MOBO founder and CEO Kanya King has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of West London (UWL).
Presenting Kanya King with her Honorary Doctor of Music, UWL senior pro vice-chancellor (Student Experience) Sara Raybould said: “To say that Kanya King is a businesswoman to be reckoned with is an understatement. She has been a leading light in so many areas of her career as well as receiving an MBE in 1999 and then a further CBE in 2018, and she has also been proclaimed one of London’s most influential people by The Evening Standard, one of Britain’s most entrepreneurial women by Real Business, and one of Britain’s most influential black people, according to Thomson Reuter and JP Morgan’s Power List.”
King was a member of the Music Industry Task Force Government Committee, has received a lifetime achievement award from the Institute of Entrepreneurship, a media pioneer award at the Music Week Women in Music awards and last year The Music Week Strat Award.
Raybould added: “Kanya has displayed the drive and ambition to help take British black music from the margins of popular culture to the heart of mainstream culture, in the UK and worldwide. Kanya has built MOBO into a globally respected brand, and with her guidance, it has established itself as a champion of diversity, inclusion and recognition for talent within music, culture, art, fashion, media and larger society as a whole.”
MOBO recently launched MOBOLISE, a career and networking platform backed by Accenture. It was born to support creative talent and establish a level playing field for young black talent in the workplace.
King said upon receiving her award: “I failed in my educational achievements, disappointing all those around me including my mother, who wanted me to be a teacher. Therefore it is a big moment for me to be able to congratulate all the new graduates and their parents for all of your accomplishments. When I embarked on my journey, I never realised how important having perseverance, drive and a clear purpose was. This gave me the strength and motivation to pursue my goals whenever I faced rejection.”
Click here to read Kanya King's Music Week Strat Award acceptance speech. And here for our Music Week cover story.