The OLX SOMA Awards – Embracing The Growing Importance Of Social Media


For many, social media controls their lives. Our social media accounts are the first and last thing we check during the day and it has its good, bad and ugly sides though in my opinion the effects of social media are balanced. All that really matters is how are you using it.

An example of the major impacts social media has had, even with its effects rippling all the way to governments is the Panama Papers leaks. Just the other day, a Panamanian law firm leaked over 11.5 million documents showing how some very wealthy and influential individuals used offshore accounts for illegal purposes, including tax evasion. The Panama papers controversy shook the world in just one day, all because of social media.

Another effect worth mentioning is how much information you can get in real time. The fact that one can get information concerning politics, disasters etc., is one that we cannot take for granted. Almost 20 years ago, we would not have such power in our hands; right now, we know what’s happening in a country thousands of kilometers away from us. Granted that most of us don’t even watch news when it happens and instead get information from sites like Twitter, only echo the growing importance of social media in our lives.

Social media has forever changed the way society works, especially in Kenya. This is quite evident from the OLX SOMA gala dinner awards held last week on Friday at the Safari Park. The Awards which were hosted by Jeff Koinange and Amina Abdi, is Kenya’s biggest platforms in recognizing organizations and platforms in their impeccable positive use of social media, only echoed the importance of how we all use social media.

Jalango was one of the winners at SOMA Awards. Image from //
Jalango was one of the winners at SOMA Awards. Image from

The 2016 OLX Social Media Awards, which is now in its fourth year was themed ‘Transforming Lives’ in a bid to create a lasting conversation on how social media has directly impacted lives and also to serve as a platform where these individuals and organizations can be celebrated and appreciated for the work they do.

‘Are you using social media productively?’ is the question that the Former Director of Digital communication in the office of the president, Dennis Itumbi asked the audience. He emphasized on the power that the audience at the gala dinner has especially in narrative of changing the face of the country. He said that those who do not use their handles for truth end up in the dustbin because they will be forgotten as fast as their lives come and it is important that we turn our social media handles into handles of truth, especially in this critical time when the county heads into the 2017 general elections.

The power that individuals have, especially on Twitter, is not one that should be taken lightly. The influence that can be harnessed through these individuals particularly when brought together is a factor that should be considered especially if we aim to effectively transform the community through positive social media.

One such example is Boniface Mwangi, who won this year’s Twitter Personality of the Year award. He is an award-winning photojournalist involved in matters social-political activism and his actions have encouraged more youth in taking bold steps to building a new Kenya. His works have championed more young people to actively participate in the political arena of the country, as opposed to watching the country’s political lifeline die as they watch on the sidelines.

The OLX SOMA awards that was launched on June 30th had an addition of three new sub categories to the list of the existing 25 sub-categories making them 28 in total. They are the Social Network Category, Social Corporation Category, Media category, government category

Among the winners include Caroline Mutoko for the YouTube channel Award, Boniface Mwangi as the Twitter Personality of the Year, KCB scooped the Financial Services Award and Ambassador Dr. Amina Mohammed bagged the Most Social Government Personality award. The full list of winners is below.

  1. Social Network Category
  2. Facebook Personality Award

Jaymo Ule Msee

  1. Twitter Personality Award

Boniface Mwangi

  1. Instagram Personality Award


  1. New Blogger Personality Award

  1. YouTube Channel Award

Caroline Mutoko 

  1. Social Corporation Category
  2. Financial Services Award

KCB Group

  1. Retail Services Award


  1. Consumer Product Award

UBER Kenya

  1. Tech-Telecom Award


  1. Hospitality Service Award

Bonfire Adventures

  1. Manufacturing Award

Bidco Africa

  1. Government Category
  2. Most Social Government Personality Award

Amb. Dr. Amina Mohammed

  1. Most Social State Corporation Award

Higher Education Loans Board

Media Category

  1. Most Social Television Show Award

Churchill Live Show

  1. Most Social Radio Show Award

Capital FM: Hits Not Homework

  1. News Channel Award

Citizen TV

  1. Most Influential Media Personality Award

Alex Chamwada

  1. Educational Institution Category
  2. Most Social Learning Institution Award

Kenyatta University

  1. Most Influential Student Leader Award

Babu Owino – UoN

  1. Sports Category
  2. Most Social Sports Personality Award

Julius Yego

  1. Most Social Sports Club, Team or Association Award

Kenya 7s

  1. Entertainment Category
  2. Most Social Entertainment Personality Award

Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill

  1. Best Use of Social Media Category
  2. Social Responsibility Award

Beyond Zero Campaign

  1. Agriculture Award

Shamba Shape Up

  1. Biz Yangu Award

Expeditions Maasai Safaris

  1. Personality of the year award

Alex Chamwada

  1. Organization of the year award

Expeditions Maasai Safaris


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