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About The Awards

Around the United States, African immigrants are attaining remarkable achievements and successes while profoundly improving the communities they live in. They run businesses, climb the corporate ladder, graduate the most from universities in relation to their numbers and yes, run for political office. It is the goal of the Awards to showcase their stories and celebrate their accomplishments and dedication to our community.


Each year, candidates for the awards are nominated and then voted on by the community. A panel of judges consisting of business people and university professors, chaired by a former judge of a county court goes through the nominations and pairs down the list for a final vote by the community based on eight distinct categories. All of the categories except for Founder’s Award are nominated and voted upon by the community. Mshale’s Founder selects and determines the Founder’s Award recipient.

Community Leadership

African Business of the Year

Student of the Year

Friend of the Community

Non-Profit Organization of the Year

Artist of the Year

Spirit of the Moran and the Founder’s Award


The African Awards were launched in 2008 and are presented each year by Mshale newspaper. The first Awards Gala Dinner in August 15 2008 featured Lola Ogunnaike of CNN’s American Morning as the first keynote address for what was then the Mshale Awards. The concept for the awards and categories were inspired in part by Mshale newspaper founder Tom Gitaa, who said at the time “it’s something I have always envisioned Mshale doing since we are an important institution in the community.”

About Mshale

Founded in 1996 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mshale Newspaper has been the voice of the African immigrant community in the Midwest and around the United States. Using an aspirational editorial tone, Mshale has over the years highlighted both the successes and challenges of the African immigrant community in the Americas. It publishes on two platforms, the print edition and a robust website at mshale.com.

Mshale always emphasizes active engagement with the African immigrant community and those that interact with it. It is widely respected as an authority on issues affecting the African immigrant community in the United States. It is one of the top four African immigrant focused newspapers in the United States and the largest African immigrant focused publication in the Midwest of the United States.

Buy Tickets

African Awards Gala

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Venue: Target Plaza Commons, 1011 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
5:00PM-6:45PM: Red Carpet Arrival & Pictures
7:00PM-10:30PM: Awards Dinner & Entertainment