MTV International is honouring Nigerian social activist, Kiki Mordi, and four other fearless women with the “2020 MTV EMA Generation Change Award” for their powerful work on the frontlines of the fight for racial and social justice across the world. The “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” elevates and empowers original young activists who are transforming the globe and will be presented by Leigh-Anne Pinnock of popular girl group Little Mix during the 2020 MTV EMA “pre-game” show on November 8th.
Speaking on the recognition, Kiki Mordi said “I’m so proud and inspired by the way young people are showing up in Nigeria to defend their lives and right to exist in the fight to end SARS. This EMA award, to me, presents a glimmer of hope that the work that we do in our small spaces will make big changes all over the world. If you can make your voice count when you have the attention of one person, you can hold the world spellbound.”
Commenting on the award, Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ViacomCBS Networks Africa said, “This year has been an extremely challenging one for many and in the face of these challenges I am inspired to see that youth activism is alive and driving meaningful change. This year we celebrate five incredible women from all over the world for their phenomenal work towards advancing racial and social justice. I am especially proud of our Nigerian honouree Kiki Mordi, whose work at the forefront of the #EndSARS movement has highlighted the injustices of police brutality. We look forward to celebrating more changemakers at the MTV EMAs.”
In addition to amplifying the voices of five female activists, MTV commissioned artist Azarra Amoy to transform each of the Generation Change winners’ MTV EMA trophies into one-of-a-kind pieces of art to further uplift the awardees. Azarra is a Black British female artist who recently co-created a prominent and powerful Black Lives Matter mural on Freston Road in West London and advocates for female empowerment, racial representation and Black lives. As an artist, designer and creative strategist, Azarra’s striking visual narratives draw references from culture and community to convey hope and power.
The “2020 MTV EMA Generation Change Award” winners include:
Kiki Mordi – Nigeria – Kiki is an investigative journalist, documentary filmmaker and advocate for gender equality, who is currently a prominent voice in the protests to end police brutality and stop Special Anti-Robbery Squads (SARS) in Nigeria. In addition to being at the forefront of the #EndSARS movement, Kiki is a feminist and social activist known for fighting for women’s and children rights in her BBC documentary Sex For Grades.
Temi Mwale – UK – Temi is a racial justice campaigner and Founder of The 4Front Project, a member-led youth organization empowering young people and communities to fight for justice, peace and freedom. Her work focuses on fighting against institutional racism and systemic violence by supporting those most harmed by violence and the criminal justice system.
Luiza Brasil – Brazil – Luiza is a racial activist, award-winning journalist and founder of Mequetrefismos, a platform that advocates for racial representation and elevates Black people’s work in the creative industry, including fashion, music, and art.
Catherhea Potjanaporn – Malaysia – Catherhea is a portrait photographer who captures diverse faces and bodies, to draw attention to underrepresented communities in Malaysia and challenge conventional beauty standards. A fierce feminist, much of her work focuses on elevating women of color and their stories.
Raquel Willis – US – Raquel is a Black transgender activist, writer, media strategist, and Director of Communications for The Ms. Foundation. She is the founder of Black Trans Circles, a project of the Transgender Law Center (TLC), which focuses on developing the leadership of Black trans women in the South and Midwest by creating healing spaces to work through oppression-based trauma and organizes community efforts to address anti-trans murder and violence. She was also a leading figure in recent New York City-based Black Trans Lives Matter protests and rallies.
ViacomCBS and MTV International will make a monetary donation to each honoree’s organization and amplify their powerful stories and transformative work on-air and on the brand’s social and digital platforms in nearly 180 countries.
Built to be fluid and tailored by market, MTV International’s global “Generation Change” campaign elevates and empowers young people driving positive change in the world. While spotlighting important issues, globally and locally, “Generation Change” focuses on youth activism. To date, the campaign has launched short-form series “MTV Generation Change: Black Lives Matter” and “Need to Know: 3 Things in Isolation,” and covered topics such as climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, refugee rights, racial injustice, mental health, disabilities, economic inequality and child marriage.
According to ViacomCBS Global Insights, the events of 2020 have compelled today’s youth to be increasingly reflective and inspired to change the world. More than 50 percent of young people globally say they are more actively involved in social movements and are campaigning for change, with nearly 30 percent who say they feel more compelled to push for change now compared to a year ago.*
African viewers can catch the live broadcast on MTV (DStv Channel 130) & MTV Base (DStv channel 322) at 20:00 WAT/21:00CAT (Pre-show TBC) & 21:00 WAT/22:00CAT (Main-show) respectively. To stay in tune with all things EMA, follow @MTVEMA for the show on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook and follow the social conversation using #MTVEMA.