An awards ceremony was held at the Unicaf Kenya premises in Nairobi, on the 28th of July 2020, to announce the winners of the second Unicaf essay competition in Kenya and present them with their prizes. Observing social distancing and other safety guidelines, enforced to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the event was attended by two of the three winners, together with family members and friends. The first winner, Dan Basil, who is currently in California, in the USA, attended the ceremony via Zoom, while his representative and siblings were present at the event in Kenya.
Print, electronic and digital media had been invited to the ceremony, but the reported surge in Covid-19 infections led to the issue of orders to work from home for most media employees. Only Radio Jambo, was able to send a journalist to cover the event, while another journalist from Radio Africa attended the ceremony online via Zoom.
The winners were all appreciative of the opportunity that Unicaf had given them and were excited to receive their monetary prizes from the Unicaf Kenya Marketing and Communication Manager Winnie Rachael, assisted by Student Adviser Mary Amondo.
Dan Basil, the 27-year-old first prize winner received a cash reward of $500 and was excited to speak at the event via Zoom from the US where he is currently pursuing a degree in Communication. He said: “I am honoured to be selected by Unicaf to receive the first prize. All institutions should explore and utilise the possibilities that only online learning can offer. Especially in reducing inequalities with regard to easy access to educational opportunities.” Dan has a Master’s in International Studies and works in the Human Rights Protection sector. His prize was handed to his representative Paul Kiage, who was attending the ceremony.
The second winner of the competition is Ambrose Mugume, 23, from Nairobi. He holds a degree in International Business Administration and is an entrepreneur. Receiving his prize of $300 in cash, Ambrose said “I heard about the essay competition from my partner and saw it as an opportunity to put our writing skills into practice. We are glad that this happened. I am very grateful to Unicaf.”
Third winner Beth Muthoni Githaiga, 24 also from Nairobi, is an ICT officer and has a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. She received a cash prize of $200 and expressed her gratitude with these words: “I first heard about this competition from a friend and I am really glad that I participated. I wasn’t sure I will win but I am glad to have made it to the top three. I am really thankful to Unicaf.”