The iconic Fort Jesus is ready to host close to 700 guests for Kenya’s premier sports awards gala, the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya), on January 11 in Mombasa.
Soya-Mombasa organizing committee chairman Hamisi Mwanguya disclosed that nominees are expected in Mombasa on Thursday next week ahead of the gala.
“Preparations for the Gala are in top gear as we put on the final touches for the event,” said Mwanguya adding that the celebrity guest for this year’s edition will be known early next week.
Mwanguya said that apart from Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who will be the chief guest, there will also be other high profile guests during the event that is being hosted outside Nairobi for the first time.
“Our pick on Fort Jesus was symbolic because of its resilience and strength that also depicts our sportsmen and women beside the Kenyan people,” said Mwanguya. “We are more than ready to host our visitors not only this year but for many more editions to come.”
Soya has traditionally been held in Nairobi and the organisers deemed it fit to broaden the scope by taking it to the coastal town as it celebrates 15 years of recognising the country’s great sportsmen and women.
“We once again thank the organisers for picking Mombasa and to repay them we want to give our visitors a memorable experience,” said Mwanguya, who paid tribute to Kenya’s sportsmen and women who have been the country's greatest ambassadors.
“It's quite humbling that it’s legendary Paul Tergat who came up with this noble idea of rewarding our sportsmen and women back in 2004. We celebrate him,” said Mwanguya.
Kenyans will be waiting with bated breath to see which sportsmen and women shall be honoured for their exploits in various disciplines in 2018 during the black-tie event.
The overall winner will pocket Sh1 million.
Paralympian Samuel Muchai was declared the 2017 Sports personality of the Year.
Safaricom Soya Awards Categories
1.Overall sports personality of the year award
2.Sportsman of the year
3.Sportswoman of the year
4.Sports team of the year Men
5.Sports team of the year Women
6.Federation of the year
7.Coach of the year
8.Community hero/heroine of the year
9.Hall of fame of the year
10.Sportsman living with a disability
11.Sportswoman living with a disability
12.Most promising personality of the year girl
13.Most promising personality of the year boy
14. School team of the year boys
15.School team of the year girls
16.School coach of the year
17.Outstanding player of the year boy
18.Outstanding player of the year girl.