Reena Combo has been working in the media industry for over 12 years as a journalist, editor, PR expert and recently as a campaign leader. Now her hard work has been recognised as she wins the national award for ‘Media Professional of the Year’ at the Asian Media Awards.
“I still can’t believe it. I’m so happy. I can’t quite explain in words what this award means to me. It really is a milestone in my career,” Reena said.
The prestigious Asian Media Awards took place on October 31st 2013 at the Hilton Deansgate in Manchester.
Reena who is born and bred in Wolverhampton has experienced the glitz and glam of the industry, rubbed shoulders with some of the most famous names from the world of entertainment and been a guest at many plush events, but none of them mean quite as much to her as her recently recognised campaign work, ‘Damini’ – which won her the title of ‘Media Professional of the Year’.
Reena Combo has worked for many media outlets over the years such as Asian Leader newspaper, DesXpress, Brit Asia TV, My Asian Wedding Magazine and her own online magazine Ikonz.
After setting up an international campaign to become a voice for many Asian women, Reena set up a social marketing campaign after hearing the horrific story of a 23-year-old woman who was gang raped and abused on a bus in Delhi, India on 16th December 2012 by 6 men. The incident caused widespread protests across the world, and Reena who runs an online entertainment magazine www.ikonzmag.co.uk took it on herself to see if she could make her voice heard.
“It all started by a tweet I posted on Twitter saying #JusticeForDamini #WeShallProtestViaTwitterAcrossTheGlobe, the tweet was re-tweeted by 100’s of people including high profile celebrities, I was shocked by the response it had. From there a couple of people asked me if there was anything more I could do, like set up a vigil.
“I thought to myself this is the one time I can do something of substance. I have been so lucky to have met the famous people I have, and attend plush events to get wined and dined, so why not use my position in Asian media to actually do something worthwhile for once.”
Reena set up a candle-lit vigil on the 3rd January 2013 at Victoria Square in Birmingham, over 250 people attended the peaceful vigil to remember the girl many had come to know as ‘Damini.
Reena’s efforts have been well recognised and she regularly features on various radio and TV shows to highlight these issues. Her hard work and dedication for Asian media and now her recent campaign work has won her this honourable award.
“I’m still feeling really overwhelmed. When my name was called out as the winner the room started spinning and it didn’t quite register at first. I’m so pleased and honoured for winning ‘Media Professional of the Year’ at the Asian Media Awards. I’m so thankful that my hard work over all these years has been recognised, but more importantly my campaign work is raising awareness. I have never felt so passionate and dedicated to something. This award has given me more drive and determination. Thank you so much to the Asian Media Awards.”
What many people don’t realise is that 31-year-old Reena Combo not only selflessly works on her campaign ‘Damini’ and runs an online entertainment magazine, Ikonz she also has a full time job in Nottingham at ‘Confetti – Institute of Creative Technologies’ working as the Course Leader for Creative Digital Media Apprenticeships.
“It’s hard balancing everything and I can never quite switch off, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My full time job as a course leader and teaching means so much to me, it’s my chance to teach others a subject which I am so passionate about – media! Ikonz Mag is my baby and will always be a huge part of who I am today, and ‘Damini’, well what can I say? – that’s my new and most important project to date.”
Reena Combo is currently in the process of setting up her organisation ‘Damini’ officially to help raise awareness on issues such as rape, abuse and assault against Asian women.
She has also just finished writing her first production which she hopes to tour in UK theatres next year.
A full list of the winners can be found at www.asianmediaawards.com