Meet the Nominees

Black Carpet Awards 2023



Leader of Change: Culture

This category is dedicated to leaders that move the discussion about Diversity forward & Inclusion in their specific fields of action, becoming examples for the whole society.

Sennait Ghebreab

“Luck doesn’t exist. There is only the moment when talent meets opportunity.”

Sennait Ghebreab is one of the under 40 Afro Italian talents that grew up in Italy and is now changing the narrative in the UK. She is currently the Programme Leader in Business Fashion at the Istituto Maragoni’s School of Fashion in London.

In 2022, she has been an active member of the mentorship programme of Techitalia, with the Italian Embassy in the UK and ITA Trade Agency, for the incubator programme of the Fall 2022 class of entrepreneurs.

Her new book on responsible business in fashion is coming out end of February 2023, currently in pre-order: Responsible Business in Fashion in Practice, by Routledge.

Sarah Kamsu

Sarah Kamsu is a Cameroonian journalist born in 1997 in Milan. After studying political science between Italy and France and having collaborated with the social newspaper Il Bullone decided to found We Africans United, a platform that through articles, interviews and various content wants to involve people in the discovery of the history and cultures of the African continent and its diaspora.

The purpose of We Africans United is to highlight facts, characters, traditions that are never told and remember that coming from Africa is not something to be ashamed of, rather, it is a source of pride. Today We Africans United has become a point of reference for those with African origins and not only people following the platform can realize that the history of Africa is much more than slavery and colonization.

In 2022, Kamsu hosted Afrik Story, a television program about the characters who marked the history of the African people, which was broadcast in 45 African countries and streamed worldwide.

Fred Kudjo Kuwornu

Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian- U.S. Citizen, multi-hyphenate filmmaker, activist, educator, curator, and producer, born and raised in Italy and based in New York where He founded his company production Do The Right Films. He is best known as the director of critically acclaimed documentaries such as Blaxploitalian, Inside Buffalo, and 18 IUS SOLI. His documentaries deal with political and social themes, such as racism, interracial relations, diversity, Afro-Italians, and Black diasporic identity in Italy and the African diaspora in the world. . His production has been awarded and granted by the New York Foundation for the Arts, Open Society, and Cineteca of Bologna. Fred Kuwornu holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy with a focus on sociology and mass communication studies. In July 2021, He launched the course “Teaching Black Itay” a refresher online course for professors of Italian and Black Studies that explores the contemporary presence of the African diaspora in Italy. Since 2023 He is the curator and founder of Black Italian Film Showcase a worldwide nomadic film series that celebrates Afro-Italian Filmmakers.

Kuwornu is a Diversity & Inclusion consultant for Netflix Italy and other media broadcasters in Italy. He had taught courses and labs at Colorado College, the University of Minneapolis, and Middlebury College Italian Summer School, and lectured at more than 200 Colleges in North America. He is currently developing “We Were There” a feature documentary about the African presence during the Renaissance in Europe.

Khaby Lame

More widely known as simply “Khaby,” Khaby Lame is a Senegalese-born Italian social media personality, known for his TikTok videos in which he silently mocks overly complicated life hack videos. As of January 2023, Lame is the most-followed user on all of TikTok, and 6 of the 25 most-liked videos on TikTok are his. Last year, Lame signed a multi-year partnership with Hugo Boss and was featured in the #BeYourOwnBoss campaign. He describes his silence during his video sketches as “a way to reach as many people as possible.”

Takoua Ben Mohamed

Takoua Ben Mohamed is an Italian-Tunisian graphic journalist and co-founder of the cinema production company BM Entertainment Ltd. She specialized in Animation Cinema in the Nemo Academy of Digital Arts in Florence, authoring the “Woman Story” catalog and the comic books “Sotto il velo” (2016), “La rivoluzione dei gelsomini” (2018), “Un’altra via per la Cambogia” (2020, Becco Giallo Editore), and “il mio migliore amico è fascista” (2021, Rizzoli editore). Ben Mohamed is also executive producer of the Hejab Style Docufilm for Al-Jazeera documentary channel.

Ben Mohamed collaborates with various magazines such as Cinematografo, D la Repubblica, Piccolo Missionario, Confronti magazine, 7 corriere, and La Stampa Origami. For this work she has received many awards, including the Evens European Journalism Prize 2019, moneygram award 2016, journalistic recognition “premio prato città aperta” 2016, Muslim International Book Award 2017, “tirafuorilalingua” award 2018, and FIDAPA (Italian Federation of arts and professions business) award 2019.

Leader of Change: COMMUNITY

This category is dedicated to leaders who have made a difference by using their work, knowledge and/or skills to create great change within their community and across society.

Jon Bronxl

Jon Bronxl was born in Ghana and moved to Italy at the age of three. After initially studying Fashion Design, he later turned to photography and is best known for his portraits and photographic storytelling.

Today he lives in Milan where he works as a professional photographer with his own evolving aesthetic, continuing to learn and experiment with new techniques moving closer and closer toward the world of applied arts.

Bronxl is also the founder of The Good Neighbourhood Collective (also known as TGNC), a platform created to give voice to the next generation of BAME and BI-POC creatives in Italy. Aware of the structural inequalities in the Italian creative industry, Jon wanted to create a community-oriented solution to inspire and encourage future talents. By promoting existing creatives, TGNC not only gives them the necessary platform they deserve, but also gives emerging talents the confidence to open the horizons of their self-esteem. Jon’s approach to activism is one of action, not talk, and with TGNC he has and will continue to make the connections for increasingly inclusive and diverse job industries.

Capovani Majid

A transgender and queer activist, Capovani Majid is a trainer for LGBTQIA+ health, well-being and respect at Genderlens Association. He works primarily on issues related to the queer and transgender community, for their access to sexual and reproductive health (and beyond) and the right to self-determination. Survivor of a toxic relationship and sexual abuse, he is the creator of #metooqueer in Italy, committed to raising awareness on the issue of toxic relationships between people in the LGBTQIA+ community. He’s an author of articles at several online magazines and blogs, and recently published his first novel, L’esercito dei soli (The army of the Lonely), published by Inknot Edizioni.

Andi Nganso

Born in Cameroon, Andi Nganso is a Veneto based Emergency Medical Doctor, and an expert in Global Health. He has worked with the Italian Red Cross as the National Public Health Referent, responsible for programs and projects of access to health for minorities and vulnerable people. He has been Health Coordinator of the Lampedusa and Bresso Reception Centers and Medical Consultant for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Andi Nganso is the founder and Executive Director of Festival DiverCity, an artistic and socio-cultural platform committed to social justice and the fight against racism, and discrimination. With FestivalDiverCity he has been facilitating access to Italian and Western cultural institutions for Afro-descendant artists. During the 2021 edition, Andi Nganso curated the visual arts exhibition Co-Esistenze, presenting the perspectives of 5 Afro-descendant artists.

Dr. Nganso is currently working on issues of art and design as a social practice to reinvent and redesign spaces that should welcome and take care of people made vulnerable by society.

Marilena Umuhoza Delli

Born in Italy to a father from Bergamo and a Rwandan mother, she made her debut in fiction with the memoir Razzismo all’Italiana (2016). A writer, photographer and director, she has collaborated for years with her husband, the Grammy-winning music producer and author Ian Brennan, with whom she has worked on some thirty albums, giving voice to less represented countries, such as Malawi, South Sudan, Rwanda, Pakistan and Cambodia.

Nadeesha Uyangoda

Nadeesha Uyangoda is the author of L’unica persona nera nella stanza (66thand2nd, 2021) and creator of the podcast Sulla Razza (Juventus/Undermedia). She has written for national and foreign media, including Open Democracy, Al Jazeera English, Telegraph, Vice Italia, Rivista Studio,La Repubblica. Her debut non-fiction book earned a spot on many award longlists and shortlists. She won the Anna Maria Ortese Special Rapallo Prize, the 2021 Anima Prize for Literature, Giuditta Prize 2022 and the prestigious Sila ’49 prize for non fiction. She is a columnist for Internazionale.

Leader of Change: Creativity

This category is dedicated to leaders who have a global impact through their vision and work.

 Chiara Bersani

Chiara Bersani is an Italian performer and author active in the field of performing arts, research theater and contemporary dance. As an interpreter and as a director / choreographer moves through different languages and visions. Her works, presented in international circuits, are born as creations in dialogue with spaces of different nature and are mainly aimed at a “neighbor” to the scene. Her research as an interpreter and author is based on the concept of the “Political Body” and the creation of practices aimed at training its presence and action.

The “manifest” work of this research is “Gentle Unicorn,” a performance included in the Aerowaves platform. For the rigor in embodying this study she is awarded the UBU Award for best new actress / performer under 35 for 2018. In August 2019, during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Gentle Unicorn and Chiara Bersani won the first prize in the dance category of the Total Theater Awards.

Chiara Bersani is an artist of Apap – Advancing Performing arts project – Feminist Future util 2024.

David Blank

David. One of the many yet unique voices within the Italian BIPOC queer community.

He was born in Italy, then moved to the UK for some years. David then came back on the land of Italy, where he caught the eyes of Laura Pausini and the experience took him to find the artistic persona in him and all its intersectional nuances.

Being more outspoken than ever on human rights issues prompted him to take a clear stance on the lack of intersectionality within the queer community and the hardships faced as a black queer person in the Italian modern society. His advocacy has been championed by brands such as Calvin Klein, Spotify, Amazon Music, Gucci, Apple Music, Off White and many more.

Daphne Di Cinto

Daphne Di Cinto is an Black Italian screenwriter, director, actor and producer born and raised in the North of Italy. She began her film and theatre studies in Rome, where she focused on acting at Scuola di Cinema, while getting her degree in Communication Science at Roma Tre University. She attended the faculty of cinema at Sorbonne University in Paris before moving to New York for her Master in Fine Arts at the Actors Studio Drama School. At the moment she lives in London. Il Moro-The Moor, her directorial debut is a 2024 Academy Qualifying Short Film and has won a number of accolades in international film festivals. Daphne has received the Cultured Focus Visionary in Film Award during the 79th Venice Film Festival and Best Director of a foreign short film at the Madrid International Film Festival. As a screenwriter, she has developed both features and series within various genres, from comedy to sci-fi. She is interested in topics such as immigration, identity and the female gaze. She was a finalist of both Screencraft Film Fund Spring 2021 and the Phil Fox Award for Playwriting 2020 and a quarterfinalist of the Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition. Daphne played Sarah Bassett, the Duchess of Hastings in the Netflix series Bridgerton.

 Ira Fronten

All the way from Venezuela to Italy, Ira Nohemi Fronten is a presenter and producer, but to reach here she had to work.

She started her career as a model and actress in Spanish theatrical shows and telenovelas. In 2006, when she moved to Italy, she furthered her experience within the Italian televisions both as an actress and as associate producer as well. In 2021, she starts in the film House of Gucci by director Giulio Base and where she appears alongside singer and actress Lady Gaga.

Ira is also devoted to fighting for human right and she has been actively doing so since 2016. Following, she has received remarkable awards and participated to various courses in regards to Activisms, around the Italian and Spanish territory.

This year, Ira is launching a theatre play “Tabacco Tierra de Gracia” that was written, and is directed and acted by her.

Tommy Kuti

Tommy is a talentuous Afro-Italian rapper from Brescia. He moved out of the country for a couple of years when he was younger but decided to return in Italy 2016 and this time is the time his life takes a turning point.

After signing a deal with Universal Music Italia, his career took off with #AFROITALIANO, his very first song and one of his best hits in the music market to date.

Tommy has also written a book entitled Ci Rido Sopra, a colorful and unprecedented cross-section of the reality of Afro-Italian children, and has made appearances on a variety of shows.

Leader of Change: Entrepreneurship

This category is dedicated to leaders who have made a significant contribution to the creation of new business models or operational projects they create positive change in society.

Angela Haisha Adamou

Angela Haisha Adamou is founder and general manager of NaturAngi, a brand that claims the dignity of natural curly hair, in particular the Afro one of which it tells the identity and cultural value.

She considers narration, in all its forms, a very important tool for representing ways of being little taken into consideration by the dominant and majority conception, a fundamental means for the new generations to feel themselves to be the protagonists of a process of cultural revolution that also passes from the ability to tell about themselves as bearers of diversity and aesthetic uniqueness.

Angela manages, on her own, a consultancy and supply company of specific products for Curly and Afro hair care, born in the wake of the homonymous blog opened in January 2014 (BEST NAPPY INFO POINT IN ITALY at the Africa Italy Excellence Awards 2015).

She is the author of ‘Love is in the Hair‘ (2017), the first guide ever published in Italy dedicated to natural hair care.

In 2019 she inaugurates the online store La QueeNA Shop and launches NaturAngi Headwear, her collection of curly hair friendly headwear models. From 2020 she also develops the CapRicci Beauty Roots line of natural cosmetics. In the summer of 2021, Angela opened NaturAngi Academy, in Correggio di Lei (RE), a space where you can meet and learn about your own hair, supported with professionalism and competence.

It is the place she has always dreamed of to carry out her mission of dissemination, education and training on the care of curly and afro-curly hair.
NaturAngi is therefore today a complete entrepreneurial reality whose strength is the great synergy between the supply of services and the offer of products and whose mission is to create tools of representation and empowerment of the community of naturalists in Italy and in the world, an objective that Angela also pursues through the instagram profile
@wonderfourhair, active since the beginning of 2022.

 Hilarry Sedu

Hilarry is a lawyer of Nigerian origins, raised in Naples since he was an infant, and continuing his legal practice in the city. He made history as the first Black councilor of the Naples Bar Association, elected in February 2019, and headlines worldwide in 2021 owing to an incident in which a judge continued to demand proof that he was indeed a practicing lawyer.

Junior Serge

Junior Serge is the founder of the Milanese startup MOBBI: the first powerbank sharing service that allows you to rent a powerbank and return it anywhere in the city, all through app.

Founded in 2019, MOBBI has achieved great success thanks to the positioning of the brand in the most exclusive venues in Milan. In September 2022, the service was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the smartest & innovative on the market.

Serge, in addition to being CEO of MOBBI, plays the role of Manager and Financial Advisor at a major financial intermediation company and has also recently founded MOBBI VISION, a creative agency of communication & digital marketing.

Tia Taylor

I am Tia, I am 27 years old, I graduated in economics and I live in Italy (in Milan), for almost 10 years. I’m American, while my mother is Jamaican and my father is Nigerian, so I feel like a real ‘third culture kid’. I created Colory* because I wanted to see a platform made by and for Italians that are unknown to many I create content and try to change the world one project at a time.

Viola Zheng

Born and raised in Inner Mongolia, Viola Zheng moved to Shanghai with her family in her childhood. She later relocated in Italy where she studied jewelry design and production at the acclaimed IED (Istituto Europeo di Design) school of design in Milan and Accademia Delle Arti Orafe in Rome.

After working for different jewelry brands and private custom jewelry firms, she started her own brand. On that day, “VIOLA ZHENG GIOIELLI” with the first brand store opened in Rome, was born as a luxurious jewelry brand that is never too ostentatious, while also providing extreme quality, high-level wear comfort and special attention to every tiny detail. Her inspiration comes from journeys as if it is a personal diary of her life.

Leader of Change: Legacy

This category is dedicated to leaders who have made a significant contribution to the creation of new business models or operational projects they create positive change in society.

To Be Announced