Black Gals Livin’ wins best podcast 2019 at first Brown Sugar Awards

By Tolu Bakre
November 28 2019, 11.06

A podcast run by two women won at the first Brown Sugar awards for being best in its category in 2019 on 10 November.

Jasmine Braithwaite from London and Victoria Sanusi from Essex host Black Gals Livin’, where they discuss mental health, pop culture and their musings on life in general from a black girl’s perspective.

After meeting on the first day at university, Victoria and Jasmine joked about creating a podcast but feared that no one would listen to them.

Victoria Sanusi, journalist and social media manager for a fintech company, said: “I’ve always loved podcasts but I never thought I wanted to do one because perhaps people would find me boring. It wasn’t until I jokingly said to Jas that she should create one after sending me a long voice note.

“After we decided we wanted to do a podcast. The next step was names and it was pretty hard. Jas came up with it and we just ran with it. And I think it suits us well.”

The pair launched their podcast in September 2018 and their consistency has led them to amass a thousands of followers on social media.

Victoria added: “I think to myself, my favourite podcasts are always consistent and drop an episode each week for me and if they don’t I’ll be disappointed so I just take on that mentality with our own.

“Now it’s a routine and people expect our episodes every Monday morning and it feels really good!

“There are some really amazing informative podcasts out there but my personal favourites are the ones where I feel like a fly on the wall or can literally butt in with a comment.

“We really feel like we’ve built our own little community with BGL and I really do think it’s down to our listeners being able to laugh and cry with us.”

The Brown Sugar award ceremony was launched in 2019 in order to ‘inspire, empower and celebrate young black British women’.

Olivia Fraser, founder of Brown Sugar Movement tweeted: “I stopped complaining about who includes black women and created my own space for us.”

The award show which was launched this year is a platform aimed to inspire, empower and celebrate young Black British women and their achievements.

The girls heard that they had been nominated for the best podcast category on October 8.

Victoria said: “When I found out we were nominated, I was in disbelief especially as the lineup was very strong. I didn’t think we would win but I knew it would be a lovely night out.

“Upon winning, again, Jas and I looked at each other and mouthed the words ‘what the hell’ we couldn’t believe it so much so we hadn’t had a speech ready.”

Jasmine said: “It was even my birthday the day we found out and usually I’m always depressed or feel very low around that time of year. I really feel like it was God, showing me that we are being heard and that we’ve achieved so much.

“It still feels unreal! To win an award that’s been given to you by your peers, fellow black women, is such an honour. Especially as that’s who we had in mind when we made the podcast.”

The hosts plan to expand their podcast beyond their recordings and host workshops and discussions surrounding mental health. 

Victoria said: “We are hoping to do some more events and hopefully thinking about how we can add a visual element to the show.”

Jasmine added: “So many people have gotten in touch with us and said we’ve helped them in some way on their mental health journey, we just pray we can keep making a positive difference to people’s lives”

For more information follow @blackgalslivin on Twitter.

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