Somalis residing in the diaspora were on Thursday recognised for their efforts in promoting and uplifting the standards of people globally.
Also, African money transfer company Dahabshiil was recognised for its contribution to the international Somali community.
The company was among the sponsors at London’s annual International Somali Awards (ISA), attended by individuals from across the fields of business, social work, sports, education and arts.
The ceremony provided an opportunity to support the efforts to relieve the growing humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, with all ticket proceedings being donated to the cause.
In a personal message about the event, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May praised the incredible success of the Somali community.
“These awards represent a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation for the contribution that Somalis make to communities across the UK and around the world. All those who have been nominated for these awards should be incredibly proud of their achievements,” she said.
“I would also like to convey my gratitude for the wider work of the hosts, the Anti-Tribalism Movement, and for your organisation’s engagement on a variety of issues over recent years. You are doing important work to inspire young British Somalis with a hopeful and positive view of the future.”
Guests gathered for the ceremony in the heart of Westminster and were joined by sponsors from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Dahabshiil and several prominent VIPs including senior UK politicians, journalists from BBC and ITV, authors such as Nadifa Mohamed and other well-known personalities such as model Halima Aden, star of this year’s Milan fashion week, and Abdirashid Duale, the Chief Executive Officer of Dahabshiil.
Companies such as Dahabshiil have been recognised for their leadership in social entrepreneurship and job creation in the Somali regions throughout years of challenging economic conditions.
A GREAT HONOUR
Dahabshiil’s own contribution to relief efforts across the Horn of Africa include donating directly to drought relief committees operating the region, ongoing work to offer services to aid agencies operating in the the region, as well as waiving commissions on all donations.
Over the past six months, the company has given roughly $1 million (Sh100m) through direct donations, with a further $300,000 (Sh30m) of support announced last week as the crisis worsens.
Among the winners at the event were Ahmed Rooble, a scholar at Eton who was presented with the award for Outstanding Educational Achievement, and Mukhtar Ali, the promising footballer currently on loan at Vitesse, who won the Sports Person of the Year award.
Mukhtar Ali said: “I am very honoured to win this prestigious award, and it was remarkable to share the same platform with so many inspirational figures. The successes and contribution of Somalis in Britain and across the globe is notable and encouraging. I wholeheartedly thank the thousands who voted for me.”
Abdirashid Duale, who presented Mukhtar Ali with the sports award, said: “We will continue supporting young Somalis at home and abroad to achieve their dreams. I am happy for Mukhtar Ali for his achievement. He is a great inspiration to many young Somalis back at home and in the diaspora.