There isn’t much one can do on an empty stomach, least of all learning and school-work. And yet the sad truth in our country is that hunger is one major contributor to non-attendance of school by children from less privileged backgrounds. Lack of good nutrition is also a hindrance to concentration in class, and ultimately better futures for those affected.
This is something that nutritionist Wanjira Njiru knows all too well. She saw the problem that is being faced by thousands of children and decided to do something about the glaring gap. She recognized that hungry or malnourished children cannot perform at their optimum in school and founded the Food For Education initiative, a social good organization that serves nutritious meals to primary school children. This is something that Wanjira did with her team even during the pandemic.
It is no wonder then that the Food For Education founder is in the list of nominees for the first ever Africa Digital Influencer Awards. She has bee nominated by Safaricom under its brand promise to Go Beyond and make the extraordinary out of the ordinary every day. Safaricom is a platinum sponsor in the awards and for a company that has always believed in, and worked towards empowering communities and transforming lives, this is a very befitting partnership.
Twende Tukiuke or Let’s Go Beyond is a powerful concept that Safaricom is working on not only for customers as customers in terms of the services that are in the pipeline, but also as Kenyans. It is a brand callout for us to go beyond the uncertainty, hopelessness and bleakness that may be holding us back from realizing our fullest potential.
Twende Tukiuke means let’s go break barriers. Let’s take the leap and go beyond the norm. Let’s do this together.
Back to the ADIA Awards, another of Safaricom’s nominees is Humphrey Kayange whose name can never be forgotten in sports circles. Humphrey is a long term rugby player and promoter with 12 years under his belt. His contribution to the sport which Kenya is well known for has been so immense, to a point where he earned the Order of the Golden Warrior under President Kibaki in 2012.
Humphrey’s social good streak does not stop there. He is also a co-founder of the Good Kenyan Foundation, a mentorship organization for high school graduates in the country. This mentorship prepares the students for success in the job market and helps them chart a path for career development. The curriculum for The Good Kenyan encompasses such useful characteristics as critical thinking, personal branding, self-drive, and good citizenry among others.
With the youth being our future, nurturing them certainly is a benefit to them, to their families and to communities. This is exactly what Humphrey is doing and it certainly earns him a place in Safaricom’s Go Beyond influencer nomination.
In Elsa, we see the story of a young girl who rose to fame during the pandemic and especially during the lock downs. The story of the potato crisps eating comedian can only be described as the rise and rise. She has found fame and fortune on her own terms and therefore broken the perception that making it even in difficult circumstances is impossible. This is someone who has used her God given talents to Go Beyond and she’s certainly an inspiration to the youth in our country and beyond. It can be done, and it can be done even in difficult times.
For this, Elsa is a fitting nominee in the Safaricom go beyond digital influencer category.
Other nominees that Safaricom has in the list is Kennedy Odhiambo who goes by his brand name Crazy Kennar. Yet another comedian who has defied all odds to break through in the rather crowded field of comedy in the country. Crazy Kennar has captured his audience and held onto it firmly even as he grows rapidly through the scenes.
Kennedy is another example of how one can build themselves in the digital world, and he’s certainly an inspiration to other youth who wish to go his way.
Francis Otieno Omonde – as much as he has something big going in terms of social impact, he has given it a simple name ‘Cup of Uji’. Francis is yet another Safaricom Go Beyond nominee who falls in the nutrition field through his initiative that gives a cup of uji to underprivileged children in schools. Porridge is wholesome and nutritious, and Francis recognized that child nutrition is directly related to school performance and overall quality of life.
He started cup of uji with his own money though soon enough friends started chipping in to keep his initiative not only going but also growing. He’s already benefitting over 1500 children.
Patricia is the author of a very important book to women seeking to either break ground into the world of business, or to grow existing businesses. A lot of women entrepreneurs are willing to do business but often give up because of too many huddles that they may not know how to deal with. The book ‘A Candid Handbook For Women Doing Business in Kenya’ shines some light into this and pulls many women out of the frustration that may come about as a result of lack of knowledge. The book is ‘dedicated to the women behind every single business in Kenya who quietly get on with changing lives and contributing to our beautiful country’.
For her work in uplifting women entrepreneurs in the country, Pat who is also an entrepreneur a nominee in Safaricom’s Go Beyond Influencer of the year.
The Africa Digital Influencer Awards
These are great Kenyans doing great things and helping others along the way. Real agents of change whose work is uplifting and extraordinary. To vote for your favourite of them, head over to the Africa Digital Influencer page and play your part in recognizing and celebrating them. Voting ends at midnight Tuesday 15th and the winners will be announced at a live virtual event on 20th December. Be sure to tune in.