Founder and CEO of the MOBO Organisation, Kanya King, will deliver the second International Confex keynote at a Q&A session on Day Two of International Confex, 13 March, at Olympia London.
King launched the MOBO Awards in 1996, an event that has grown into Europe’s largest urban music awards show, attracting the largest prime-time multicultural audience of over 250m people around the world.
With a Ghanaian father and an Irish mother, Kanya was the youngest girl in a family of nine children. She studied drama and English at Goldsmiths in London and when she got her chance to stage the first MOBO awards, with a broadcast slot on Carlton Television, she had just six weeks to set up the event.
“When you get opportunities like that you just have to grasp them. It wasn’t a question of whether I should do it but how can I do this?” She remortgaged her house, set up an office in her bedroom and enlisted friends to help.
When the first MOBO awards show took place at the New Connaught Rooms in London Lionel Richie headlined and Tony Blair, then leader of the opposition, was in the audience. It was a huge success and a year later the awards moved to the Royal Albert Hall. It has since become a fixture in the music industry featuring major artists like Tina Turner, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and Amy Winehouse.
Kanya King had always harboured an ambition to start her own business but the careers advice she was given at school was to be more realistic and she could be a manager in Sainsbury’s. “Not that it wouldn’t have been an honourable career, but it just wasn’t what I wanted,” she says.
Attendees at International Confex will have the opportunity to hear more about Kanya’s career in the events business and Event Director Donna Bushell says: “With West Ham United FC Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, CBE, headlining on Day One and Kanya King appearing as the keynote speaker on Day Two of International Confex, visitors will be able to come and hear the thoughts of two exceptional entrepreneurs. It promises to be a great show and it is a great thrill to have signed up Kanya to share some of her experience with our community.”
Kanya King, who has addressed audiences including the Metropolitan University, Morgan Stanley, British Library and Scottish Institute for Enterprise, adds that she is looking to broaden her event horizons abroad: “We will be doing an international event in the future. We engage with people from across the world on our website so it is not just about the UK anymore.”
To register to attend International Confex, go to: www.international-confex.com
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