Actor Charles Babalola returns for awards night at his former college
- Credit: New City College
Film star Charles Babalola returned to hand out this year’s student awards at his old college in east London and give an inspirational speech.
He was the special guest at the New City College awards night held at the Leonardo Royal London City hotel at Tower Hill and streamed live through the college website.
There were 44 awards for students from the Tower Hamlets campus at Poplar and the Hackney campus in Shoreditch.
Charles, best known for his roles in the 2016 smash hit Legend of Tarzan, the horror fantasy movie Gretel and Hansel and the Black Mirror show on Netflix, paid tribute to those who had “achieved beyond expectation” and often despite adversity.
He was brought up in Forest Gate and went to St Bonaventure's school and later studied drama at Havering College, now part of New City College.
Another celebrity and former student at the ceremony was magician and author Jake Banfield, who performed magic and mind-reading before the awards started. He grew up in Hornchurch and also studied at Havering College for his A-Levels where he used to perform lunchtime tricks in the canteen.
Performing arts students staged songs from The Greatest Showman and a rocking dance routine from Queen hits.
Students and staff produced the music, films, design, videography, live streaming and even the dancers’ costumes for the event.
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Group principal Gerry McDonald said: “Many students will be moving or have moved on to new chapters in their lives. My teaching and support staff have helped them to reach such high standards of progress and achievement.”
Student of the Year awards went to Winifred Chukwujekwu for access to higher education, Fares Remmouche for computing and IT, Caroline Rodrigues for creative industries, Nielti Gebri for English second language, Yamin Khan for Foundation SEND, Anika Ali for health sciences and social care, Sarah Morton for hospitality and catering, Iabdulla Amiri for maths, Michal Kaminski for motor vehicle and Dalla El Sayed for science, while Shafina Hassan was named international student of the year.
A-Level Student of the Year awards at the Poplar campus went to Shaymaa Serghini for maths and science, Mohammed Ali for social sciences and Khadeja Islam for humanities.
Outstanding community contribution awards went to Francia Rafalason, Francois Rafalason, Michael Salas, Zarif Mousavi and Luis Main, while the principal’s team award went to men’s first football at the Shoreditch campus.