Scrummage.co.ke journalist Dave Mwaura is the 2021 Rugby Africa Media Award winner.
Mwaura was feted in a virtual ceremony held on Wednesday 13 October 2021 after his story-Monate Akuei: From South Sudan war ashes to rugby stardom was voted as the best in the inaugural Rugby Africa Media Awards. Uganda’s John Batanudde won the photo of the year award.
The awards honored the glorious game in Africa captured through the creative eyes and words of those that promote rugby in every corner of the continent.
Mwaura and Batanudde were among six journalists who were shortlisted from over 1500 submissions sent to Rugby Africa following an application process between 17th May to 31st July 2021.
The competition was open to journalists and photographers who have remarkably captured the love of the game on and off-field. The winners were voted for by a jury chaired by World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.
The jury had current and past male and female rugby players including three of South Africa’s Rugby World Cup winners of 2019; Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Kenya 7s legend Humphrey Kayange, Collins Injera, as well as high-ranking senior executives of companies active in Africa from Google to Uber, Jaguar Land Rover to Visa and Pfizer to Harley Davidson, and male and female rugby referees.
Speaking after scooping the award Mwaura said:
“I am extremely thrilled to receive the 2021 Rugby Africa Media award. I would like to thank the panelists who voted for me and also like to thank Rugby Africa for seeing it fit to have such recognition in the continent. It will motivate journalists and photographers who work hard to ensure our beautiful sport gets the required coverage,” Mwaura told the Scrummage.
“I would like to dedicate this award to my sweet parents Mr. and Mrs. John Mwaura for their sacrifice in ensuring I reach even greater heights,”
“To my team at www.scrummage.co.ke, I just want to let you know that I wouldn’t have reached this stage without your support, opportunity, and guidance. I promise to continue working diligently to serve the Kenyan and continental,” he concluded.
Juror and Chairman of Standard Bank Group, Thulani Gcabashe was taken by the work of art displayed by the winning image.
“The image captured was certainly action-packed! The runner with the ball has determination all over his face. He is much bigger and stronger-looking than those tackling him, and the mud makes catching him almost impossible – a metaphor for the struggles one has to go through to win.”
Senior Vice President, Visa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Aida Diarra said that the awards proved that sports and rugby in particular could bring unity in diversity.
“Sports have the ability to bring people together and are a catalyst for many to push further and reach beyond what is expected. The articles and pictures submitted were all impressive and the winners of this competition have truly reflected how sports can build a more inclusive world.”
Accompanying juror and Vice President of Europe – Middle East – Africa of Harley Davidson, Dr Kolja Rebstock, said that he was thoroughly impressed by the quality showcased.
“I myself love taking pictures and I know how difficult it can be at times to freeze and capture the right sharp moment at the right angle. You need an eye and heart for seeing a beautiful background and capturing the precise emotion behind an image. It was indeed a very hard choice to make and I would like to congratulate all participants and the winners.”
APO Group Founder and Chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard said that he was thankful to the jury for sharing their time and input into the Awards.
“It was a pleasure and privilege to have the quality of jury members that chose to be part of the awards. It was significant that the greats across the game including World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont and the high-ranking executives placed emphasis on supporting the game in Africa. Their input and experience has set the bar for future awards and critiquing of entries.”