On June 3, 2016, the winners of the 2016 African Blogger Awards were announced via Twitter – and Circumspecte was recognized as a top Africa blog with “world class content” for not one, but two categories: business, finance and entrepreneurship and social issues and citizenship!
The African Blogger Awards detracts from using peer nominations and voting, instead opting for scientific metrics and analytics that measure the reach, resonance and relevance of digital influencers and platforms. Co-founder and Webfluential Global Head of Strategy Murray Legg had this to say about this year’s winners:
“Our hearty congratulations go to the winners of the 2016 African Blogger Awards, all of whom are great examples of how Africans are choosing new ways to communicate and consume content. They are leapfrogging traditional media and historical constraints, and setting a new status quo in social commentary, information sharing and interaction across borders, democratizing access to information in the process. It is indeed an exciting time to be a part of the digital universe in Africa.”
Recognition for great original content on business, policy, social issues in Africa
Needless to say, it’s a wonderful feeling to be selected, out of over 2,000 entries submitted, as a top blog, runner-up and content producer in Africa. It is also a confirmation on the importance and need for creating original content that not just captures our many stories from across Africa, but also to add value to our development efforts. To inform, spur interaction and spur creative action geared at Africa and Africans. A confirmation that the hard work myself and my team mates Hakeem Adam and Germaine Bombande have poured into Circumspecte is worthwhile.
But that’s not all, we’re in very good company with 46 top-notch African blogs and platforms, including compatriots Ghana Health Nest and Naa Oyoo Quartey who were recognised in the public health and lifestyle categories respectively. This ia a very exciting development as it represents a strong improvement from previous editions of the awards: only one Ghanaian blog was featured in 2014 and none in 2015.
It’s also a great honor to be were recognized under the Business, Entrepreneurship & Finance and Social Issues and Active Citizenship categories. As Gates Foundation Africa Director Dr. Ayo Ajayi stated in his congratulatory message to winners under the three new categories on women’s empowerment, public health, social issues & active citizenship (sponsored by the Gates Foundation), it might not necessarily be glamorous to focus on “harder” or “less interesting” subjects like policy, the economy, human rights or African development, but it is so crucial to our livelihoods, common experiences and history as Africans.
Blogging for Impact
I highly encourage new bloggers and content producers to consider entering those spheres as well. For Circumspecte, it has been a lot of work creating content around “sensitive” or “hard” issues, doing research, making sure we fact check things and give an objective view as much as possible, and much of the impact has been on the individual level. In the past few years however, we are beginning to see some real impact and action as a result of our content, notable with our 2014 Ramadan Fundraiser , the #SisterhoodMatters campaign and our post on the terror attacks in Côte d’Ivoire a few months ago. I can’t promise that it will be easy, but it will definitely be worthwhile.
This milestone also brings with it a moment of pause, reflection and nostalgia. October 13 , 2016 will mark nine years since Circumspecte was created. Nine years, 470 articles and posts (this one being the 471st), countless insights shared, and hundreds of aha-moments and realizations.
Nine years with thousands of readers from across the world. At the end of the day, one thing is clear: Circumspecte is, because you (our readers, supporters) are.
There are have been countless times over those nine years that I have considered shutting down this platform, a few days -in more recent times – I have hovered over the delete button. What stopped me? You, our amazing readers, audience and supporters. Call it a trick of fate, but each time I came close to doing the unthinkable – because that’s what it is – one of you would send a tweet, or an email, or leave a message, or simply express how valuable something on the site has been to you. And that’s all it’s taken, because that’s why we exist: to add value and capture the beautiful expanse of our memories, experiences, realities, triumphs, challenges. We are, because you are.
As we approach our 10th year of existence, I realize that there is yet more to be done, yet more to learn, yet more to cover and share. Will the journey be easy? No one can say for sure. But what I can assure you is that our commitment remains to stay true and focus on providing quality content, spurring authentic interactions and inspiring others to be and do the best they can. Thank you for being part of our growing community and platform.
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.