‘Adventures’ wins ‘Best Overall Blog’ and ‘Best Activist Blog’ at the 1st Ghana Social Media Awards

Malaka has asked me to give a ‘blow by blow’ account of how we (and I really feel this is a collective effort from everyone who contributes to Adventures – those who read, comment, and our tech team at Web4Africa) won ‘best overall blog’ and ‘best activist blog’ at Ghana’s 1st Social Media Awards organised by Blogging Ghana which took place yesterday in Accra at the Kofi Annan Information Techonology Centre.

I nearly didn’t attend this event. I had looked at the agenda and the item that looked most appealing to me was the ‘Women and Social Media’ session so I tweeted @BloggingGhana to find out who was moderating the session and I was told @KinnaReads. Phew, I knew the session would be in good hands then, and so I thought, “Yep, this is the session I will definitely go to.” However, yesterday ended up being one of those hectic days, and before I knew it was 5pm and I’d missed the session. “Was there any point in still going to Blog Camp?” I wondered. “It’s only going to look like I came in the hopes of collecting an award and if I don’t win anything I will have one of those awkward Oscar moments when the camera lingers on the face of the nominee who lost”.  Ah, i decided in this case the cliche ‘better late than never’ would have to hold true, looked for clothes that didn’t need ironing (we had no electricity the whole day) and sett of for the Kofi Annan Centre. I arrived a few minutes to 6pm and bumped into @osarpong in the reception. He gave me a hug and said “The auditorium is full. You’ll have to sit upstairs”.  I could hear the voice of Kobby Graham intermingled with laughter from the audience as I sashayed up the stairs. I found somewhere to sit and peered over the railings. Yes, it was a full audience. People were laughing, interacting with others, whilst simultaneously on their phones or laptops. On a projector behind were displays of live tweets about #BlogCamp13 which caused much hilarity.

Then the MC’s (Kobby and Kuukuwa) announced that it was time for the Blog Awards. You could feed the anticipation grow in the audience. I was intrigued and enjoying my bird’s eye view of the proceedings when suddenly Edward of Nandi Mobile (one of the organisers) tapped me on the shoulder. “We need you in the auditorium” he said. “But the auditorium is full” I protested. “I will find you space” he said, as he picked up my chair and started heading downstairs. “Does this mean good news?” I asked him. “No” was his response, “all the nominees need to be in the auditorium”. “Hmmm, don’t come and shy me o” I retorted whilst following him down the stairs.

Edward placed my seat at the rear of the auditorium next to a couple of sisters and after a couple of seconds the woman sitting next to me remarked, “Are you Nana Darkoa? We were looking for you in the ‘Women and Social Media’ session”, the woman sitting in the row in front of us turned and said “I’m really happy to meet you. I was looking to meet you earlier”. I felt so bad that I’d missed the session and apologised saying, “I’ll find a way to make it up to you.”. “You should speak to Kinna” said the first woman who had spoken to me, she was telling us how important it is for women to blog, we spoke about a group for women bloggers, you should speak to her about it. I agreed to follow up.

The US Ambassador to Ghana was invited to present the award for the best blog, and started off with a speech that lasted for about 10 minutes. What I remember from that speech was him saying that the US Embassy had launched its first blog that very day at BlogCamp, congratulating the organisers and numerous volunteers behind Blogging Ghana, mentioning that the US Embassy had recently recruited a woman called Abena to manage their social media assets, and that MacJordan had also been recently named their Internet Freedom Fellow …not bad I thought whilst saying hello to friends like @paakoti and @MutomboDaPoet who had happened to walk behind my seat during the speech. His speech came to an end, and I started to pay attention again. The long list of nominated blogs went up on the projector, and in the next breath I heard ‘the best blog goes to Adventures from…’ I was so happy. This was unexpected. There had been so many blogs listed in this category and even though I knew ‘Adventures’ deserved to win the category I didn’t know that we would. I walked up to the stage to receive the award. It was heartwarming to see so many smiles, and hear so many people say ‘congratulations’ as I went up. My dear friend Nana Kofi Acquah who had himself been nominated in this category screamed ‘that’s my girl’ from the side of the stage. I was overjoyed. The best blog award came with a prize of GHC1000 (approximately US$500), a phone, a plaque, certificate and a goody bag filled with souvenirs from sponsors including Energy Solutions Foundation, Google Ghana and Tigo.

A few minutes later I also picked up ‘Best Activist Blog’ for ‘Adventures’. My happiness was complete. I wanted to congratulate Graham who had 2 blogs nominated in that same category, and I think is a good example of a passionate activist, but couldn’t think on the spot of how to do this graciously so spoke instead about, “this was the category I wanted to win the most because it means that people recognise that Adventures is not about mere titillation although of course, titillation is very important”.  People in the audience broke out in murmurs and laughter. “Titi what”, “tittilation?” ,”brofo” ( for our non Twi speaking readers brofo translates as ‘English’ with the implication being ‘Ei. You are speaking big English o). It was all said in good fun.

The awards ceremony soon came to a close and I felt very special as lots of people came up to shake my hand and congratulate me. A lovely lady asked to take a photo with me and also took the pictures of me holding the award below. Thanks sis.

I am really happy Adventures won these two awards. I am happy because the most important place to gain recognition is in your home country and this doesn’t happen often especially when you tackle taboo subjects. A good friend of mine at the event said, and I paraphrase, “I am really happy you won because sometimes the way people talk about homosexuality I get scared. This shows that people are more progressive than we think”. It is my hope that those sentiments are true.

Some of you may be wondering. So what will you do with the prize money? I’m thinking to split it in 3. A third to be shared by Malaka and I (a while ago we agreed that if we got any money from Adventures we would split it 70:30 in recognition of the different amounts of work we have invested in the blog. Abi MASI?). A third to be invested in the blog – currently we’re in the final stages of developing our new blog and we can use some of this money to renew our domain name for the next couple of years and commission or purchase some images. The final third will go into a fund for Adventures to be used for the Adventures anthology whenever that comes out. This anthology will be sold online and via Amazon and future proceeds could be used to pay regular contributors who write for the site. How does that sound? Do our contributors and readers have any thoughts on what else this final third could be used for?

From left to right: Nana Darkoa of Adventures, Kinna who picked up an special honorary award on behalf of the Ghana Decides and Ganyobi Naa who also took home 2 awards on the night.
From left to right: Nana Darkoa of Adventures, Kinna who picked up an special honorary award on behalf of the Ghana Decides and Ganyobi Naa who also took home 2 awards on the night.
We won!
We won!
Thrilled to have the 'best overall blog'
Thrilled to have the ‘best overall blog’
Yes to being recognised for our activism around sexualities
Yes to being recognised for our activism around sexualities
Notebooks from 'Energy Solutions Foundation' were in the goody bag
Notebooks from ‘Energy Solutions Foundation’ were in the goody bag
Blogging Ghana showed us the money

22 comments On ‘Adventures’ wins ‘Best Overall Blog’ and ‘Best Activist Blog’ at the 1st Ghana Social Media Awards

  • I’m still on a high from the events. Thank you for not disappointing all those who could not attend and giving us a perfect blow by blow! I’m glad you went and represented us so beautifully in word and shadda. 🙂

    (I’m supposed to be working, and I’m hiding in the bathroom so I could be sure to leave a comment. )

  • Love the write up! Congrats again 🙂

  • Your red skirt made it easy for me to find you…so @osarpong got a hug and I didn’t?????

  • @Malaka – Oh chale, the life of a Mum with children. E go be eh…is 2016 the year? Or its 2014?

    @Oluniyi – I am so grateful to you, Ellis, Leonard, Layo and all of the Web4Africa team for sponsoring Adventures and for all the tech support and advice. I remember how you hassled me to move from blogspot to wordpress. And you’ve been continuously on my case about needing to update this design too…well we’re almost there with the demo site so new site coming soon 🙂

    @Jemi – Thanks love

    @Edward – Ha! I’ll give you a hug next time I see you ok?

  • congrats!!! Nana D why are you always going on about your size? you look perfect with your African woman’s shape ie: enough stuff ‘up & down’ 🙂

  • @Ekuba – Thank you for the congratulatory message, and thank you for the vital part you have played in making ‘Adventures’ the vibrant space it is :)\

    As to why I am always complaining about my figure its because I am bigger than I would like to be. I don’t mind my figure as it is now except I wish I had a flat stomach (which I’ve never had in my life) and somehow in the past year my arms have become flabby which was never the case before…plus the fact that people stay reminding me of how much weight I have gained doesn’t help me to love my figure. I like bits of my figure – I like my boobs, my calves, do fingers count? 😛

  • People that have boobs complain, people wey no get any nko?
    And my own flabbiness is genetic. It showed up with hormones at 15 and I have been cursing my grandma in my heart since even though I love her.

    Well done, seriously!

  • Nana, I’ll say again that your outfit, smashing!, and acceptance speech(es) really added to the awards – it now became more glamorous and almost a little bit like the Oscars!

    Congrats to both you and Malaika. One thing said by the judges was that communication with readers were important to them, something you excel and inspire in!

  • @Nnenna hun, I like my boobs o. Its the one part of my body that i know I like for sure..even though they have started the southward journey 🙂

    Seriously, thank you sis for STWNM, you have played a key role in taking the blog to the next level, and your regular contributions means I can ‘chill’ and also enjoy the blog. Much love

    @ Kajsa – Awww, thanks sweetie. Its funny, I said to my Mum when I was leaving the house, “I’m a bit overdressed. Techies and blogger types like to wear jeans.”, and she was like “You’re not overdressed at all”, so I’m glad that worked out and added some va va voom (not that you needed any). Thank you for feedback from the judges. It will be great to get more. Kinna told me we needed to increase our font size. I assured her that we have a new blog in demo that we are currently asking our regular contributors to give feedback on so that’s being addressed. Thank you for all the work you have done leading Blogging Ghana. I’m proud of you. And yes, we excel in communication with our fellow Adventurers 🙂

  • Nana,
    Ooh I’m so proud! Thanks for the blow by blow. It was helpful seeing as I didn’t know it was such a big thing. As for your body…abi you know how I feel…needing to be your “normal” size is a worthy goal but in the meantime, strut what you got! Life is too short to spend worrying about the size u used to be or want to be. mwah!

  • Congratulations Nana!! Much deserved wins. Cheers to Adventuresfrom.com and keep getting better and better!
    I love the photograph captioned “we won!”

  • First of all congrats again. You guys do a helluva job here. Second (this is really 1st), you look great. From someone who has suffered over body image, etc. I’m done. Wearing the big girl panties now. It also helps I now let men be my mirror. Overall they celebrate rather than nitpick the way we do.
    Lastly, the prize $ share could go toward future competition(s). Younger readers come to mind.

    On another note NEW FONT SIZE. Yeah!! Excited I am.

  • I have no idea what I look like reading this lovely post but I suspect that if I had a mirror in front of me I’d find myself looking like the kid who got the biggest cookie. At least that’s how I feel. Congrats, congrats and more congrats! You could not deserve it any more than you do.
    Sounds like a memorable evening.

  • @Kuukua – Thank you sweetie for your contribution to Adventures, and also for joining us on our panel this Friday. I know its going to be a really useful (albeit sensitive) topic to discuss. I appreciate your bravery in giving voice to critical issues. Re my body: I am strutting it girlll

    @Saffron – Yes! WE definitely won. I’m looking forward to more stories from you *wink* Thanks for the great contributions so far

    @Jamez – Chale, I’m so done too with complaining about my body. I’m bored with the subject already. Say more about future competitions and younger readers. What are you suggesting? I am liking what I am thinking is your idea but I want to make sure I am not misunderstanding you…

    @MsAfropolitan – Awww sis, you’re the best. This comment means a lot to me.

  • Nana and Malaka, congrats. You girls soooo deserve it.

    Aunty, thanks for looking RED HOT. That is my favorite color and you wore it well!! 🙂 Did someone ask for your digits, because, hmmmm….

    Side note://
    When I was looking at the first pic, I swear I thought you had circled your breasts,(prolly new fashion trend in GH) only to realize it was the letter G from the awards. Don’t mind me oo.

  • Wow!! Congratulations!! Now this is an excuse to party in the name of Adventures. Adventures readers all over the world can take turn to party to celebrate this starting from Accra, London. USA and then the rest of the world where there is a significant number of Adventures readers.

  • @Nana D actually what you intend to use the prize money for sounds great and noble. I particularly like the bit about putting the money into a fund to finance Adventures anthropology and also to pay a token to the talented contributors who write for Adventures.

  • Congratulation to everybody dat has contributed to this blog, i only read the posts and seldomly comment (My bad), but i always recommend this blog to ma friends esp ma female friends so they can read and enjoy the intelligence of every writer on this blog, which always get positive feedbacks.

    i believe there is more to come and can’t wait for the new blog. Thank you very much Nana Dakoa for introducing me to this blog.

  • I admire your great writing skill.Keep it up.Can you please help me on how to insert pictures and videos on my blog?

  • @AM – My darling niece, thank you o. No one asked me for my digits o 🙁

    @Kweku – Lol! Cracking up at the thought of Adventure parties all over the world. Thank you for supporting the idea for the Adventures anthology and paying contributors.

    @Ell Nana – Yay glad you came out of hiding to comment 🙂 Thank you for sharing this blog with your women friends and please comment more often. Bloggers live for comment (at least this blogger does).

    @ Godwin – Thank you. Depends what kind of blog you have. If your’s is a Word Press blog like this one then simply click ‘Add Media’ when you’ve created a post. However it will be probably be easier to try a You Tube tutorial on blogging. All the best

  • @ Nana D – What came to mind was youth but I didn’t flesh it out. I will put my thinking cap on and get back to you.

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