The second edition of the annual Al Muslimah top 30 under 40 Achievements Awards went down this week at Prestige Palm in Prestige Plaza. The event honors the success, achievements and contribution of Kenya’s Muslim women and highlights the significant role women play in contributing to a great Kenya.
The nominees were categorized in several fields of academia, media, NGOs, politics, agriculture, law, sports, entrepreneurship and arts among other. Organized by Al Muslimah, a magazine exclusively dedicated to Muslim women in partnership with Chase Bank, Raabia Hawa took home two awards, the coveted Muslim Woman of the Year Award and Animal Conservation Award. Raabia is an animal lover and the founder of Ulinzi Africa Foundation and Walk with Rangers initiative which aims to raise funds for the first anti poaching unit in Kenya’s remote Northern Coast region. She has also been awarded the status of honorary KWS ranger by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife through her work. The event was topped up by a fashion show where Muslim models showcased the beauty, talent and sophistication of the 21st century Muslim woman.
Speaking to MumsVillage exclusively, the events founder and the editor of Al Muslimah magazine Rubina Rehman said, “Unlike last year where we used our database, this time we opened it to the public to nominate their favourites. There after the list was sent to the panel who gave recommendations on who was to be awarded. The awards acts as a self improvement and mentorship programme to Muslim women and also gives a bench a mark on means of achieving excellence. It also brings out the positive nature of Muslim women by showing their contribution to the community.” The event was emceed by media personality Amina Abdi.
AL MUSLIMAH TO 30 UNDER 40 ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS FULL WINNERS LIST
- HAWA BONAYA-ECONOMICS CATEGORY
She is an Economics and Statistics graduate from Kenyatta University who at only 22 years founded a mentorship program – Empowering the Younger Generations (EYG), with the aim of developing self- esteem, confidence, academic excellence and leadership both in and out of school among the youth. With the Help of fourteen (14) friends, who are also mentors at EYG, the program has been able to reach and impact positively the lives of 600 students from different schools in Kawangware, only 10 months since inception. Now 23 years old, she is currently an Associate at Price Water House Coopers (PwC) Kenya.
- FATMA MOHAMMED-ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY
She is the owner of Zara’s Travel, one of the very few IATA certified travel agencies in Mombasa. She started her career at Kenya Airways in 2005 at a tender age of 19. Her vision was always to run her own Travel company. After almost 7 years of work experience at the airline, she decided to begin her own travel agency with a team of great employees in 2010. Hard work and perseverance earn her the prestigious IATA certification in 2014.
Zara’s Travel now has branches in Malindi and Lamu. They currently service The National Assembly, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Lamu County and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute just to name a few. She managed to do all of this while balancing the family life – being a wife and mother of 3 beautiful young children.
- JAMILA EL JABRY– UP & COMING BLOGGER/PHOTOGRAPHER CATEGORY
Creating a forum through blogging is the new age form of writing. She is one among the few mainstream muslimah bloggers and has striven to restore the heritage of Mombasa County positively with its rich vibrant culture, the architectural old Town and of course savory Swahili food.
Her blog – Life in Mombasa has been showcasing the beauty and culture of Mombasa and her photography work in the community is just beautiful through her blog posts. Jamila has provided a number of youth a platform to showcase their talents either as contributing writers, photographers or commentators. Creating opportunities for the youth in Mombasa to develop themselves in a variety of positive themes such as inspirational write-ups and encouraging messages to the public.
- NASRA SHARIFF-SOCIAL WORKER CATEGORY
From old town Mombasa, she has been working as a community social worker for the last 10 years. She is the chairlady of Old Town Disaster group and the chairlady of the Old Town Community Health Workers group.
Going through early marriage did not stop her from working to improve the lives of other young women in the community. She is very passionate and hard working in community work and has worked with orphans, person living with disabilities and HIV. This year after having dropped out of school, she went back and sat for her KCSE exam.
- SOUAD SAID– YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY
This 20 year old young entrepreneur specializes in finance at Umma University. She joined Oriflame Swedish Cosmetics 2 years ago in the networking market and moved from being just an independent consultant to an independent sales manager to an independent sales senior manager and finally to an Independent sales director, making her the youngest in East Africa and among the youngest in Africa.
She used this opportunity to fund her own tuition and motivating many other young Muslim women and men in the market.
- AIDAH BINALE-RESEARCH CATEGORY
At 32 years old, she is the CEO at Umande Trust Water & Sanitation. It is a local NGO which believes that modest resources can significantly improve access to water, sanitation and environmental services if financial resources are strategically invested in support of community-led plans and actions.
She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geomatic and Geospatial Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She is also certified in IT and Computer Operation Monitoring and evaluation, project management. Represent in the Board of Kenya Water and sanitation Network (KEWASNET)
- ESHA OMAR-MEDIA CATEGORY
Trained at KIMC in public Relations and communications a well loved Kiswahili news caster and radio host at Iqra FM known as sister nyc by her multitude of listeners : Currently a senior presenter at Islamia TV hosting programs’ on social issues shows, Islamic Entertainment shows, presenting and field reporting.
- MWANAHAMISI AMADI-JOURNALIST CATEGORY
She is a senior Kiswahili News anchor citizen Nipashe, a journalist with over 10 years experience currently with Royal Media Services.
- FATIMA BHAIJI- UP & COMING ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY
Her skills are self taught one among new generation of aspiring wedding planners in the country the Owner and founder of Aura Events Organizing and Decor Company in 2013. Her journey started with doing free events for friends and family after which started small scale work and in just three years has established herself to become among the top most event planning company in the country and the most sought after wedding planner in the country doing high profile weddings, major corporate events countrywide. She studied at USIU and graduated with a degree in International Business. Currently doing her MBA with an online University in London her passion is the Sunnah of weddings.
- JAMILA KHAMIS-CULINARY ARTS CATEGORY
Trained at the International Hotel and Tourism Institute in Culinary Arts, Jamila has worked as a chef at Villa Rosa Kempinski and is the founder of her own event management company.
- SITI JUMA-CREATIVE ARTS CATEGORY
Being one of the revered artists in the country, she has carved out a niche in the competitive market Siti’s love for henna art sprouted in her tentative years but piqued in her teenage years when she seriously took it on at 16 years. She combines talent, art, culture, heritage, community and entrepreneurship. Since then, her customer base has grown cutting across borders. Luring patronage from as far as Mexico, Norway, England and Canada just to name a few.
- RUKIA ABDALLAH- I.T CATEGORY
She is a program manager at Nairobits trust, an organization dealing with youth/women empowerment through ICT. Representing kibra, Rukia is a beneficiary of the program and has over 10 years working experience in the fields of ICT and Non – Governmental Organizations in managing projects.
She was the Lead Trainer at ZanziBits Multimedia School in Tanzania; was Project Coordinator – Coordinating three donor projects across Eastern Africa; Managing and supervising donor projects in Nairobits in ICT, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Entrepreneurship projects. She has also managed and supervised the setting up of other Bits schools in Kampala, Arua (Nothern Uganda), Zanzibar, Musoma (Tanzania), Jamshoro (Pakistan), Addis Ababa and Tamale (Ghana), where thousands of youths have graduated and benefited from these centers.
- MARIAM MPATAA-COUNSELOR CATEGORY
The 37 year old from Mombasa with a big heart for the youth, as the founder and Programme Director of Junior Stars Youth Development programme, holds a Bachelor of Development Studies (Hons) Makerere University, Kampala. A Higher Diploma in Counseling Studies, Kenya Association of Professional Counselors Studies, Mombasa.
The Trainer of trainers in counseling studies, Kenya Association of Professional Counselors, Mombasa 2009 was selected as one of the Top 40 under 40 women in Kenya 2014 by Nation Media Group, for being outstanding in the use of football and youth mentorship programmes as drivers for social change.
- RAABIA HAWA-ANIMAL CONSERVATION CATEGORY AND MUSLIM WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Raabia Hawa is an Honorary Warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service. She is passionate about conservation and an animal lover. She is the founder of Ulinzi Africa Foundation and Walk with Rangers initiative which aims to raise funds for the first anti poaching unit in Kenya’s remote Nothern Coast region. She contributed significantly to the National Judicial Dialogues held in Amboseli aimed at refining the amendments to the then proposed wildlife bill of Kenya and participated in the Conversation with Civil Society hosted by President Barack Obama, 2015.
- SUHAILA ABOUD-PSYCHOLOGIST CATEGORY
A health and Gender Based Violence (GBV) technical expert with 8 years of providing emergency essential life saving GBV response, comprehensive case management and psychosocial support has been working in a an international non-governmental humanitarian organization in an urban slum.
After the post election violence in Kenya she pioneered in the establishment of a sexual violence recovery center that has become one of the best practice one stop center for sexual violence clinic that operates within 24 hours every day.
Involved in training over 500 health workers in 7 different counties in the country, she holds a BA in counseling psychology from the University of Nairobi, a Diploma in clinical medicine and surgery from the Kenya Medical Training College and is currently pursuing an MA in gender and developmental studies at Kenyatta University.
- MOZA JADEED-LAW CATEGORY
She is passionate about women’s rights and Shari’ah, is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya for 10 years standing and an international women’s rights lawyer. She practices as an independent Legal and Development Consultant and has over nine years experience in research and training in the areas of Gender, Legal, Human and Women’s rights.
Moza Jadeed has also trained as a Public Interest Litigation attorney and is presently prosecuting two hijab cases before the Kenyan High Court and the Court of Appeal. She holds a Master of Laws degree in International Legal Studies from the Georgetown University Law Center in the United States and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the same field at the University of Nairobi – School of Law. Additionally, she is a Lecturer in the Department of Public Law at the same university in its Mombasa Campus and the Patron of the Muslim Students Association of the University of Nairobi.
- NABEELA IBRAHIM-ACADEMIC CATEGORY
She has been actively empowering young Muslim women with limited access to education to be productive and self-reliant in economic and social development and life skills for the last four years. She has conducted seminars for girls in universities and after high school on balancing their Islamic identity while seeking knowledge.
Nabeela has also been involved in conflict resolution and peer education through student’s alumni associations which she helped form. She has a Master of Business Administration In Strategic Management from University of Nairobi Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honors) currently pursuing a PhD in Business Administration Agriculture and Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University. She is currently lecturing at Ummah University Business School at only 26 years old.
- KHADIJA MAHMOUD-UP & COMING CONSTRUCTION/ ARCHITECTURE /COMMERCIAL CATEGORY
Currently a sixth year student at University of Nairobi studying Architecture, she has already received her first degree (Bachelor of Architectural Studies) and will be receiving the next (Bachelor of Architecture) in four months. So far she has interned at Symbion and IPDC Architectural firms. She has actively participated in designing buildings /construction and rehabilitation projects. She is passionate about her chosen field as it is rare to find women, let alone Muslim women, in this career.
- AISHA KHAN-UP & COMING YOUNG STUDENT LEADER
A second year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism at USIUA through a sponsorship program, Aisha became the only Muslim student to run for a leadership position. She was the most voted for with 95% of all the votes representing approximately 6,000 students at the university at large being exemplary in her Muslim identity through positive and effective leadership.
She takes part in many fundraising activities such as the Faraja Cancer Support Fundraising where all proceedings where directed to cancer patients. She has also been part of the strategic planning committee 2015-2020 at USU-Africa where she was among the three students selected from the university to represent students concerns at the management level. Her future goal is to form her own media network in support of the Muslim ummah.
- AISHA TAIB-LAW CATEGORY
Aisha studied Law at Keele University in the UK between 2010-2013 graduating with an LLB (hons) and an award for the top grade in Gender, Law and Sexuality. She then went on to do her LLM in International Law and Human Rights also at Keele University.
At the university, she became part of the team that set up the first official Pro Palestine student society at Keele known as Keele Friends of Palestine, in which she served as the Vice President and later President. Aisha also had the opportunity to work as an intern with several organizations while studying law, such as the Kenya National Commission of Human Rights, Beale and Company (a London law firm) and Anjarwalla, Collins and Haidermota a Dubai based law firm. She moved back to Kenya after completing her studies and has been working at Taib A Taib Advocates since September 2014.
- KALTHUMA HASSAN-ENTREPRENUER CATEGORY
She is the founder and owner of Anissa Fitness Health Club a fully fledged female only gym with women’s only staff of highly qualified fitness nutrition and training team. Her aim is to provide a comfortable and Islamic environment for women to attain their fitness goals.
- UMI WAMBOBA-CORPORATE CATEGORY
She is an exemplary revert to Islam for the last 10yrs and is currently the Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Takaful Insurance of Africa. She is a Communications, Branding, Media and Public Relations Expert with over ten years experience. Umi Wamboba has previously worked in Public/Private Sector Advocacy at the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).
She also worked at Gulf African Bank and East African Educational Publishers (EAEP) as well as in various media establishments in the country including the Nation Media Group and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in various capacities. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Nairobi, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Daystar University with other various professional qualifications.
- Dr. NAJLA BALALA-UP & COMING MEDICINE CATEGORY
Dr. Najla Balala is an exemplary muslimah with a vision for helping others and mentoring Muslim doctors in her field. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a bachelor of medicine and a bachelor of surgery. Currently she interns at the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi, awaiting registration by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, to acquire a permanent license so that she can practice as a medical doctor in Kenya.
- LAILA RAMADAN-SOCIAL WORKER CATEGORY
Having been a victim of child abuse and marital abuse Laila Ramadan vowed that she would find a way to help women and children have a voice and stand up for their rights.
Knowing firsthand how it feels like to go through the same, she volunteered in women/children based organizations until she finally formed her own organization, Soul Sister Network which helps make a positive change in the Ummah. Soul Sister Network’s activities include women empowerment, Sister to sister programs which involves offering mentorship for teenage girls, Usalama where they sensitize youth on the dangers of radicalization and extremism and charity programmes that include feeding /clothing the less fortunate/orphans and digging of boreholes.
- RAMLA OMAR-DISABLED CATEGORY
Ramla is the founder of a group for the disabled called Al-muqtadir Association for the Physically Challenged. She champion’s two main projects that benefit the community, teaches computer basic applications to the disabled and those without disability and also teaches madrassa to those living with disability only. She sits in CDF executive committee in Mvita constituency representing the persons living with disability.
- BISHORO EUROPE-NURSING OFFICER/ PARAMEDIC NURSE CATEGORY
Bishoro Europe is a paramedic nurse with 5 years of progressive expertise in delivery of humanitarian and health programs in Kenya and Somalia. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors degree in Development Studies Majoring in Women and Gender and was actively engaged in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of reproductive, maternal/ child health and nutrition, capacity building of staff through on job training, networking and partnership inclusive of outreach activities.
She has worked with several NGO’s partnering with the MOH implementing health programs mainly in comprehensive primary health care and nutrition programs, Gender based violence, policy engagements and start-up operations with resident communities and refugee populations in MOH owned facility and building of refugee structures. She has experience in project management, health technical support, community mobilization and sensitization, development of IEC/BCC materials for health program, capacity building, health advocacy and social mobilization.
- FATMA A. LATIF – PUBLIC SERVICE CATEGORY
Fatma was awarded Most Outstanding Young Diplomat of the Year Award, Canberra (2013) currently a first Secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of foreign affairs International Trade, Europe & Commonwealth Directorate handling countries of the western/east central Europe. She has 8 years of diplomatic and civil service experience. Previously she had been posted at the Kenya High Commission in Canberra, Australia to serve her country for four years.
She mentors young people in various backgrounds, fields including volunteer lecturing on topical issues, and also contributes to writing inspirational articles to motivate people as a Master of Arts (M.A) in International Studies and Bachelor of Arts (B.A) First Class Honours University of Nairobi.
- HADIJA NGUNYI-SOCIAL WORKER CATEGORY
Born and raised in Korogocho slums her passion is addressing the plight of underprivileged people in the community. This is what she had to say.”It is due to this background that through the LIHT organization, I have reformed 200 young mothers by bringing them together and giving them an alternative life through entrepreneurship skill and engaged in small enterprises, reaching out to older persons, listening and addressing their grievances, been able to reach out to 221 persons with disabilities and supported them in different ways including inclusion, enabling accessibility and empowerment initiatives and support the under privileged in our communities.
I believe the secret lies in recognizing, supporting, empowering and involving vulnerable and marginalized persons in our societies. Growing together, leaving no one behind”.
- SUMAYYA ATHMANI -LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORY
She is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya. Sumayya has previously served as a Deputy Managing Director of the National Oil Corporation of Kenya. She has a Masters in Commercial Law and she attended University of Oxford’s Business School.