With only two weeks to the Awards gala, organizers of the annual Young Achievers Awards have unveiled this year’s nominees, and a host of young Ugandan trailblazers have made it to the list.
The announcement was made at an event held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.
Among the nominees is singers Eddy Kenzo and Rema Namakula, Uganda’s gold medalist in the recent Commonwealth Olympic games, Joshua Cheptegei and inventor of ‘Matibabu’, Brian Gitta who won a continental award for his outstanding innovation in the diagnosis of malaria.
Abaas Mpindi, the founder of Media Challenge Initiative who recently got a mention from former U.S President, Barack Obama during the Nelson Mandela 100th anniversary lecture, as being among young people causing positive impact on the continent, is also nominated for the Award.
The list also includes innovators in agriculture, media personalities, social entrepreneurs, fashion designers, film makers and photographers.
Humphrey Nabimanya, the Team Leader at Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU), a youth-led organization that puts together the Awards said that this year’s nominations received over 300 applications.
A hectic process overseen by a panel of 16 judges then narrowed down the list to the top 45 finalists in 9 categories each carrying 5 finalists.
Nabimanya said the judging process at every level “was totally transparent and entailed a set of expert judges in the respective fields/categories who used their proficiency to determine who the top 5 finalists in each category would be”.
“These 45 young people are defying odds and changing the narrative that Ugandan youth despite being faced with a lot of challenges like lack of access to employment, are at the center of creating employment opportunities for their peers,” headded.
He said that with Uganda boasting a majority youthful population, celebrating youth who are contributing to the positive development of Uganda empowers, gives guidance and support to the youth whose efforts are rarely recognized in other aspects.
“Giving youth such a privilege encourages them to push their ideas and businesses”.
Humphrey Nabimanya himself is an awardee of the same Awards, which he received in 2011 for his role as host of a teens’ TV show.
The Awards now in their 7th year, will also recognize the Young Achiever of the Year, Young Hero/Heroine of the Year and Lifetime Achiever.
Criteria for nomination is based on the idea, the uniqueness of the idea, its impact to society as well as whether the particular individual (nominee) is the founder and whether he/she is between the age of 18 to 35.
Beyond the accolade, RAHU has been able to connect awardees to further opportunities such as funding and scholarships. Last year’s winners got seed funding from government through the Ministry of Trade worth Shs 45m as a whole.
Below is a full list of nominees
Farming and agro-processing
Fiona Rukwanzi – Founder Nyunya
Bazil Mwotta – Founder, AgroDuuka
Jean Onyait – Founder & CEO, Akellobanker
Khamutima Tumwebaze – Founder & Executive Director, Young Farmers’ Champions Network
Edward Mukiibi – Founder, Developing Innovations in School Cultivation
Muhammed Ssekatawa – Responsible Suppliers Uganda Ltd
Ronald Hakiza – Founder UgaBus
Emmy Omongin – Campus Bee
Natalie Bitature – Co-Founder, Musana
Samson Wambuzi – Co-Founder, Yiya Engineering Solutions
David Emong – Uganda’s first paralympics medalist
Douglas Smith – Founder, Ibanda Youth Soccer Academy
Ivan Magomu – Rugby Cranes
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei – Athlete
She Cranes – Rugby 7s Team
Kisadha Peter – Founder Startup Digest Africa
Abaas Mpindi – The Media Challenge Initiative
Canary Mugume – Journalist, Next Media Services
Allen Daren Kyeyune – Sports Journalist
Andrew Musoke – Founder, Initiator and CEO, Gifted Hands Network
Monica Nyiraguhabwa – Executive Director Girl Up Initiative Uganda
Moses Nkesiga – Director, Brimos Legal Advocacy
Stephen Katende – Team Leader Kisoboka Africa
Richard Kalungi – Founder, Home Doctors Uganda
Innovations and ICT
Andrew Mugerwa -Founder My Lib App
Brian Gitta – CEO and Co-Founder Matibabu
Jacqueline Mutumba – Founder Digi Health Ltd
Phyllis Kyomuhendo – Co-founder mScan
Naika Julius – CEO & Founder, Naika Group & famunera.com
Eddy Kenzo – Musician
Rema Namakula – Musician
Felix Byaruhanga – Co-founder, The Tribe UG
H2C Dance Group
Urban Dance Crew
Mulumba Ivan – Writer
Anita Beryl – Founder, Beryl Qouture
Juliana Nasasira – Founder Kwesh
Charles Mulumba – Creative Director, Brand mulC Ug
Christabel Kente – Founder Christabel Kente Haute Couture
Zziwa Kennedy – Founder Hair by Zziwa
Film and Photography
Beohrts Beard – Photographers and Cinematographers
Edgar Kwesiga – Founder, Spire Creative
Oscar Ntege – Photographer
Richard Mulindwa – Movie Producer, Writer, Director
Tibaweswa Stuart – Photographer