During the Commonwealth Businesswomens’ Awards Ceremony in Mayfair, guests were entertained by musicians from Malta and Lorraine Lionheart, a brilliant celebrated singer and Cultural Ambassador from Botswana.

On Wednesday April 18th, The Commonwealth Resounds was delighted to be able to collaborate with Arif Zaman, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network, and create a new award for women in the arts called The Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award for Women in Music.

Alison Cox, TCR’s Founder and Chair of Trustees approached a number of highly distinguished musicians who nominated some wonderful, deserving women across the world to be the first recipients of this very special award.

Highly recommended were:

Sibongile Khumalo – Johannesburg, South Africa
Nelson Mandela’s favourite singer/cultural worker. She says ‘We need to do the best with our lives, and do what we can to make a difference in somebody’s life, not because we want to leave a legacy, but because we have been bequeathed a gift that we can share with others’.

Mohini Dey – Mumbai, India
Mohini is remarkable for her virtuosity as a bass player and has gone beyond the novelty of a child prodigy to a promising stretch of great musical longevity.” She seeks to create “her own music school, a powerful girls’ band and her own TV show which keeps playing good music.

The Commonwealth Cultural Enterprise Award for Women in Music was presented to Chi-chi Nwanoku for creating the life-changing Chineke! Orchestra, which has benefited so many young musicians from BME backgrounds in the UK and overseas.

‘I am delighted to have been able to collaborate with the Commonwealth Businesswomens’ Network to create this exciting new opportunity for talented, deserving women working in the arts throughout the world. The Cultural Enterprise Award for Women in the Arts will celebrate and acknowledge those who are a genuine inspiration to others, and who deserve to be recognised for their achievements. For this very first award, the focus has been on music, and the adjudicators felt that no-one deserved it more than the double bass player, Chi-chi Nwanoku. Chi-chi received it not only for her brilliance as a performing musician, but also for creating and developing the unique Chineke! Orchestra.
Alison Cox OBE FRSA