Over the years the MOBO awards has become one of the most sought-after prizes for black artists, and the event was the brainchild of entrepreneur Kanya King. Following the success of the inaugural MOBOs in 1996 the event has evolved into one of Britain’s most popular music awards. Some of the UK’s biggest musical acts have graced the MOBOS in the intervening 20 years with Kanya becoming one of the most influential figures in the industry. Understanding first-hand the impact racism, inequality and poverty can have, she much of her time looking to inspire the next generation, something she certainly achieves in her work as a virtual speaker.
Kanya had a tough start to life, the youngest of nine children her father passed away when she was just 13 years old and she became a mother herself at 16. These experiences shaped the woman she went on to become and during her virtual speaking she is refreshingly honest when discussing these tough times.
Having identified the lack of equality in the creative industries Kanya founded the MOBOs with the first event taking place at London’s Connaught Rooms in the mid-90s. From here an institution was born and over the years the likes of Beyonce, Kanye West and Stormzy have all been honoured.
Plenty of personal accolades have also headed Kanya’s way as a result of her work with the MOBOs and she has been named in the Evening Standard’s 1,000 Most Influential People in London list, The Guardian’s Top 20 Ethnic Minorities in the Media and won a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Music Week Women in Music Awards.
She has also been honoured twice by the Royal Family with an MBE in 1999 and CBE in 2018. As a virtual speaker, Kanya’s powerful talks encourages people to open their eyes and recognise issues surrounding diversity, equality and racism.
Kanya King is regularly booked to engage audiences at virtual events, read their latest feedback below:
“Kanya is an inspiration to women around the world! Listening to her journey really kicked off the launch of our diversity & inclusion program. Her endless energy and positivity shines through in her speaking. Our employees left feeling motivated, invigorated and compelled to follow their dreams.”
“Thanks again for your tremendous contribution to our conference on Friday. The feedback has been outstanding from delegates and sponsors and the tweeting was just unprecedented for IoD – UK wide, not just here.”
“She gave us an amazing in-depth speech and answered all questions both coherently and comprehensively – so I think it’s fair to say Kanya was the best choice for our event. We have had glowing reviews from our participants who were impressed by her and also the fact that they were able to interact and ask her questions!”