Women travelled from throughout the UK to attend the 10th Annual Wise Women Awards, held at the Guoman Tower Hotel, in the City of London, which celebrated the accomplishments of Christian women in the church and society.
In a night filled with joy, surprise and elation, Award recipients at WWA 2014 included: Pastor Yemisi Ashimolowo, the first lady of Kingsway International Christian Centre, one of the largest churches in Europe; Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe, Mayor of Barking and Dagenham and founder of the charity, the Kangethe Trust, and Minister Lorraine Jones, who has shown a huge capacity for forgiveness and compassion, following the death of her son from a fatal stabbing in February 2014.
Other Award winners included: Esther Lagunju, recipient of the Professional Woman Award, who has overcome serious illness, including two kidney transplants, in order to achieve her dream of working as a judge; Chizumie Dyer, an ex-offender who now runs a supported housing project that helps the homeless and vulnerable, who was awarded the Life Transformation Award, and the recipient of the Woman in Mission Award, Catherine Msoni, who started her charity for the homeless, Divine Rescue, on a park bench.
Over 250 people attended the event. Well-known Christians and individuals in attendance included actress Doña Croll, who presented the Naomi Award, sponsored by the Be Clear on Cancer Campaign; UK gospel artist and station director of Premier Gospel, Muyiwa, and his wife, Keep The Faith columnist, Lola Olarewaju; praise and worship artist/musician, Noel Robinson and his wife, Tanya; Jonathan Oloyede, convenor of the Global Day of Prayer and his wife, Abbiih Oloyede, presenter of Womenz World, and former WWA winners: Lurine Cato, the recipient of the Woman in Music WWA in 2012; Barbara Kasumu, who won the Exceptional Young Woman Award in 2012, and Sonia Phillips, winner of the Women in Leadership Award in 2011.
A total of 15 Awards were presented during the inspiring awards ceremony, which was jointly hosted by comedian, Angie Le Mar, who made the audience laugh with her humorous stories of church life, and Priscilla Nwikpo, presenter of The Woman TV show on BEN TV.
The gathered audience enjoyed a keynote address from former Keep The Faith Woman of the Year winner, Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain of the House of Commons and Queen’s Chaplain. She encouraged the women present to live purposeful lives, and to support other women, as they strive to achieve success in their chosen endeavours.
They also enjoyed exceptional gospel singing from MOBO Award-winning group Raymond & Co, who brought the audience to their feet with their energetic soulful performance.
Pastor Marjorie Esomowei, founder of Wisdom for Women International and the Wise Women Awards, said: “Every year, I look forward to the Wise Women Awards, and 2014 was no exception. It’s a good thing to acknowledge the work and achievements of the unsung heroines in our churches, and this year’s Award winners were, as always, worthy recipients.”
Shirley McGreal, publisher of Keep The Faith magazine, said: “It was great to witness women, the heartbeat of many of our churches, being acknowledged for the great work that they do, not just in the church, but in the wider community. The aim of the Awards is to uplift, inspire and encourage. I believe that it achieved all those aims.”
The 2014 Wise Women Award winners are as follows:-
SADE ELLIOTT, founder of Gospel Arts Production – Exceptional Young Woman Award
LILIETH CARDOZA, Built on the Rock Ministries – Woman in Ministry Award
CATHERINE MSONI, Divine Rescue, London – Woman in Missions Award
CLARE ELEVIQUE, Jesus House, London – Woman in Media Award
YETUNDE ADEOLA, African Caribbean Forum, Kent – Woman in the Community Award sponsored by Rainbow Medical Services
ESTHER LAGUNJU, Judge, London – Professional Christian Woman Award, sponsored by Obaseki Solicitors
SANDRA GODLEY, Gospel Artist, Coventry – Woman in Music Award
DR NESLYN WATSON-DRUÉE CBE, Beacon Organisational Development – Woman In Business Award, sponsored by Dial A Carer
CHIZUMIE DYER, Temple of Truth, Nottingham – Life Transformation Award
CORALIE PINDER, Fostering and Adoption, Leicester – NAOMI AWARD, sponsored by Be Clear on Cancer Campaign
COUNCILLOR ELIZABETH KANGETHE, Mayor of Barking and Dagenham – Wisdom For Women International Inspirational Woman Award
PASTOR YEMISI ASHIMOLOWO, Kingsway International Christian Centre – Wisdom For Women International Woman Of Distinction Award
DAWN GAYLE – Triumphant Church Exceptional Woman Award
NANCY LAGGAH – Triumphant Church Exceptional Woman Award
MINISTER LORRAINE JONES – Keep The Faith Woman Of The Year Award