In an impeccably orchestrated event held in London, UK, on 23 March 2016, the International Somali Awards organizers presented well-earned awards to five finalists in the categories of Business of the Year, Most Effective Initiative of the Year, Sports Person of the Year, Best Entertainment, and Highest Educational Achiever.
Hashi Mohamed introduced the event by walking attendees through a brief flashback on how the event came to be. Mr Hashi, also, explained the participatory process that was adopted to select, screen and pick out the winners at the end of which he read out a note of felicitation from the UK Prime Minister, the Rt. Honorable David Cameroon.
The Business of the Year Award went to the Somali-owned – but internationally renowned – remittance company – Dahabshiil Money Transfer.
In receiving the award, Mr, Duale profusely thanked all who have voted the company to this coveted position, congratulating the organizers, too, for their novel initiative to encourage Somalis who have climbed up from the roots to an international limelight.
“We sincerely thank the youthful organizers of this august event, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameroon, who sent kind, encouraging words to the attendees in this auspicious gathering, the winners and runners-up and all the well-wishers who had made this event possible,” Mr. Duale said.
Mr. Duale particularly touched on the trust that the participants of the voting system that picked out Dahabshiil for the Business of the Year award placed on him and his company, underlining the indispensable service the company offered its customers.
Dahabshiil is a leading African money transfer company that operates in over 140 countries worldwide.
The Rt. Hon. James Duddridge, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Africa, presented the award to Dahabshiil Group Chairman, Abdirashid Duale.
The London event doubled up as the inauguratory curtain-raiser for the International Somali Awards team as 2016 marked their first appearance on the international arena, signaling a new era for Somalis internationally recognizing the super achievements of other Somalis on international standards.
Other categories were, respectively won, as below.
Mo Ali is a Somali-born award-winning filmmaker and director. He has worked with some of the most respected talents in the UK and internationally and has directed music videos and the movies ‘Shank’ and ‘Montana’. His creative genius and dedication to his craft has inspired many young visual artists. Mo Ali mentors twenty young filmmakers who will no doubt pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation.
Sports Person of the Year
Mo Farah (CBE) is double Olympic, European Athletics and World champion and the UK’s greatest ever distance runner. Mo’s achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, arriving in London from Mogadishu at the age of 8 speaking very little English. He recently became the first athlete to win three long-distance doubles at successive World Championships and was made a CBE in 2013 for his services to the UK.
Highest Educational Achiever
A recent graduate of the Somaliland Brail Centre with one of the highest marks on record, Hawa Jama Abdi has never let her blindness stand in the way of her eagerness to learn. She is currently working on a diploma in journalism, and hopes to gain a PhD in the future, whilst the humanitarian work she undertakes in her country helping blind young people is an inspiration to us all.
Most Effective Initiative of the Year
Adeso (African Development Solutions) is a humanitarian aid organisation that has been changing the way people think about, and deliver aid in Africa for over twenty years. By giving cash to families to help them deal with immediate crises, it encourages them to manage their limited resources, and start investing in the future. With cash in their pockets, those in need have improved access to both food and non-food items.
The ISA event at Westminister was co-sponsored by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the International Organisation for Migration, Global Skills and Savannah Restaurant.