The Zuri Awards unveils 2018 nominees

Zuri Award.

The annual Zuri Awards have unveiled the nominees and their respective categories for this year’s awards. In line with the 2018 International Women’s Day – the award Gala night is set to take place on 9th March 2018.

The nominees in this year’s category include Corporate Award, NGO Award (Open only to NGO’s that work towards gender parity), Leadership Award (Open to individuals), Innovation Award (Open to individuals) and the Impact Award (Open to individuals).

Zuri Awards seeks to recognize and fete exceptional women and organisations doing outstanding work in their communities. The awards were curated by Go Gaga Experiential Ltd and have been sponsored by Barclays Bank of Kenya, Safaricom, Couture Africa Magazine and Sochin Agency.

Speaking about the upcoming awards ceremony, the director at Go Gaga Experiential Norah Mumo said, “As founders of the Zuri Awards we are so glad and excited that an idea that started last year is growing in bounds! We are now able to celebrate more Kenyan women and organizations each year who have not been recognized before, yet they are doing amazing work in our communities.” She adds, “This year, we received 150 nominations from across Africa and we are honored to fete our unsung heroines. We hope that this recognition will spur the women to soar to greater heights.”

Some of the nominees at this year’s awards include:-
Leadership Award:

1. Josephine Ndambuki is a principle strategy planning analyst at Safaricom; she serves as the Vice chair of Safaricom Sacco and the chairperson of the League of Young Professional. Josephine’s work revolves around impacting technology professionals, youth, women and girls in technology; she takes it upon herself to advocate for gender inclusivity especially in tech careers and service opportunities.

2. Dr. Chao Mbogo is the Program Lead and Co-Founder of KamiLimu, which is a 6-month structured mentorship program for Computer Science University students. KamiLimu aims at immersing students into the local tech industry and also encouraging them to give back to the community through acquired skills.

3. Venoranda Rebecca Kuboka of Youth Changers Kenya works with adolescent girls and young women (aged between 15-30 years) from Kiambu County. Youth Changers Kenya facilitates training and forums on sexual health, mental health and provides psychosocial support to victims of abuse. Venoranda through Youth Changers Kenya has managed to train over 8000 young girls and women on their sexual reproductive health and rights.

NGO Award:
1. Samburu Girls Foundation rescues girls in Samburu, Isiolo, Laikipia and Marsabit Counties from harmful cultural practices such as FGM, Child Marriages and beatings. The rescued girls are then enrolled to schools and given the opportunity to study up to the university or college level.

2. The Kesho Alliance has been fighting for quality education, especially for the girl child in Garissa County. Their day to day activities include; holding youth forums and dialogues, distribution of sanitary pads, offering mentorship programs and conducting lots of research on their dynamic society.

3. Uwezo Girls Empowerment Center works to uplift out-of-school girls, single mothers and ongoing- schoolgirls from the vast Kibera slums. The Center trains and mentors the beneficiaries on life skills and entrepreneurial aspects which include fashion & design, computer literacy, modeling, and nurturing the female football talent.

Impact Award:

1. Cynthia Nyongesa a law student at the University of Nairobi runs a blog that aims to mentor and inspire the African Youth. Cynthia’s blog and social media platforms highlight and bring to life stories of young Africans who are using their life, leadership and business skills to positively impact their communities.

2. Carolyne Nyambura of HELD Sister Foundation attends to cancer patients, cancer caregivers and people wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. The foundation also provides psychosocial support to those facing cancer and their caregivers. HELD Sister Foundation has managed to screen more than 6,000 women for cervical cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension and BMI in 14 different counties in the last 4 years since their inception.

3. Halima Abba through Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW) Kenya mentors and educates young adolescents in Kilifi County on sexual reproductive health and rights. DSW Kenya has been able to support more than 4,500 young adolescent girls with free sanitary towels, underpants coupled with menstrual hygiene information.

Innovation Awards:

1. Jackline Oloo trains groups of men and women on commercial cricket rearing. She started this venture in November 2016 to empower farmers and has since successfully trained 300 families on cricket rearing.

2. Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI) uses football to create a safe space for girls in Marsabit where they can discuss issues affecting them. The Initiative works to break the deeply rooted societal taboo of not openly discussing issues that are affecting women and girls.

3. Iladho Galgallo is a member of Women in Technology program (WIT) is inspiring Marsabit’s next generation. Iladho Galgallo is giving back to her community by reaching out to girls who experience different challenges such as; lack of education opportunities, early marriage and extreme cultural expectations.

Following the success of the awards last year, this year’s Gala Night will recognize and support remarkable women who are dedicated to creating positive change through work in their communities and those inspiring other women through exceptional displays of leadership. In addition, they will also spotlight women rising against all odds and being courageous in the face of adversity. The awards are open to outstanding individuals and NGOs.

Last year’s winner in the Innovation category Buya Mukonza Winfred, founder Empower Her Initiative that mentors women and girls to become agents of social and economic change. Through her initiative she provides advocacy, economic empowerment and enabling them strike a balance between school and responsibility.

Empower Her initiative has since its inception mentored 143 girls and expanded her reach to three more counties –Vihiga, Kisumu and Kakamega County. Winfred credits Zuri Awards for recognizing her efforts in championing for the rights of the “School Mums”; she has also gone ahead and won several awards for her works such as the University Leadership Awards (USLA) and My Little Big Thing Award, African Youth Leadership Forum- Exemplary Student Leader Award. Top 10 Bold for Change Champions in Africa 2017 and Young African Women Leadership.

The event was judged by various jurors who included Dinah Musindarwezo – Executive Director, Femnet. Derek Bbanga – Strategic Communications Specialists – MD Public Image , Evelyn Chibole – Creative Designer and Entrepreneur, Rev. Dr. Julius Weche Founder and CEO Akad Education Group- Africa, Faith Oneya –Journalist, Barbara Akello – Communication Strategist, Faith Mutwiri, Paul Mugambi – CEO Kytabu, Faith Mutwiri – Quality Analyst & GM Transken-Limited and Jenniffer Muindi.