Psychologists argue that the deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated and feel recognized. This could never be more accurate. Even in terms of the work environment, it is common knowledge that employee appreciation results into more productivity, simply because as humans, when we are appreciated or recognized, it confirms the value attached to our efforts. With this satisfaction comes motivation, and consequently more productivity and even better efforts. This is the ideology that informed the inception of the Jomo Kenyatta University Students Association (JKUSA) Awards.
On the night of Thursday 17th November, the JKUAT students’ efforts in different categories and areas was culminated in the JKUSA Awards 2016. Awarding various remarkable personalities and organizations within the University throughout the year, the award ceremony, which involved online voting, saw more than 45 individuals and groups honored. The broad categories included Clubs and Societies, Politics and Leadership, Satellite Campus Awards, Fashion and Modelling, Sports Awards, Entertainment Awards, Social Media Awards, and Academic Awards.
Giving his opening remarks at the award ceremony, the JKUSA President Mr. Anyungu Wanyungu emphasized the significance of the awards, expressing his hope that the culture will continue even beyond the current student leadership. “We are not here just to study and leave. As students we are talented in so many non-academic areas, and the JKUSA Awards is here to nurture that beyond the University. For academic recognition, you realize we already have BABAROA. For Innovation and Career matters we also have events catering for such. JKUSA Awards is here to fill the remaining gap, and you will realize its significance by the end of the night…”
In the Clubs and Societies segment, the Community Service award went to JKUAT CU, who also bagged the Outstanding Club of the Year Award. The most promising club of the year award was taken by the Debate Club. On matters Politics and Leadership, the Most Influential Male student of the year award went to Ian Kinanga, while the Most Influential Female Student of the year award was taken by Melanie Kegehi. The Male Student Leader of the Year award went to Vincent Odima, the Hall Six Governor, whereas the Female Student Leader of the Year went to Sarah Mueni.
This category also featured the most exemplary deed of the year, which was awarded to the Hall Six firefighting. This was in recognition to the team work and comradeship that students exhibited when a fire incidence occurred at the male students’ hostel earlier in the year. In matters Fashion and Modelling, JB Jura of the Home 254 Apparel was crowned the Male Designer of the Year while Brenda Okuba clinched the Female Designer of the Year award. On matters Sports, the Female Sports Team of the Year was taken by the Basketball team as the Rugby team lifted the Male Sports Team of the Year. The Entertainment category had one of the most contested slots, with the Male Artist of the Year going to Denver Walter (Denver Cockey) and the Female Artist of the Year going to the beautiful Daphne Akinyi. The Photographer of the Year Award went to Odari Gerald, while DJ Bra clinched the DJ of the Year award.
Perhaps the most defining moment of the night was when the Dance crew of the Year award was controversially awarded to the E-Warriors, after the announcement that the JKUAT Salsa had won. The crowd, which was largely supporting the E-Warriors decided to vote afresh, apparently after it dawned on them that they had not converted their love for the dance crew into votes earlier. In other categories, the talented Ian Duncan won the Blogger of the Year Award, whereas Chief Thiga Rodgers clinched the award for Male Social Media Personality of the Year. Yvonne Waithera bagged the Female Social Media Personality of the Year.
It was however, not just about art and co-curricular categories. Under the Academic awards, Civil Engineering was voted the Course of the Year, and in the same breath College of Engineering (COETEC) emerged as the College of the Year. The School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) was the leader in the Schools category. The students did not just concentrate on their affairs alone. Dr. Jeconiah Okello of the Department of Pure and Applied Mathematics (COPAS) was awarded as the Lecturer of the Year, largely for his prowess in teaching Calculus. The Non-Teaching staff of the Year Award went to the popular University tuck-shop attendant, Mr. Rodgers Ashioya, whose great personality and good rapport with the students has always seen clients flock for his services.
It is realistically impossible to highlight everything that transpired at the JKUSA Awards, but one certain constant is that it was a great success and a promissory note to a better future. The ceremony was steered by the famous comedian and MC, Oga Obina alongside the JKUSA MC of the Year, Mbau Gitau. Of course there’s never a complete party without quality music. DJ Bash serenaded the crowd with a chain of hits. It was a hotbed of grandeur and everything pristine. For the esteemed nominees who fairly lost to their colleagues in various categories, I can only share with you what my great grandfather Abraham Lincoln once said; “Don’t worry when you’re not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”