Published: December 2, 2019 | Updated: December 7, 2019

Celebration of excellence as Dorset’s biggest cultural red carpet event recognises achievers

Nanzy Sebata, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards (centre) with DEMA juror Erika Bryant and members of the Chinese Dacem Dance Troupe.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Inspiring, amazing, wonderful.

Just three of the many comments received by organisers after staging the second Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards (DEMA).

More than 300 people attended the spectacular gala dinner and awards at the Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, on November 29.

The awards – described as Dorset’s biggest cultural red carpet event – honour excellence and positive contributions to society by ethnic minorities in the county.

Seven of the 15 award categories are dedicated to business.

Among the winners was Mr Lee’s Noodles which was presented with the award for Business of the Year.

The accolade came a week after Damien Lee, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, was named UK Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year.

A jury headed by Sarah Ali Choudhury, the entrepreneur, TV chef and Indian food expert, researched, evaluated and profiled DEMA nominations in relation to their positive impact on Dorset’s extended community.

Once compiled the list was put to a public vote and the winners selected by a combination of votes and their profile.

Nanzy Sebata, DEMA Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and James Vaughan, Chief Constable, Dorset Police.

Headline DEMA sponsor was Dorset Police with Chief Constable James Vaughan among the guests.

Other VIPs attending included Professor Stuart Bartholomew, HM Deputy Lieutenant; Philip Warr, High Sheriff; Cllr Pauline Batstone, Chairman of Dorset Council, and Poole Mayor Cllr Marion Le Poidevin and her consort, David Le Poidevin.

The event included music and dancing.

Opening act Tyler Joshua Robles wowed the audience with his violin playing while the audience was also entertained with Chinese, flamenco and even belly dancing.

And there was a genuine TV star present with Bhasker Patel, who plays Rishi Sharmer in long-running ITV soap opera Emmerdale, making a guest appearance.

Actor Bhasker Patel (second right) David and Lynn Coleman and Sarah Ali Choudhury.

The actor has been in the show since 2011. His movie credits include Thunderbirds and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Nanzy Sebata, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards, said: “DEMA2019 was a great success.

“A huge thank you to all our esteemed guests who came in their numbers to support our Dorset gems who are doing well and excelling in the community.

“Special congratulations to all our winners and nominees.”

The full results were:

Male Entrepreneur: Wojciech Guzman

Female Entrepreneur: Angela Ngwenya, Angela’s Salon Boscombe

Community Champion: Salimata Baji Knight

Community Group: Dorset Polish Centre

Restaurant of the Year: Rivaaz Restaurant

Hairdressers of the Year: Vinnie Ribeiro, V design

Barbershop of the Year: Simple Barbers

Young Achievers: Kara Glover, Jamie Handitye, Nawar Yasmine Saadi

Sports Leadership: Ricardas Mongela

Innovation Award: Sharon Muiruri Coyne

Arts and Culture: Kim West

Educational Excellence: Louise Boston-Mammah

Business of the Year: Mr Lee’s Noodles

People´s Choice Award: Fatima Adjilani and Ade Bamgboye

Unsung Hero: Rita Elgazali

Headline sponsor: Dorset Police

Other sponsors were: Adriel Care, AFC Bournemouth, BCP Council, Bostico International, Global Healthcare Solutions, Bournemouth University, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, Edith Healthcare, M&M nutrition, Sarah Ali Choudhury and World of Juice.

  • See our full gallery of 75 pictures from the event here.