The 7th edition of the BAKE Awards winners’ gala was held on Saturday 19th May of 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Nairobi Hotel in Upper Hill.
The event kicked off after 7 pm with the host Martin Githinji, an actor, writer and director, welcoming the attendees to the awards. He followed up by calling the BAKE General Manager, Jane Muthoni to the stage and asked her some questions about the Awards history and how the journey has been.
The Awards were started in 2012 as a reward mechanism to recognize exceptional Kenyan bloggers. Each year in January, Kenyans get a chance to submit blogs to participate in the awards. Once submission phase is closed, selected judges go through the submitted blogs and choose the best 5 blogs from each category that will proceed to the voting phase. The blogs that garner the most votes in each category are the ones that are declared the winning blogs.
We added 3 new categories this year, namely Best Environment Blog, Best Hair and Beauty Blog and the Best Video Blog which resulted in a total of 23 categories. The judging phase saw an increase in the number of judges and the process was quite rigorous and intense. It was also challenging because the quality of content creation in Kenya Continues to be overwhelming. Voting was also verified by SMS which began in 2017 to prevent rigging of votes. As the blogging sphere in Kenya continues to grow, challenges that surround it have also grown. It is important therefore for bloggers to set agendas and shape opinions.
Kennedy Kachwanya, chairman at BAKE said, “While the digital landscape has largely remained free & fair, there has been challenges especially from the state and powerful people, that has seen many bloggers and internet users arrested and charged. We have remained at the forefront of protecting this space through policy, advocacy, and when called upon, litigation.” This is especially in line with the recent Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018 which infringes on the Constitution of Kenya 2010 but also international standards and statutes on freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
Among the winners were first timers like Bonnita Aluoch (aluochbonnita.com) , Elizabeth Wanjiru (lizmazingira.com), Luke Mulunda (www.businesstoday.co.ke), Over Twenty Five YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChKyC8GgChB5_JEW7p8nkFA) and Tabitha Tongoi (cravingyellow.com). Women continued to impress at the awards with a record 15 awards going to them. Tatiana Karanja (tatianakaranja.com) made history by being the first woman to ever win in the photography category.
Jane Muthoni, the General Manager at BAKE payed homage to all the women who create content online. She added, “These awesome women have to sometimes overcome various challenges including discrimination, the patriarchy and cyber-bullying to create content.”
The event saw a good attendance that went to show the interest Kenyans have in developing and investing in the online space.
The 2018 Kenyan blog awards were sponsored by Microsoft, EatOut Kenya, Nomad Magazine, National Youth Council, CDI Gadgets, Xpose Limited, Media Pal and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
To view some of the pictures taken during the Awards, visit this link.