Kanya King featured on the cover of Elite Business Magazine this month discussing her rise to fame.
Kanya is on the cover of the magazine with a 4 page spread about her struggles and how she came about starting the MOBO Awards. She tells a very human story about growing up in a world where life handed her no favours.
In the article, she tells of growing up in a cramped council house of 11 in Kilburn, wearing her older siblings’ hand me downs and the tragic death of her father. For Kanya, her difficult upbringing and sharing a bedroom with 5 of her siblings, gave her the drive she needed to succeed and meant that by the age of 17 she had bought her own home, which is no mean feat considering she gave birth to her son, Jay, at the age of 16.
From a young age, Kanya’s parents had drummed into her the importance of education and at the age of 18 she began studying English and Drama at Goldsmith’s college, whilst juggling work and her son. As she says, ‘Education was very important to my parents. They had struggled when they came here at a young age...It was very tough. And so they had always instilled in me how important it was to work hard.’
However, it was her work with Carlton television and her music promotions work that gave her the entrepreneurial idea that she is most famous for today, the MOBO Awards. From all her promotional work and attendance at gigs she, ‘realised that there was an audience out there that wasn’t being catered for’. As she claims, ‘I realised if I believed in something so much, I needed to put my money where my mouth was.’
That is exactly what Kanya did. After receiving backing from Carlton, she had six weeks to make the awards happen, managing to land Lionel Richie as the headliner and gaining the attendance of high profile guests, including Tony and Cherie Blair.
The awards have since gone from strength to strength, being held at the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 and with the biggest names presenting and attending. Last year’s awards were hosted by Miquita Oliver and Adam Deacon and amongst the winners were Sean Paul, Labrinth, Emili Sande and Nicki Minaj.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016