Brunel alumna, ‘UK’s Chief Side Hustler’ and Ghanaian MVP, Lorraine Wright, has been recognised as part of The Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honour’s List.
British-born Ghanaian and BSc Information Systems class of 2009 alumna, Lorraine Wright (@Lorrainehwright), has been recognised alongside other Brits of notoriety by Her Majesty The Queen, receiving the honour of MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2021. The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) is a prestigious award in recognition of the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom. Wright has been recognised for her services to young people through music.
Wright, infamously dubbed the ‘Chief Side Hustler’ is known for her tangible and progressive 10-year trajectory in the UK and Ghana Gospel Music scene, as well as her contributions to the corporate and world of business, both in the UK and Ghana. This year, the She-E-O will join the MBE VIP list alongside historical greats such as Dentaa Amoateng, a British Ghanaian entrepreneur and media personality known for her work with the GUBA enterprises; UK media personality June Sarpong MBE; Manchester United footballer Marcus Rushford; rapper Dizzee Rascal; and philanthropist, Kofi Gyasi Adjepong-Boateng.
The recognition derives more specifically from her venture, University Gospel Choir of the Year, often referred to as UGCY - a UK national competition later established in Ghana as a platform for university gospel choirs to exhibit their talents, build their technical and industry know-how, and be afforded a plethora of prizes.
UGCY has featured thousands of students from over 70 UK universities, including University of Cambridge, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent, Coventry University, City University of London and Durham University, and in Ghana, University of Ghana, Central University, University of Development Studies, KNUST, and Ashesi University.
UGCY looks forward to hosting their 3rd annual show in Ghana in November 2021 and their 10th annual show in the UK in early 2022. Previous prizes have included special feature performances on various events and stages including the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice and BBC Gospel Proms and appearing as the opening act for Stellar Award-winning artist, Travis Greene. In Ghana, choirs are awarded cash prizes.
Sharing her thoughts and sentiments ahead of receiving her award, Wright said: “The Gospel industry at large is often heavily under-represented in the grand scheme of music artistry. It’s colourful, expressive, vibrant and incredibly uplifting, and is certainly a very personal medium for me. It’s both an honour and a joy to have myself and the UGCY team’s efforts being recognised in this way. I’ve had a fantastic time building what is now a true legacy, and look forward to replicating and introducing UGCY more broadly across the world!”
Lorraine is a University of Oxford Executive MBA graduate and currently works as a Director at a Global Financial Services firm in the UK. Alongside her day job and UGCY, Lorraine is currently participating in an Oxford Foundry Elevate Accelerator Program with her music start up, Vocsta. Lorraine is also the owner of a Liona Nails beauty spa in Accra (@Lionanails), and is head of sales for Grow For Me, a Ghana-based Agric tech crowdfunding/crowd farming start up (@growformeafrica).
Click here to see the full list of those honoured in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.