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Society of the Year Award 2019 The Black Women's Project - Their Experience

By Annine Ngesang and Shay Runsewe, Co-Editors
Book open Reading time: 4 mins

Last year, we were lucky enough to attend the Society of the Year Awards. We were winners of the ‘EY Women’s Society of the Year’ award as well as the ‘Society of the Year’ award. As The Black Women’s Project enters into its sixth year, such achievements strengthen our resolve to strive for success and increase our presence within all the spaces we occupy.

We caught up with a few of our exec members who prepared and attended the lunch in December.

How was creating the video for nominations?

The video was created by a few members of the exec, who found ways to creatively express what BWP is about, in a way that was engaging and insightful. The entire video was filmed and edited by our exec, which was a daunting and challenging task but one that was embraced collaboratively! Hearing from some of our members about the impact of BWP on them validated the work we do in a really meaningful manner. 


“We really wanted to be unique with our submission video and the word ‘Impact’ stood out for us in the application. So, we took the initiative to contact current society members to share their experience of BWP. Through their stories of how BWP has touched them, our impact was shown.”

- Tolu, Secretary

“Making the video was enriching; it really reminded us of so many achievements that we had made but didn’t take the time to celebrate. I’m super proud of BWP and excited for all the work to come.”

- Matilda, Welfare Officer


What was the voting process like?

Once we all got over the shock of actually being shortlisted, it was time to get down to business. Our PR & Media Officers led this aspect of the process in terms of conducting our social media campaign. However, the whole BWP community really got involved in promoting our presence in the competition and really rallied behind us. It’s amazing to see how this spirit of collaboration has transcended our internal structures as an exec, most evident in the shared nature of our passions and its influence on our members.


“The voting was really good. I made the posters and made sure they went on all of our socials and also on my own social accounts.”

- Winnie, PR & Media Officer

“[The support] reminded me of our value of legacy and how important our alumni network is because we honestly are stronger in numbers and would not be where we are today had it not been for the strong alumni network our founder Jessica Agboola had kickstarted for us”

- Janice, Co-president


What did you do to prepare for the awards lunch?

The preparation included delivering a small presentation on why the Black Women’s Project should be recipients of the ‘Society of the Year’ award. This was done through spending long hours on the phone, deciding what to present and assigning topics for each member to talk about.


“We wanted to make the most well-rounded pitch as possible. It was somewhat difficult as there are so many things we do in BWP so it’s not easy to squeeze it all in! All of the attending execs just spoke from the heart. I feel as though it was our honesty that helped us win.”

- Tolu, Secretary

“Preparing for the lunch award was really nerve wrecking, we were not sure what to expect. We were mostly scared about the pitch, we wanted to be ourselves but also display all the great work we have been doing and plan on doing. Which I am very happy to say we did successfully. I am proud of each and every team member of the BWP.”

- Lois, Co-President 


How was the awards lunch itself?

“The dinner was amazing. The venue was beautiful. I loved that I was surrounded by like-minded smart individuals and [the awards] aimed to celebrate the different societies’ successes”

- Winnie, PR & Media Officer

“It felt great to be in a space where it felt that BWP was being recognised for the work it was doing but again we knew we had to present to try and win SOYA so nerves were high.” 

- Ruva, Fundraising and Volunteers Officer

“The lunch was amazing! I honestly didn’t know what to expect, the venue was lovely. Sitting with EY representatives was a lovely experience. When our name was announced at the winners of SOYA. We were all so shocked, it truly was an honour to know that our pitch was successful enough to gain the votes of the sponsoring firms. It’s comforting to know that they too believed in us.”

- Tolu, Secretary

“I remember crying at the back of the room after receiving the award and the team, holding me up and comforting me after our victory. That for me I would say was the most memorable moment from the Awards lunch itself because it was a symbol of sisterhood in action which is what The Black Women’s Project is.”

- Janice, Co-President