Ogoro was named activist of the year. A postgraduate student at the University of Limerick, Ogoro is the founder of Gorm Media, a platform that uses digital media to build understanding and unity through the shared experiences and stories of diverse communities.
Black & Irish was established in 2020 to highlight and celebrate the identity of black and mixed-race Irish people. Its mission is to engage with the wider Irish community by spreading awareness of the experiences of those within the community. The nonprofit began with an Instagram account and now has more than 50,000 followers. The group liaises with politicians, schools and businesses to help create an inclusive Ireland.
The other categories and their winners included:
- Platform of the year: Created in Eire
- Podcast of the year: Where's Your Head At Podcast
- Entrepreneur of the year: Freeborn Noble
- Personality of the year: Victoria Adeyinka
- Influencer of the year: BillyKiss
- Breakthrough artist of the year: Sello
- Male artist of the year: Offica
- Community star of the year: Blezzing Dada
The award sponsors included Warner Music Ireland, Virgin Media, Intel and Guinness.