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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#SMAA FULL LIST OF WINNERS EMERGE AS THE SOCIAL MEDIA AWARDS AFRICA HOSTS NIGHT OF VIRTUAL WONDERS




Last weekend, Nigeria hosted Africa at the maiden edition of The Social Media Awards Africa, #SMAA where fifteen winners emerged from 43 finalists at the event tagged ‘a Night of Virtual Wonders’, representing all the regions of the continent except Central Africa.

The #SMAA Winners include: Ben Kiruthi, Kenya – Blogger of the Year, Michael Hlatshwayo, South Africa Social Media Hero and Jimi Tewe, Nigeria – Twitter Handle of the Year. Others are: Barefootlaw, Uganda – Facebook Page of the Year, The Love Tour, Kenya – Influencer of the Year, Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Youth and ICT Rwanda, Best Use by Government/Public Sector, DHL Africa – Best Use by Private Sector, Stand to End Rape, Nigeria – Best Use by Non-Profit. In other categories, Adforumco, Nigeria won the Best Use by Start-up/MSME, KCB Group, Kenya – Best Use by Financial Institution, Afrinolly, Nigeria – App of the Year, #TheNiteTalk, Kenya – Hashtag of the Year, Raha 2.0, Tanzania – Brand of the Year and Nigeria Trade Hub, Nigeria – Best Rated Platform.

Winners of the award were rewarded with the one-of-a-kind #SMAA plaque, $1,000 USD prize money, all-expense-paid trip to Nairobi for training with the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) amongst other opportunities and benefits.
One of the finalists who was conspicuously absent is currently serving a 1-year sentence for a Facebook post adjudged to be defamatory, Tunisian Blogger and Activist, Yassine Ayari emerged The #SMAA Social Media Personality of the Year at the just concluded awards ceremony tagged, Night of Virtual Wonders; which held in Lagos, Nigeria last weekend.

One of Ayari’s friends contacted the #SMAA Secretariat and Convening team in an email dated December 26, 2014 to formally notify the conveners of Yassine’s inability attend the awards ceremony due to his trial. Ayari was first sentenced to 3-years in prison albeit in absentia, for criticizing the Tunisian Defence Minister through a Facebook Post. His lawyers appealed the judgment but Ayari was later sentenced to a year in prison by a superior court of law.
The #SMAA Conveners, Development Diaries Ltd/GTE; condemn in strongest terms the actions of the Tunisian Government and re-affirm that the Right to Free Speech is a fundamental Human Right which must not be suppressed or stifled.

I did NOT win my category but will use my nomination to work forward with my numerous social media projects. I was the only nominee from Nigeria and the only woman in that category. Stay tuned!

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