Buffery Park, Dudley – Wednesday 9th December 2015: British comic, actor and philanthropist Sir Lenny Henry was today honoured by MOBO with the unveiling of a ‘Paving The Way’ award, an initiative introduced this year in partnership with ITV2 as part of the MOBO ‘Rise With Us’Season.
‘Paving The Way’ formed a key part of the MOBO Season which took place for the first time in October this year. The MOBO Season was a month-long series of ground breaking cultural and educational events across the creative industries of film, fashion, theatre and art. The recipients of the ‘Paving The Way’ award are honoured with a permanent paving stone laid in a place which shaped them to shine light on their achievements and inspire the next generation.
Sir Lenny Henry received a special MOBO Award statue carved from stone at the televised ceremony held last month at the first direct arena in Leeds. Here he gave an epic acceptance speech where he literally name-checked everyone from Bob Marley to Chris Tarrant and “that bloke from the Halifax advert”. The passionate speech prompted a huge reaction on many social media platforms and trended on Twitter.
Speaking on his ‘Paving The Way’ award Sir Lenny Henry commented: “It’s such a huge honour for the MOBO Awards to recognise me in this way. As I mentioned at the awards ceremony, there are many ‘giants’ that I stood on the shoulders of who helped me get to where I am today. To see this stone laid in my home town of Dudley and particularly in Buffery Park where I played as a child is very humbling. Thank you!”
Kanya King MBE, CEO & founder of the MOBO Organisation said: “We are extremely proud and delighted to present Sir Lenny Henry with his MOBO ‘Paving The Way’ stone in Dudley, the place that shaped him. Lenny can truly be described as a national treasure who has influenced many in his field and has paved the way for generations to come."
Councillor Hilary Bills, cabinet member responsible for parks: “We’re all so proud of Lenny for having achieved so much, he is such an inspiration for so many people, locally and nationally. We’re delighted that he has chosen to have hisstone placed in Buffery Park as it will serve as a great reminder to the borough’s young people that they can achieve great things too.”
Sir Lenny’s MOBO ‘Paving The Way’ stone can be found in Buffery Park, Dudley and includes an inscription of a quote chosen by Sir Lenny from Danny and The Human Zoo - ‘Dudley’s great. Nothin’ wrong with Dudley’
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Notes to Editors
• To watch Sir Lenny Henry’s full MOBO ‘Paving The Way’ acceptance speech visit www.mobo.com
• The 2015 MOBO Season calendar ran from 28thSeptember through to 4th November. For further information about the MOBO Season and the events, go to www.mobo.com/season/
• Cultural institutions and other organisations which participated in the MOBO ‘Rise With Us’ Season included: ITV, BBC, British Film Institute, The British Library, The Hospital Club, Warehouse, British Fashion Council, AMV BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, PRS for Music Foundation, Arena Media, The Tate, London Theatre Consortium, Lida, OMD UK, Bell Pottinger, Freud’s with more organisationsfollowing suit