Nominees

The Best Community Event of the Year

Durga Pooja by Kenya Bengali Cultural Welfare Society

The Kenya Bengali Cultural Welfare Society is a registered non-profit association, with an Indian diaspora of 150 members. Established in 1996, the Society has been performing various social, religious and cultural activities.
Among the annual events that feature on their calendar include the celebration of Saraswati Pooja, Bengali New Year, Rabindra Nazrul’s birthday, Durga Pooja (adhering to the tradition for 65 years) and participating in inter-community events.
Cultural soirees are conceived and participated by their own, ensuring that the plethora of rich heritage and Bengali cultural elements are passed on to the next generation.

Grand 350th Dasmesh Smagam by Sikh Supreme Council

The Samagam was organised by the Sikh Supreme Council of Kenya, the umbrella body for all Gurdwaras in Kenya, under the able Chairmanship of Sardar Davinder Singh Eari and his team. The occasion was also graced by Bhai Sahib Mohinder Singh of Birmingham, UK. The event was held in June 2017, marking the 350th birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Guru in Sikhism. According to a communiqué from Sikh Supreme Council of Kenya, the Smagam was attended by over 250 international visitors from Africa and all over the world. This was in addition to the 5,000 Sangat that attended daily. They also served 21,000 meals to needy persons.

Goan Institute Celebrates 112th Anniversary

The Goan Institute stands proud as one of the oldest sporting and social clubs in Kenya, at 112 years. Originally situated in Nairobi’s CBD, it moved to its present location (Juja Road) in 1954. It has an honoured sporting legacy of contributing many sportsmen and sportswomen, even at the international level. The current Chairman, Clive D’Souza and his team are focused on driving socio-sporting activities amongst the youth. His team has embarked on refurbishing many facilities at the premise, including the Tavern area and its indoor sports facilities. Today, the Institute is especially popular over weekends, as members enjoy at the ‘home away from home.’

Arya Samaj Celebrates 114th Foundation Day

Arya Samaj Nairobi – at 114 years old – continues to be a cultural, religious, educational and charitable organisation with the prime object of benefitting humanity. This is achieved through promoting physical, spiritual and social good to all beings.
Arya Samaj Nairobi (affiliated with Arya Pratinidhi Sabha EA) also features other institutions under its umbrella, including Arya Primary, Arya Boys Secondary and Arya Girls Secondary schools. It also features Parklands Arya Girls School and SMT Kanta Bhasin Charitable Dispensary. According to the group, Arya Samaj Nairobi is considered one of the most advanced and resourceful Arya Samaj in the world.

The Best Fashion Event of the Year

Asia Wedding Lounge

After successes in Dubai, Mauritius and Canada, The Asia Wedding Lounge came to Nairobi.
The three-day exhibition featured outfits and accessories from top brands and designers from India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as fashion shows. The show was brought together by Contact Network International Ltd, a company that has successfully promoted, organised and facilitated events of various scopes and magnitudes, including events with dignitaries and various Heads of State.

Shenu’s Season Showcase

Shenu is a renowned Kenyan fashion designer; her work showcases a fusion of Middle Eastern and African designs. She has been in the industry for 10 years and has participated in numerous fashion shows including the Swahili Fashion Week and three consecutive Zen Fashion High Tea events. Over the year, Shenu continued to feature at numerous fashion events and other social gatherings, as she exhibited various collections and designs to a receptive audience.

Zen Fashion High Tea 2017

By profession, Payal Radia is an interior architect. By practise, Payal followed her dreams to open a restaurant in the capital, Zen Garden, a decade ago. Zen Fashion High Tea was a concept introduced early on and has now mushroomed into an annual affair that incorporates fashion, the culinary scene and business. The 2017 Zen Fashion High Tea represented the eighth edition, since inception. Payal is also the Creative Director and Founder of her own lifestyle brand, KOI by Payal. And along with her sister, Shivani Radia-Patel, they run a personal lifestyle blog, inspiring and sharing their journey with millennials.

Kenya Fashion Awards

The Kenya Fashion Awards (KFA) is an event that integrates fashion, music, photography and art to create a magical runway experience, recognise and award the most talented in the industry. Co-founded by Atman Ngau and Galina Tatarinova, the awards honour Kenyan talent who have made a significant contribution to the fashion scene.

Tribal Chic 2017

Tribal Chic, the biggest annual fashion event held at Tribe Hotel, aims to recognise and appreciate fashion both, locally and internationally. It looks at providing up and coming local designers a chance at showcasing their talents as well combining it with established designers. Among the numerous designers that have featured in previous editions of the fashion exhibit include Penny Winter, Mille Collines, Nike Kondakis, Kahindo Mateene, Katungulu Mwendwa, Lalesso and Deepa Dosaja. The fashion show has over the years tremendously grown; it has partnered with organisations such as New York-based company, GenArt and FA254, in order to give our designers maximum exposure.

The Best Product/Brand Launch of the Year

Launch of Two Rivers Mall

Two Rivers Mall, a flagship Vision 2030 project and a first-of-its-kind in the region, is a symbol of Africa rising. Since its spectacular opening on February 14, 2017, the largest mall in East and Central Africa has been the most visited destination in the region, attracting over one million shoppers in less than four months of trading. A year later, the mall has enabled customers enjoy experiences perceived to be available only in capitals of the first-world country by hosting leading international and local brands. The centre’s vision is to be Africa’s pre-eminent destination.

Launch of Moet & Chandon

A new brand of champagne, Moet Nectar Imperial, was launched in Nairobi during the second edition of the Moet Party Day. The event, dubbed the party of the year, was a star-studded affair, featuring media personalities such as Jeff Koinange, Anita Nderu, Betty Kyallo and Shaffie Weru among others. Founded in 1743, Moet & Chandon is the Maison that introduced champagne to the world by offering a range of unique wines for various occasions. For nearly three centuries, they have been an international icon – a worldwide symbol of style, achievement and the overflowing joy of victory.

Renault Megane Sedan Unveiled

Renault Kenya unveiled the 2017 Megane Sedan in Kenya late in September 2017, at a colourful event at the Simba Corp’s Aspire Centre. The launch furthered the company’s intention on eyeing the compact saloons segment, which remains the preferred choice amongst motorist in the country. The car went on sale through Renault’s official distributor in Kenya, Simba Caetano Formula, which has branches in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisii.
Simba Caetano Formula was born from two well-established corporate groups, Simba Corporation and Salvador Caetano Group.

iPhone X Launch

Just over a month after the international launch, the iPhone X arrived in Kenya through a memorable launch by Redington Kenya.According to the company’s Regional Business Head East Africa, Sajan Thomas, over 75 shops in the country were selling the premium phone. Within a week of its launch, over 1,000 units had already been sold. The grand and colourful evening was organised by Creative Y&R and the CEO of Events and Weddings Limited, Jilna Collis. Collis holds degrees in Media and Graphic Designs (BA Hons) as well as Events Management.

The Best Business Icon - Female

Fatema Bhaiji

Born and brought up in Nairobi, Fatema studied International Business Administration at USIU-Africa. It was there she met a man who would later become her husband. With him, they have two lovely daughters. After university, she went to Mumbai to learn fashion. That, coupled with her childhood dream of creating unforgettable memories for people through luxury event designing, led to the inception of Aura. Aura is the product of ideas, imagination, perseverance, family support, mentorship from leading international event planners and hard work. In the event-planning business, Fatema continues to exceed expectations as she delivers unique touches to every client’s events.

Sushila Shanghavi

Baking is in Sushila’s blood; she has always loved the kitchen. She has been making delectable treats for 45 years, with passion and dedication. The products of her work saw her scrumptious treats gracing the tables of friends and family all around town. This was especially impressive, given everything was handmade from scratch, no ready-mixes. Word spread of her treats and soon, demand increased. Today, every cookie, biscuit and pickle she makes is produced with the same attention to detail as when she first started. And as she turns 77-years-old, Sushila remains as inspired as ever.

Mira Agarwal & Aarti Devani

Mira and Aarti are sisters, co-founders and business partners, born and raised in Kenya. Aarti is a lawyer and Mira has a PhD in Optometry. While they may have gotten into the restaurateurs ‘by accident,’ three years in and we witness their chic globalist vision which blends design, hospitality and a sense of now. Urban Eatery continues to dazzle, charm, innovate and grow – despite uncertain times and rising competition. In the backdrop of international awards and local accolades, critics and fans alike flock to this urban chic eatery that is buzzing all day long. The magic and hand of these two successful business icons is always in the air.

Jayshree Suchak

Jayshree is a master pyrotechnician, a mother, a mentor and a director at Jays Pyrotechnics Ltd. With 18 years of experience and knowledge of fireworks, pyrotechnics and special effects, she has gone on to excel in a business mainly operated by men. “I’m the only woman pyrotechnician in Africa and the Middle East,” she shares. Jayshree is inspired by challenges as she desires to deliver what has not been done before. And along the way, she has faced numerous challenges. However, hard work, dedication, sacrifice and self-discipline over the years has made it all worth it for her.

Shelina Mediratta

Shelina launched Metabolic Balance in Kenya in 2014 and is the exclusive license holder for East Africa. The certified licensed coach says, “I absolutely love that I can help people through Metabolic Balance by creating total health and weight loss solutions that encompass all aspects of health, weight loss, wellness and living life to the fullest.” Shelina has a strong philosophy that encourages her clients to be aware of their nutrition, engage in a healthy, balanced lifestyle and have a positive outlook on life.

The Best Business Icon - Male

Rushab Haria

Rushab is the CEO of Illumina Africa. He left his banking career in Vancouver to co-found Illumina, along with Pulkit Shamshery and Nikhil Shah. The team aims to deploy 1-3 MW this year for the Solar PV segment. With their agriculture segment, they have laid out improvements in the way horticulture is grown, moving through each stage of the value chain to benefit all stakeholders. They are also introducing water technologies (solar powered de-salinisation) and are partners in a renewable energy project in Kisumu using hyacinth (a problematic weed that invades Lake Victoria), making pellets to substitute wood and charcoal.

Zameer Verjee

Zameer grew up in Nairobi before moving to the UK to further his studies at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Growing up in a versatile, diverse developing African capital enabled him to be open towards many different cultures and points of view; this helped the development of his business – Studio AZ. Among the highlights of his career thus far includes winning the International Property Awards (IPA) for both, residential and office space for Kenya in 2015. Zameer has been recognised in the Forbes 30 under 30 Africa list as well as the top 40 under 40 Kenyan entrepreneur of the year 2016 list.

Dhiren Ahuja

Dhiren describes himself as a very determined and highly motivated person who enjoys working and interacting with people from different walks of life. In the last five years he has been in the country’s capital, their business has diversified. Cheers has expanded and are always in the process of growing and making Cheers Bakery & Cafe a household name. Dhiren is driven to reach newer heights in the food and hospitality industry. Challenges excite him and along with his team, they seek to achieve great success.

Dip Patel

Dip is Uber’s Country Manager in Kenya. He started his Uber journey as the company’s first Marketing Manager for East Africa, a role that saw him contribute to the company’s launch and growth in the region. His success led him to become an Operations and Logistics Manager, where he launched state-of-the-art Greenlight Hubs (Uber support centres that focus on driver growth and engagement) in East Africa. Dip holds a Master’s of Science degree in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions from LSE in London and loves impacting people’s daily lives through technology.

Uday Shah

Uday comes from a family-business background. In 2014, he pursued a certification in leadership and personal development training, coaching and facilitation. He was certified at the age of 27, making him the youngest coach globally at the time. In 2016, he joined RTS Global Partners, a leading family business advisory firm in Africa and Middle East as an Associate Partner. In his first two years at the company, he broke two global records. From an Associate Partner, he is now a Senior Partner and got inaugurated onto the RTS Global Board in December 2016. Uday aims to become Managing Partner for Africa by the end of 2018.

The Best Sports Event of the Year

CBA Africa Concours D’Elegance

The CBA Africa Concours d’Elegance is the classiest event on the Kenya motorsports calendar. Last year saw 31 entries from outside Kenya, with 70 cars and 40 bikes judged and watched by thousands. The Kenya launch of Alfa Romeo inspired the formation of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and Bob Dewar is a founder member. For 48 years, the anniversary of the club has been celebrated by the Concours with Bob as the Event Director. Bob was educated at the Prince of Wales School (now Nairobi School) and Oxford University. Since his school days, he has had a keen interest in cars and motorcycles, even competing in the Nakuru motor races.

Festival of Friendship

Festival of Friendship (FOF) is inspired by the thought of bringing together different communities and organisations through sports as a medium of building bridges. FOF offers cultural activities and service programs that work together to dissolve religious barriers and promote moral character. Through fostering the development of cross-cultural friendship and inter-religious understanding, participants become part of a long-term vision for creating young ambassadors for peace. The 2017 edition involved 16 communities in 22 sporting disciplines over a three-week period. Over 2,500 athletes aged between six and 92 years participated – the highest participation level to date.

Unity Games Africa

The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, more generally ‘Ismailis,’ have long roots in Africa, having come to the continent even before the colonial legacy. As a community, they strongly believe in the power of sport to unite. In 2017, Ismailis from all over Africa congregated in Mombasa for the first ever Africa Unity Games. Over 700 participants from 11 countries featured in 19 sports disciplines, with over 2,000 spectators also featuring in the non-sporting fanfare. The event exemplified the solidarity of the African Ismailis as well as their patriotic spirit. The power of such sporting events, as they said, served to unite the community on a continental scale, helping them contribute to Africa’s future.

East African Safari Classic Rally

The concept for the Safari Classic Rally came from the original Safari Rally, a home-grown test of man and machine that brought some of history’s greatest motorsport competitors to their knees. The first Classic Safari Rally was held in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the coronation rally – it then became biannual.
The East African Safari Classic (EASC) Rally brought world recognition to Kenya and East Africa and is dubbed the ‘world’s toughest rally.’ The ‘off road’ rally is 4,000 kilometers long, passing through Kenya and Tanzania and lasts over nine days, attracting international participation. A prerequisite is that participating vehicles must have been built prior to December 1985.

Rhino Charge

It is an annual off-road 4×4 competition in which entrants are required to visit 13 points (guard posts), scattered over approximately 100 km² of rough terrain within a 10-hour period. The winner is the competitor who visits the most guard posts in the shortest distance (GPS measured). The event is organised to raise funds to support activities of the Rhino Ark Kenya Charitable Trust, an NGO aimed at conserving and protecting Kenya’s mountain range ecosystems. It also mitigates human-wildlife conflicts around the national park. Through this event, over US $ 5.5 million has been raised over the last five years.

Sports Personality - Female

Christina Engell Andersen

Christina Engell Andersen has been playing golf since the age of 12. The sport runs in the family; her mother, Yolanda, was the Lady Captain of Windsor Golf Club in 1992, while her brother, Stefan, is a professional golfer on the Southern Africa tour. Christina represented the country as the first Kenyan junior girl golfer to win at the Junior British Open and as the national team captain in the G&P Tournament in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. She was the youngest ever Lady Captain in Kenya – aged 25 – and is currently a Trustee of the Junior Golf Foundation (JGF).

Riya Shah

Riya is 17 years old and started playing chess at the age of six. She soon made it to the international scene. She has been in excellent form over the last decade, having becoming the Kenya National Youth Chess Champion in 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. She has also won the title of the Kenya National Chess Champion in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Representing Kenya, the young chess player has played in Vietnam, Turkey, Zambia, Dubai and South Africa, where she got the Women’s Candidate Master (WCM) title. It was in 2016 that she received the Women’s Federation Master title (WFM) in Tanzania.

Sarah Bhakita

Sarah is the vice-captain for the women’s national cricket team and has been playing the sport for 15 years now. Since making her first national appearance, aged 13, she has had a cricketing journey of fulfilment, occasioned by expected sporting disappointments. Among her highlights is making 186 runs not-out against Rwanda in 2008, becoming the second woman in the world to achieve the feat in an international match. With all her experience, Sarah gives back to the sporting community; she is now coaching with the East African Character Development Trust. She hopes to train young girls and help them achieve even more than she has.

Sneha Kotecha

Sneha is a professional student athlete with an international tennis ranking of 310 in the world U-18 and 10 in Africa U-18 categories. At the East African Junior Championships, she bagged a bronze in the singles and was a runner-up in the doubles. She also emerged third in the Africa Junior Championships in the 16&U category and is currently ranked two in Africa U-16. Sneha has represented Kenya in various competitions, including in Zimbabwe, Egypt, Bolivia, Mexico and United States (US) and made the country proud. Among the achievements is helping Kenya to an eighth position finish in the Senior Fed Cup in Moldova – one of Kenya’s best results

Shehzana Anwar

Also known as Kuki, Shehzana has been playing archery for 16 years now and has competed in over 10 international tournaments worldwide. She is the 11th African Archery Championship women’s gold medallist and was the sole Kenyan qualifier in the sport for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. She was also the flag bearer for the country’s athletic contingent at the opening ceremony of the Games. “I hope to help archery grow as a sport in the country. I have my sight on making it to the 2020 Olympic Games and any other international competitions,” says the qualified beginners coach.

Sports Personality - Male

Sheil Kotecha

Sheil is a student athlete, currently studying at Premier Academy. His ITF junior ranking is 150 and is currently the number one junior player in Kenya and second overall. Among the various achievements to his name is winning the Nairobi Open in both, singles and doubles, representing Kenya in the Davis Cup in Egypt (he finished third), a finalist at the Britam Kenya Open, winning the ITF South Central Circuit in Zimbabwe as well as participating in the Eddie Herr ITF and Orange Bowl Junior Championships. Sheil aims to play Junior Grand Slams this year and get an ATP ranking. As for the future? He hopes to one day compete at seniors Wimbledon.

Ujval Shah

Ujval is a 17 year-old badminton player who has represented his school and the country in local, regional and international tournaments since 2007. Currently in Kenya’s U- 19 badminton team, the teenager has won gold (2016) and bronze (2017) in the National Games. He has also participated in the Africa Schools Championships from 2015 to 2017 as well as the South Africa Junior International 2017 Championship. His biggest achievement thus far is participating at the BWF World Junior Championships 2017, held in Indonesia.
Ujval hopes to participate at the World Junior Badminton Championships 2018 and the Commonwealth Games in 2022 among others.

Saahil Harunani

Saahil is a 20 year-old athlete, currently studying at the Near East University in Northern Cyprus. He began swimming as a toddler and has since seen his interest and talent grow. Through hard work, support, guidance and motivation from family, teammates and coaches among others, he has blossomed. Since securing his first national team selection in 2009 for the Cana Zone 3 & 4 Swimming Championships, he has grown from strength to strength.
He has now featured in two Africa Junior Swimming Championships, Africa Senior Championships, the Youth Commonwealth Games, two World Junior Championships, the All Africa Games and the first FINA World Championships Youth Programme.

Sujan Shah

Born and schooled in Nairobi, Sujan moved to England to study Finance, Accounting and Management at The University of Nottingham. In March 2016, Sujan – a golfer – played the Kenya Open and turned professional a month later. He has since qualified for the MENA Tour and has played in the United States (US), Morocco, Thailand and the UAE. Sujan has also won the Kenya Matchplay Championship in 2016 and has participated in the World Team Strokeplay for Kenya in Cancun, Mexico. He now aims to win the Kenya Open and make it on major tours.

Aman Gandhi

Aman is a final year student at Oshwal Academy Senior High and is the recent recipient for the Sportsman of the Year Awards (SOYA) 2017 for the Most Promising Boy. At the age of seven, Aman took up cricket; he now features in Kenya’s U-19 cricket side and is among the reserves for the Kenya national men’s cricket team. Among his cricketing achievements include being the highest run scorer in the U-19 World Cup qualifier for the Africa Region 2017 as well as the Cricket for Hope tournament in Kigali, Rwanda. Aman was also part of the national team that participated in the U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

The Best Anchor - Female

Pooja Kotedia-Patel

Pooja Kotedia Patel has been in the entertainment scene for well over a decade and has carved her niche as a corporate and entertainment emcee, with a number of high profile events and accolades firmly under her belt. She is extremely proud to have hosted last year’s The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA), along with other celebrated local anchors and hopes to continue entertaining audiences and continually improve her work in 2018. “To be nominated for TAWAA is an achievement in itself. I’m extremely thankful to be recognised by The Asian Weekly – I hope to continue doing more events and growing as a person. Thank you TAWAA,” she said.

Angela Muiruri

Angela Wambui Muiruri is currently a radio and online TV news anchor at Capital FM radio station, presenting local and international news. One of Angela’s defining achievements was representing Kenya in America as Miss Kenya USA and being a cultural ambassador for Africa in the finals of the Miss Africa USA Pageant. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University in California, USA, where she earned a double degree in Advertising and Business. Since her move to Nairobi, she has graced a wide array of high profile events as an emcee, guest speaker and judge.

Shubhrika Johary Mohitey

Shubhrika has been in the media industry for almost two decades now. Her passion for her work keeps her going through all weathers. Before coming to Kenya, she was in television, radio and print media for over a decade in India. “I have been associated with Bhaskar News for three years; directed shows for ETV, done numerous voice overs for advertisements, documentaries and worked with various production houses and brands,” she said. Shubhrika is a radio presenter, anchor and manages the marketing section at Sound Asia FM. As a radio presenter, “It’s my responsibility to give my listeners a positive boost to their day; that is what inspires me the most,” she adds.

Kamal Kantaria

A social person by heart, Kamal loves to talk. No wonder, she loves the microphone. She has received many opportunities to emcee various events, the best one being the The Big Fat Indian Wedding in April, 2017, with an audience of around 1,500 people. The latest anchoring was at the Festival of Friendship Social Nite in December 2017; that was a treat to be a part of. Her goal, she says “is to prosper in the field of public speaking and host more and bigger events in the future.”

Naila Butt

Her nomination in The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA) 2018 has filled her with a strong sense of pride. Naila’s journey in the world of entertainment – especially music – is almost 11 years long now. It started with emceeing a tribute show for Ustad Bashir Butt – the legendary Kenyan musician and singer. She has been part of numerous high profile events such as Navrang Fine Arts Foundation, Ranee Productions and hosted shows like Abida Parveen, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and their latest show with three ghazal legends, Anoop Jalota, Pankaj Udhas and Talat Aziz. She is a teacher by profession with a Master’s degree in English Literature.

The Best Anchor - Male

Gupz Saund

From an early age, being exposed to music and events has taught Gupz how to set pace for any occasion. It is more like a wild card that he uses at will to turn the party around. “I’m really just the guy next door who loves what he does, envisions putting a smile on your face and aim to continue to do so. I won’t say life’s a party, but it would be boring without one. So charge your glasses and get that swag on,” says the charming Gupz.

Martin Kariuki

The man with many voices is part of Capital FM’s The Jam –The Boys Edition with Charles Kiarie and Solo once a month. He is a commercial voice-over talent in ads that have run in stations across Kenya and is a creative copy writer at the station, having worked previously with East FM and Radio Africa. Martin Kariuki AKA the Mad Kidd AKA Palloti AKA Vuvuzela, ventured into emceeing by chance seven years ago and has never looked back. Since then, he has hosted and worked closely on a number of events from weddings, private parties to major events such as The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA) 2017, Cheki Sato, The Mingle and many more.

Fareed Khimani

Fareed has worked across all media for more than 17 years. He began as a print journalist in Jacksonville Florida for weekly events magazine, Folio Weekly. He then moved to Kenya and became the host of a number of different radio shows such as Capital in The Morning, Nation Drive and The Rude Awakening on XFM. He has also ventured as a field presenter-plus-producer for Mnet and SuperSport and has hosted numerous live programs such as The Face of Africa. He has also emceed a number of corporate events, with his client base certainly impressive. Currently, Fareed co-owns production company Nusu-Nusu Productions Limited.

Abhijeet Gupta

For the past 15 years, the veteran radio presenter at Sound Asia FM has entertained you every Sunday on the popular Chatle-chalate. He has emceed for various international artist shows, including Paresh Rawal, Sonu Nigam, Johnny Lever and Adnan Sami et cetera. A household emcee name for local events of society, Abhijeet has emceed commercial events and countless Kenbharti Centre events. A huge accolade for him was when he emceed for Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s visit to Kenya and was the coordinator of the mega cultural event. He is currently the Chairman of Kenbharti Centre and is also one of the Founders of Hindi Samiti of East Africa.

Darling Amin

Darling Amin has been with radio, television and print media for 18 years. He has emceed in nine countries and worked in five. He also speaks seven languages and is a marketer and events and exhibitions specialist. Darling Amin has previously bagged the prestigious The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA) trophy for the Best Emcee. In 2007, je won an award for the Upcoming New Talent in Dubai. He also received an appreciation award for Original News Anchor at the Jameel Adham Centre in Cairo, Egypt.

The Best Designer of the Year

Shenu Hooda

Shenu is a renowned Kenyan fashion designer; her work showcases a fusion of Middle Eastern and African designs. She has been in the industry for 10 years and has participated in numerous fashion shows including the Swahili Fashion Week and three consecutive Zen Fashion High Tea events. Beyond that, she has hosted a few charity events with international celebrities such as Michael Jordan’s mother, Deloris, as well as local ones such as thespian, Ian Mbugua. Television personality, Lillian Muli, has also hosted Shenu on her show, ‘Fashion Watch’ on Citizen TV. From casual to bridal outfits, Shenu has mastered it all.

Azra Walji

Azra is a brand synonymous with Azra Walji, a young talented designer, born in Kenya and graduated in December 2010 from Limkokwing University of Creative and Technology in Malaysia. Azra believes men and women who dress well exude complete confidence and sexiness to those around them. Her collaboration label of high-end fashion invites people to try new things in fashion. Her collections boast chic stylish wear with simple silhouettes, glamour and elegance through its signature style of detailed embellishment, rich coloured fabric and hand printed uniqueness of contemporary, ethnic fashion. She has also featured on international runways, giving her an edge of creative, out-of-the-box fashion.

Niku Singh

Niku pushes boundaries when it comes to jewellery designs for both, men and women. A regular on numerous fashion platforms, he uses locally available brass and aluminium alongside semi-precious stones among other details. His vision is to have his brand walk the top five fashion shows of the world: New York, LA, London, Paris and Milan as he spreads his creativity across the globe via this.

Galina Tatarinova

With more than eight years in the wedding fashion scene in the East African market, Galina has carved her niche. She is the Founder and Head Designer of ‘Only You’ fashion house. Last year, the brand took shape as a luxury wedding brand: Galina Tatarinova / Bride. Galina has showcased her collection around East Africa and has also been featured in different magazines, including True Love, Drum, Couture Africa, Fly250 among others.

Deepa Dosaja

Deepa Dosaja is an eponymous Kenyan luxury fashion brand established 25 years ago. The brand offers bespoke made-to-measure services as well as an off- the-rack collection. The Boutique at the stylish and upmarket 14 Riverside, Nairobi is a paradise of sinewy fabrics carrying a wide and fine selection of natural fabrics – silk, wool, linen and cottons. Deepa also exclusively designs her own line of luxurious stretch silk prints as well as trademark hand-painted and embroidered floral designs. The Deepa Dosaja brand provides for the stylish, confident and international women; elegant designs that are discerning and sophisticated.

The Best Entertainment Event - International

Shrutilayam by Kerala Association of Kenya

It was South Indian musical stalwarts, Haricharan and Shweta Mohan, along with the magical Bennet & the Band who sparked off a musical conflagration in varied languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi during their inaugural performance in the city. It was brought to Kenyans by Kerala Association of Kenya (KAK), a non-profitable, non- religious, non-political organisation. KAK is 63 years old. The Association first opened its door in November 1954. It has grown over the years into a considerably big association, with its members embracing unity and harmony.

Yugpurush

‘Yugpurush – Mahatma’s Mahatma’ is a play that portrayed the close association between Gandhiji and his spiritual guide, Shrimad Rajchandraji. Produced under the able guidance of , Founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur (SRMD), Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, the play has had over 1,000 sell-out shows across the globe, inspiring over 660,000 people. It has received several accolades including the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award 2017 for ‘Best Drama’ and made two entries into the Limca Book of Records. Through Yugpurush, SRMD aims to spread Shrimad Rajchandraji’s uplifting teachings to people from all walks of life.

Sat Gati by Navrang Fine Arts Foundation

Audiences gathered in large numbers to witness the Sat Gati (The Sacred Path) performance presented by Navrang Fine Arts Foundation last year. An evening that featured a dance program involved seven performances by the Punyah Dance Company, choreographed by Parshwanath Upadhye, with the light design by Vijay Chandra. Now in its seventh year, the Foundation was born out of the passion to promote Indian fine arts in Kenya. Since 2009, the foundation has hosted 11 events with a wide range of music and dance genres.

VCB Glamour Nite with Kareena Kapoor Khan & Manish Malhotra

Bollywood icon, Kareena Kapoor and ace designer, Manish Malhotra, breathed star glamour last year at Victoria Commercial Bank’s (VCB) exclusive extravaganza for its core clientele. Hosted at Two Rivers Mall, the who’s who of society turned up for the event that was nothing but sheer entertainment! VCB marked its 30th anniversary last year. The mid-sized commercial bank has grown over the years. From being ranked the third-best bank in Kenya by Market Intelligence Banking Survey (2008) to the third-best bank out of 43 banks in Kenya in 2013 by RSM Ashvir – its achievements are noteworthy.

Mehfil-e-Ghazal Nite with Anup Jalota, Pankaj Udhas & Talat Aziz

No excitement could be contained when word was out that the three music legends, Pankaj Udhas, Talat Aziz and Anup Jalota were going to be in Nairobi to perform. The evening, dubbed ‘Three Legends Come Together On A Timeless Journey,’ was brought together by event pioneers, Ranee Productions. For over 15 years, Ranee Productions has provided quality high-class events to Kenyans. They carefully design shows to not only complement the artist’s talent, but for the audience to get an international experience on home soil. Some artists they have hosted include Russell Peters, Sean Paul, Davido, Ustad Rahet Fateh Ali Khan, Kailash Kher, Mika Singh, Kanika Kapoor and others.

The Best Entertainment Event - Local

9 Gems Nrityalaya by Gita Umesh

As part of Nrityalaya’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the Founder and teacher, Gita Umesh, organised an authentic Indian classical dance recital dubbed, ‘Navaratna – The Nine Gems Of Nrityalaya,’ before a houseful audience at the Oshwal Academy auditorium in July, 2017. Natya Ratna Smt Gita had her initial dance training at the famed Raja Rajeshwari Kalamandir in Bombay, before tutoring under the late Kalanidhi Swarna Saraswathi in Delhi. Having completed her arangetram in 1972, she established a dance school in Nairobi in 1977. Since, she has established herself as a backbone of cultural heritage of Indians in Kenya, receiving various honours and accolades in her decorated career.

The Big Fat Indian Wedding by Kamini School of Dancing

The widely recognised Kamini’s School of Dancing is an institution which puts on high-standard shows that exhibit the Indian culture through dance in its finest form – The Big Fat Indian Wedding was case in point. The Principal of the school, Kamini Thakkar, with her academic qualifications in dance from the prestigious MS University of Baroda, shares her creative abilities through hundreds of her students. The school has gained tremendous popularity as it provides systematic and creative nourishment to students. Kamini enjoys presenting ballets and dance expositions, giving each a special flavour – and will continue to do so.

Miss India Worldwide Kenya 2017

Eventique Limited, founded by Aliza Rajan, brought back the Miss India Worldwide Kenya (MIWK) pageant in 2016. The pageant celebrates both, Indian and Kenyan culture, with the vision to create a platform for young ladies to showcase their talents. The organisers and participants work tirelessly and undergo vigorous training to perform to professional standards; this further cultivates a sense of belief in oneself. MIWK also exposes them to various charities and virtuous causes, inspiring them to give back to the community, become successful and strive endlessly. The 2017 edition was the second year the pageant was successfully hosted, as it partnered with global brands and an international artist too.

Kenbharti’s Tribute To Amitabh Bachchan

Kenbharti Center is a non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profitable social and cultural organisation with a vision of bringing ‘cohesiveness’ between people of Kenya and Indian origins through cultural exchanges, various social and charitable activities. The tribute to Amitbh Bachchan, the living legend, was held on his 75th birthday. The celebration featured a unique one-hour-fifteen-minutes biopic written, narrated and directed by Abhijeet Gupta. The memorable tribute was one of many activities the organisation has engaged in over the years. Among others include four episodes of Kenya Has Got Talent, five editions of Maa Tujhe Salam as well as fun-filled Holi celebrations.

Robin Hood Musical

Aperture Africa Productions, the winner of The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA) 2016 for the Best Local Entertainment Event of the Year, has had a 2017 filled with drama. With Robin Hood, The Musical receiving amazing reviews, they continue to piece together the world of performing arts into our ever growing jigsaw. As local talent grows, they continue to keep the platforms growing as well. Spearheaded by Amar and Jinita Desai, 2018 has a lot in store including a grand musical, acting workshops for children, digital media productions and much more.

The Best Stylish Personality - Female

Sonal Maherali

Sonal is a mother of four who started her blogging career six years ago, before starting luxury blogging and a luxury YouTube channel. Hers was the first and only luxury channel in Kenya. The fashionista’s achievements include being ranked in the top 100 fashion YouTubers worldwide with over three million views in just one year of starting. She has also met and been hosted by French Luxury shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, who’s shoes she has an obsession for. Louboutin recognised her efforts in keeping Kenya on the map for luxury as well as her overall work. Sonal’s vision is to see Kenya on the luxury map and create her own brand.

Payal Radia

Aside from opening Zen Garden, Payal is also the Creative Director and Founder of lifestyle brand KOI by Payal. Two years ago, Payal and Shivani launched a personal lifestyle blog. “We love to inspire and share our journeys with the millennials,” she said. Styling through food and fashion over the years, Payal has developed her personal style and enjoys adding this angle to her daily rituals.

Aliza Rajan

Aliza is a 25-year-old psychology major, blogger, model, business woman, ex-beauty queen, entrepreneur and lover of all things fashion and style related. She is also a strong believer of the saying, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Using social media as a tool to capture her sense of fashion and express her personal style through photo shoots, events and everyday life, Aliza is a big supporter of local fashion brands and businesses, with the hope of seeing the fashion industry build within Kenya.

Sanna Andani

Sanna is a lawyer by profession, with a Master’s Degree in Media Law; she has been seen in many different roles (lawyer, entertainment and media). While she has been highly involved in the entertainment business for a couple of years, she has always had a passion for fashion. Initially a hobby, she has capitalised on it to create a fashion house that caters for all women – Fashlore. Sanna is working with mega international brands like Manish Malhotra and others to provide a sophisticated variety for her customers. She has also inspired women to find their own style. Who said your passions and hobbies cannot be capitalised?

Jehaan Dadani

Jehaan is a 27-year-old marketing manager servicing the hotel industry. While that is her professional background, she recently begun pursuing her passion for modelling and hopes to inspire women of all sizes to embrace their beauty. As a plus-size model, she wishes to be able to set an example for all women who struggle with accepting their body to love themselves and be confident. Her vision for 2018 is to spread awareness and acceptance of plus-size modelling to the Asian community.

The Best Stylish Personality - Male

Shiv Singh Benawra

For Shiv, he has been fortunate enough to split his career into my two main sections: fitness and entertainment. In fitness, he is certified as a Muay Thai coach, TACTIX coach, Strength and Conditioning coach and also a personal trainer. He has also trained and fought (Muay Thai) in the ring, hoping to continue this year too. As for the entertainment part, he is a lyricist, rapper, model and an actor. A model since 2009, Shiv has walked numerous runways, featured in TV commercials and print/billboards. Shiv’s goals and visions are simple; to continue doing what he loves in a manner that can sustain him financially and emotionally.

Aakash Barot

At 23-years-old, Aakash has accomplished his Diploma in IT at Jomo Kenyatta University. Currently, he is in his final year of an undergraduate degree at USIU-Africa, pursuing Applied Computer Technology, concentrating in software engineering. At the end of 2017, Aakash competed for Mr USIU, an annual pageant. After 12 weeks of training, one pre-judging and one-final event, he was awarded the title of Mr Community Service. He is a part time model and loves fashion and photography. With experience on runways, Aakash knows that fitness is important as a style icon.

Stephan Meves

Being brought up in East Germany with very restricted travel permission, Stephan was the happiest when eventually allowed to travel. He knew working in the hospitality industry would avail many opportunities to see the world and learn about new cultures. Having been offered the position of General Manager at Tribe Hotel marks the peak of his current career path. He has worked hard in the industry over the past 23 years, eight of those years in Kenya. Stephan knows style matters; “Fashion is a big part of life and I am amazed by the many talented Kenyan designers. They never fail to supply me with awesome outfits – which most probably gifted me this nomination,” he adds.

Arjan Grewal

A strategic, visionary entrepreneur with a sophisticated flair are just some of the words to describe Arjan Singh Grewal Thethy, the co-founder of both, Nutrieats weight management brand and Canvas, a boutique marketing agency changing how business is done in Kenya. With powerful brands under the Canvas umbrella, Arjan’s experience, coupled with insight into the Kenyan business arena, has allowed him to cultivate and leverage powerful alliances and partnerships in the industry and build a strong network. Arjan brings a global perspective and knowledge of brand trends, strategies, marketing tactics mixed with genuine street savvy that make him relevant.

Jamil Alibhai

With a marketing degree in hand, the radio and TV presenter dons many feathers in his cap. Add to this, an emcee and an actor – Jamil is a passionate wanderlust enthusiast as well! A representative of Ismaili Youth and Sports and a volunteer, he aspires to be on the big stage and use his talent to entertain, inform and enlighten audiences. His passion from childhood has been football; it continues to be so as he looks forward to the World Cup 2018! Basically, Jamil is an entertainer.

The Best Young Achiever of the Year

Celina Patel

Celina is a 12-year-old student who was brought up in Arusha, Tanzania. Two years ago, she took up golf, starting off at Handicap 36. Now, she has moved to an astonishing Handicap 18 and is one of the youngest junior lady members of Sigona Golf Club. To her credit is the Girl of the Year award in the Junior Championship she won in December 2017, being the Junior Winner at the Tanzania Open in 2016, becoming the Ladies Winner at the UAP Old Mutual TGU Arusha Open in 2016 as well as the Girls U-12 winner at both, the Muthaiga Junior Open and Limuru Open among others.

Ari Mediratta

Ari’s vocal talents were recognised at the age of five and thereafter, started vocal lessons. He has participated in several school events and external concerts. A local music producer noticed him and together, they recorded some covers of songs sung by Charlie Puth and Justin Bieber. Such was his appeal, even Capital FM invited him to the studio before playing his tracks to a nationwide audience. In July 2017, he met Kenyan singer, Eric Wainaina and was given an opportunity to perform ‘Daima Kenya’ at the Koroga festival. To promote peace, they went on to record a rendition of this song during the presidential election.

Theerta Vannemredda

Theertha, aged 13, studies at Premier Academy. While she is fond of numerous sports, it is in badminton that she has achieved the most. Aside from being named the Best Athlete of the Year, Sports Person of the Year and All Round Student of the Year at her school last year, she won many national and international badminton tournaments. In just over three years of playing the sport, she has become part of the Kenya U19 Badminton team and won Nationals at the age of 12. Her biggest achievement is when she won the Gold medal for Kenya at 2017 All Africa School Badminton Championships. She was the youngest player of this tournament.

Nirali Chandaria

Nirali is a passionate musician who has performed in the Kenya National Youth Orchestra and Safaricom Youth Orchestra, playing the violin. Under the Ghetto Classics music initiative, she has taught music as well as helped raise funds, musical instruments and scores. She has also written a psychology research paper on ‘Benefits of Music on the Wellbeing of the Slum Students.’ Nirali has launched a Reading Rewards program at Starehe and Precious Blood Girls schools, to encourage a reading culture – thus far, 200 students have received awards. She has also compiled a book on ‘Exceptional Kenyan Women,’ whose foreword has been written by famous author, Ngugi Wa’ Thiong’o.

Drish Shah

Drish is an eight-year-old student at Braeburn Imani International School, who started playing chess at age seven. Already, he has won the U-8 Boys Kenya National Youth Championship 2017 title. In his very short life in chess, he has represented Kenya in the Commonwealth Chess Championship in Delhi, the African Youth Championship in Egypt and African School Championship in Zimbabwe. He has also had the privilege of playing with former world champion, GM Viswanathan Anand, after winning the Mombasa International Open Chess Championship. Besides chess, Drish is a good swimmer, footballer and hockey player.

The Best Philanthropic Organisation

Jain Social Group

Jain Social Group (JSG) Nairobi have had numerous past and continuous endeavours that serve the people. The organisation has provided more than 300 artificial limbs to the needy population, supported over 500 cornea transplants, donated Kshs 50 million for the ground floor construction of the Outpatient at Jalaram Medical Center as well as donating one floor for physiotherapy and oncology at MP Shah at Kshs 25 million, among many other charitable acts. In November of last year, the Group also supported 11 children for heart surgeries.

Hindu Religious & Service Centre

The Hindu Religious and Service Centre (HRSC) is a socio-cultural-religious philanthropic organisation in Kenya. It renders its services to the nation across all communities. The organisation was voted the Best Philanthropic Organisation during the The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards (TAWAA) 2017, through everyone’s support. HRSC continues to aid various causes; last year, the group assisted with famine relief benefitting 2,500 families in Kitui County. They continued their annual school feeding project, which includes providing a hot lunch to 20,000 students at 58 primary schools across the country daily. In addition, they have carried out tree planting projects across the country for the past 12 years.

Desai Memorial

The main objective of the Foundation is to promote education around Kenya; to support the most deserving children with financial difficulties to pursue their education, realise their dreams and eradicate poverty. The Foundation aims to provide students equal opportunities to study, irrespective of heritage, special educational needs, social group, gender, race or culture. In addition, DMF supports schools around the country with text/reference and library books. One of our biggest achievements is reaching out to over 300 students and 20 schools around the country annually. The Foundation spends approximately Kshs 15 million annually in donations.

Giants Group Twiga

Giants Group Twiga have over the last year continued with various activities aimed at helping the less privileged and uplifting the society overall. At the Giants International Convention held in Mumbai last December, they received three awards: the Outstanding Past President award which went to Mukesh Desai, the Outstanding Overseas Group and the Best Service Activities award, recognising the Group’s uji and sanitary towel project. Receiving them from the likes of Bollywood actor, Hrithik Roshan and the Executive World Chairperson of Giants International, Shaina NC was the Chairperson of Giants Twiga, Chetna Desai.

The Best Creative Advert - AGENCIES

BBDO Mediaedge for VISA

Tucked away in the lush and serene 14 Riverside complex, BBDO Media Edge is a melting pot of razor sharp brains in boardrooms and surgeon – precise hands on pen tools. Beyond being an integrated marketing communication agency, they are a medley of imagination, invention and innovation. This, bolstered with intense curiosity, has continuously provided solutions for brands by breaking boundaries, setting standards and driving excellence. They bring brands to life and rejuvenate old ones to appeal to the modern dynamic target audience through rippling creativity and galvanised campaigns. And they are part of a bigger family that spans across all the six continents.

MediaCom for Safaricom CCTV Back-Up

MediaCom is a firm believer that a media agency has now to think and operate in an entirely new way; they present a unique approach to planning and buying across paid, owned and earned media. The company’s Kenya office consists of 50 ‘Mediacomers’ who work to transform and deliver award-winning communication strategies, planning and buying for some of Kenya’s biggest and most iconic brands. MediaCom is driven by the vision to become the best content and connections agency in the region, working with businesses (big and small) to accelerate their bottom-line through effective communication and media executions.

TDF Advertising for Columbia Africa Healthcare Ltd

The company views itself as agents of change, driven by the mission to create change for clients’ brands; to change the way communication is approached. TDF Advertising operated on four key principles: for all clients to be showcase clients; to go the extra mile for clients, believing the company is a trusted steward of our clients’ money and one that works with respect towards each other in an open and inclusive environment.

Creative Y & R for Travel Shoppe

Creative Y&R is a communications agency offering integrated solutions that combine creativity and effectiveness. Ranked as the number two creative agency in Kenya by the Loeries, Creative Y&R was the first agency to bring the prestigious Cannes Lion award to EAST AFRICA in 2015, followed by their second in 2017. The agency offers a wide range of marketing and communications services that include advertising, digital marketing, shopper marketing and media planning and buying.

The Best Creative Advert - DIRECT

Healthy U 2000 Ltd

Healthy U places great emphasis on a holistic and organic way of life. It is because of that they offer the best products to enhance and maintain a healthy life style. That mantra is well-embodied within the company and is visible through their tag line, Live Life Well.

BIDCO Africa

BIDCO Africa is East Africa’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) manufacturer and was founded in 1985. The company aims to grab, grow and sustain the number one market share in Africa by 2030. It is the market leader in the edible oils and fats categories in Kenya. BIDCO Africa also manufactures hygiene and personal care products, with manufacturing units in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Madagascar. The company’s products have a footprint in up to 17 countries across Africa. Last year, as part of its growth and expansion, BIDCO expanded its product portfolio to include manufacturing Noodies instant noodles as well as Sun top juices (via a joint venture).

Executive Healthcare Solutions Ltd

Executive Healthcare Solutions Limited (EHS) is a well-established medical insurance provider in Kenya, regulated by the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA). EHS are the principal representatives of Aetna International and its subsidiary companies for the Executive Healthcare Plan based in Kenya. Currently a top 100 mid-sized company, they boast a diverse portfolio covering approximately 15,000 members exclusively in 11 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They also pride themselves with providing exceptional end-to-end service, including policy and claims administration as well as on the ground support for both, members and providers.

Simba Corporation

Simba Corporation is an integrated business group headquartered in Nairobi, with controlling interests in diversified fields such as motor sales and service, hospitality, investment and financial services. The Corporation has grown from a modest used-car sales enterprise, founded in 1948 by Abdul Karim Popat, into one of Kenya’s most successful indigenous commercial organisations, with a rich heritage in motor vehicle sales and service. They pride themselves with always creating value in the business they do – especially for customers. They ensure customers have confidence in their products and services through accessibility, reliability and transparency.

DPL Festive

Festive Bread is one of the leading bread manufacturers in the country. They have a variety of breads in their ever-growing portfolio, including Festivita, Festive Milky White and Silinda Bread among others. The year 2017 has been memorable for them. They were recognised as one of Kenya’s top tax payers for the last five years, became the first bread manufacturer to introduce sandwich bread for mass consumption and were the first to introduce coloured packaging for their products.