Africans Rising, a Pan-African movement, has honoured some individuals and organisations contributing significantly to advance positive social change in their communities.
This was at the ‘2021 Africans Rising Activism Awards’, held recently in Abuja, Nigeria, an event that sought to recognize the award winners for being instrumental in championing the cause of the people on the continent and Africans living in the diaspora.
“The Awards initiative supports and connects activists and movements in a global network of Africans engaging in non-violent actions to promote justice, peace and dignity for all Africans everywhere.
“It showcases activism as a worthy cause in the African society and aims to inspire similar actions among other civil society actors on the continent and in the diaspora,” a statement issued by Africans Rising, and signed by Ms. Ann Njagi, the Media Outreach Consultant, copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), noted.
According to the statement, the awardees were recognized under three main categories, namely, ‘Activist of the Year’, ‘Movement of the Year’, and ‘Artistic Activist of the Year’.
In the Activist of the Year category, Wilson Atumeyi, a Nigerian sociologist and anti-corruption activist, emerged the winner with 1, 467 votes, and received a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$1,000.
The first runner-up was Maulline Gragau of Ethiopia, who garnered 1, 320 votes, and was given a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$500, while Christine Khabuya of Kenya had 668 votes to emerge as the second runner-up, and took home a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$300.
In the Movement of the Year category, the ultimate prize was taken by ‘Youth4Parliament’ of Zambia, a grassroots movement that works on enhancing meaningful participation of young people in politics and governance.
It won the category with 722 votes, and received a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$1,000.
The first runner-up, ‘Ondjango Feminista’ of Angola, which had 682 votes, also received a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$500, while ‘Black Lives Matter’ of Leeds, United Kingdom (UK), had 531 votes to finish as the second runner-up, and took home a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$300.
In the Artistic Activist of the Year category, which is a new award that recognizes artists on the continent or in the diaspora who use their art to promote positive social change to the lives of Africans, Joice Zau, an Angolan writer, poet and social activist, emerged the winner with 1, 112 votes.
She received a plaque, souvenirs, and cash prize of US$1,000.
The first runner-up: Odelia Koroma of Sierra Leone, had 1, 080 votes, and was given a plaque, souvenirs, plus cash prize of US$500, while the second runner-up, Sister LB of Senegal, who had 781 votes, received a plaque, souvenirs, plus cash prize of US$300.
“In an outstanding show of enthusiasm, Africans Rising members and supporters cast 15,604 votes to select the young African activists to be honoured at the event,” says the statement.
The organisers congratulated all winners and nominees who took part in the awards initiative.
“They are all outstanding reminders that Africans across the world are taking the lead in building the Africa we want,” the statement noted.
It said the awardees would be expected to participate in Africans Rising-organised programmes on movement building, leadership and campaigns for social change in a bid to further build their capacity for effective activism.
According to the statement, “The Activism Awards initiative gives more visibility to people who live and breathe for justice, peace and dignity for all African people.”
Previous winners include; ‘2020 Activist of the Year’, Asha Jaffar Harun, a human rights activist and journalist in Kenya, the ‘2020 Movement of the Year’, Tournons La Page, an international citizens’ movement that promotes democracy and human rights in Africa, and the ‘2019 Activist of the Year’, Jean-Marie Kalonji, an activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity is a Pan-African solidarity movement, engaging Africans and African descendants in all parts of the world in events, training and campaigns for positive change in their communities.