There were plenty of memorable moments from this year’s BAFTAs. Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas took couple dressing to the next level, Phoebe Dynevor was the epitome of classic Hollywood glam, and director Chloe Zhao continued to sweep up awards season for Nomadland.
But the person who really stole our hearts tonight was 19-year-old actress Bukky Bakray. She plays the title role in British film Rocks, a coming-of-age drama about a schoolgirl in east London, who is forced to take care of herself and her little brother after their mother suddenly leaves home.
For her performance as Shola ‘Rocks’ Omotoso, Bukky took home the EE Rising Star award, the only award of the night voted for by the public. Bukky was nominated alongside Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark, Sope Dirisu and Conrad Khan.
Bukky’s reaction to the award was absolutely priceless, with members of her family screaming with joy and embracing the young actress.
“Thank you God. Thank you to my parents, my mum that’s here. Thank you for doing everything for me,” Bukky said. “Thank you to the Rocks family for showing me what it means to live a life. I’ve never met women like you in my life.”
Bukky also took the opportunity to honour those who have lost their lives during the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the tragic recent deaths of Richard Okorogheye and rapper DMX.
“I also want to say sleep well to Richard, to DMX… Sleep well to everyone else who has died last year and this year; who went to bed indefinitely. I truly believe it is the love and the light that you have left on this universe which is holding us all today. Thank you so much.”
As well as her incredibly moving acceptance speech, Bukky’s hair and makeup look was also one of the highlights of the night. Joy Adenuga was the MUA behind the soft neutral glam using Lancôme, with hair by Dionne Smith.
Huge congratulations to Bukky on her well-deserved award. We can’t wait to see what she does next.