Keep the Faith

Britain’s Black Christians celebrate new generation of “wise women”

By Thomas L Blair © 19 January 2017

Marcia Dixon
Marcia Dixon

Black women are not strangers to enterprise. They have been higglers, pard’nas and micro- lending financiers for a century in Africa and the Caribbean. However, promoting social capital in the god-forsaken neighbourhoods of urban Britain is something new. Black Christians plan to celebrate a new generation of “wise women” in March. In the front line is a bevy of Christian achievers making an impact in the Black Christian community and society.

The hopefuls are drawn from  “Probably the most prosperous, stable and community minded sector of Britain’s African and Caribbean population”, said Marcia Dixon of The Voice Black newspaper in 2012. They are “a new generation of believers owning businesses and contributing to the country”, said Ms Dixon.

This combination of belief and enterprise signals a radical change in Black Christian and Pentecostal churches founded by newcomers in the 1950s and 60s.

Today, whatever churches Black people are found in, they “tend to be educated, ambitious, progressive and desirous to make a difference in the world” said Ms Dixon.” What makes them different is that they have committed their enterprise and “themselves to putting God first in their lives and following Christian principles”.

The 10 Wise Women categories open for nomination include Business, Missions, Christian Leadership, Community activities, and the Naomi Award (for women aged 60+).

Notably, the Awards is the brainchild of Reverend Marjorie Esomowei who has “apostolic oversight of churches and outreaches in the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa and Nigeria”.

Keep the Faith and leading Christians are promoting the awards through a growing network of contacts, say organisers. This includes an estimated circulation of 50,000, and a readership of 200,000. Free distribution in leading supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison’s and The Co-Op reaches out to shoppers. And copies are made available to 4000 churches across the UK.

To return to our theme, Ms Dixon and organisers say the awards are a boon for winners. Moreover, the “high profile event offers potential sponsors numerous marketing and promotional opportunities”.