Sheku Kanneh-Mason recipient of Halo Hero Humanitarian Award

World-renowned cellist of part Antiguan parentage, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, MBE  recently received the Halo Hero Humanitarian Award from His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams at a private event in London. The event was also attended by Stuart and Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, parents of Sheku. 

The Award, manufactured in the United Kingdom by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll’s appointed Worcestershire Medal Services, is presented annually to young people from Antigua and Barbuda and its diaspora who have made a striking difference in the lives of others, through acts of kindness and/or bravery.

In 2016, Sheku Kanneh-Mason performed choice musical pieces for Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex at the Halo Foundation’s Wings of Charity yearly fundraiser.  Consequently, he was asked by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex to play the cello at the Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018. 

Sheku, along with the entire Kanneh-Mason family,  is intricately involved in training with the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra founded by Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill, Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

According to the Kanneh-Mason’s official website, “Sheku shot to fame as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition, the first black musician to win the award since its launch in 1978.  He then became a household name after being invited to perform at the 2018 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which was watched by billions around the world. Now [23] years old, he […] enjoys an increasingly busy schedule of international concert performances, including at illustrious venues such as the Wigmore Hall London, Carnegie Hall New York, and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris”.

This year, Sheku’s mother Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason released a book called “The House of Music”, of which the Times asks the poignant question: “From such a difficult start, how did Kadie Kanneh-Mason end up raising Britain’s most musical family?”

President and Founder of the Halo Foundation, Her Excellency Lady Sandra Williams, commented: “Sheku is without a doubt duly deserving of the Award. He is not only exquisitely talented, but well grounded in his approach to life — displaying a keen spirit of  both humanitarianism and volunteerism.”

Earlier 2022 recipients of the Halo Hero Humanitarian Award (popularly known as the “Triple H” Award) were: Primary category – Tashawn Thomas (posthumously) and Rheikecia Manning; Higher category – Braimah Kanneh-Mason, Jamie (Au/Ra) Stenzel, Esquire Henry and Kristine Louisa.

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