The 6th edition of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), awards took place last week recognising some of the most prolific bloggers the country has to offer.
Bake Awards seek to recognise and reward Kenyan online content creators across 23 categories.
The gala night took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in an evening filled with good music, good food and good vibes from the over 400 invited guests.
The winners were voted in after an intense nomination process sifting through a record 10,000 entries from bloggers across the country.
The Best Lifestyle Blog and Best Human Rights Blog were the two new categories that were introduced in the awards this year to champion for lifestyle and human rights issues. These categories are sponsored by Ford Motors and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, KHRC, respectively.
Magunga.com bagged the Kenyan blog of the year for his fictional stories, poetry and book reviews on his website.
The night saw women create a great impression where they bagged more than eight awards.
BAKE Chairman Kennedy Kachwanya expressed his joy seeing the gradual increase in the gender representation over the years.
“In 2012, the representation was 68 per cent men versus 32 per cent women but last year the women participation improved to 41 percent,” read a statement from Bake.
Among the winners were first timers like Owaahh, biznews, healthkenya and potentash who won in best topical, business, health and lifestyle categories respectively.
Kachwanya further explained to the guests how blogging has created employment opportunities over the years and that the youth should be on board so as to shape their future careers.
“We are so happy to see the increase in representation of women among nominees and winners. This year, we are happy that out of the 23 categories, at least eight awards went to ladies, which is a clear indication that women are also venturing and taking blogging seriously,” he said.
“As part of this year’s BAKE agenda, we are encouraging more youth to come forth and embrace blogging as a way of creating employment. It has become serious business and people are doing it full time and earning good money from it.”
Last year, almost 4900 blogs were submitted for the contest and over 500,000 votes recorded after the nominations.
The gala sponsors included Safaricom, Ford Motors, Showmax, Eatout, Xpose, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Vivien Taa and Kenyan Human Rights Commission. The judges this year included Sally Kahiu, Jackson Biko, Martin Mburu, Mutua Maingi, Samuel Mbugua and Naomi Mutua.
BAKE is a community organisation that was formed in 2011 after a series of discussions concerning content creation and consumption of online content in Kenya.
It connects blogs in Kenya from all areas of interest and expertise and seeks to represents a group of Kenyan online content creators and seeks to empower online content creation and improve the quality of content created on the web.
The awards, which started in 2012, initially had 13 categories which have increased to 23 over the six editions that have taken place. During inception, competition has grown from 300 submissions and 10,000 votes to 4800 submissions and 540,000 votes in 2016.
Bloggers who have been recognised by the awards and seen their fortunes change include Sharon Mundia of This Is Ess, Nancie Mwai, Buoart, Silvia Njoki and Biko Zulu.
Some of the categories are technology, photography, creative writing, governance, county, religious/spirituality, human rights, women and girls and empowerment, social issues and active citizenship.