Announcement

Afrobloggers 2020 – Blogger Of The Year

The 16th of February started like any other Tuesday. When the alarm sounded at 05h30, I lay in bed for a little while, mentally preparing myself for another chaotic school morning – waking the kids, getting them dressed, preparing breakfast, supervising the actual eating and packing lunches, all whilst trying to maintain a level of calm and block out the usual grumblings of why eating and school are needed. Somewhere in the middle of this, I glanced at my phone to find a Facebook message from a fellow blogger saying, “Good morning Blogger of the Year”. I only expected the results on 28th February so I initially dismissed this as a friendly greeting. But half an hour later, my niece Olerato tagged me on her IG story, congratulating me for winning awards for the Best Wellness Blog AND Blogger of the Year. Shocked, it was then that I checked the Afrobloggers website and saw the big announcement! Yes indeed, it was true!

When I started my running journey, I used blogging as a way to hold myself accountable and share my personal experiences as well as the lessons that were usually not far behind. The positive response I received made me realise I had the potential to inspire others in a similar position to me and this motivated me to keep going. In the world of blogging, I joined networks and formed connections and friendships which became such a fulfilling aspect of blogging. When I learnt of the Afrobloggers community, I also realised there were several other African Bloggers, all sharing their unique thoughts and perspectives in their various niches.

There’s a lot of hard work, effort and juggling that goes on behind the scenes to get blogs written, photos taken and to engage with others. For runner bloggers, there’s also the added dimension of actually running to keep the blog going! And not all runs are easy so there’s a certain vulnerability that comes with blogging as you share failed runs or races, general fears and anxieties and emotional and physical hurdles. So winning the Best Wellness Blog was a signal to me that sharing my journey and being vulnerable has been worth it and that others have been inspired to start or keep going in their own personal fitness journeys.

To say I am honoured, humbled and overjoyed that I also won the Blogger of the Year Award doesn’t even come close to defining how I feel. I had hoped for the Wellness Award but I’d never even expected this one. In my congratulatory letter, Afrobloggers wrote:

“This award is for you as a person and the personality you bring to your blog. In a difficult year such as 2020 you inspired many through the honest, fun and never give up attitude you shared on your blog! When your plans were disrupted you never gave up, even when it meant ‘running crazy circles in the garden’. Your blog shows that you value family even when you are doing what you love. That is the spirit of Ubuntu and we celebrate you”.

Even though she is not here, I want to recognise my mum for her unwavering support – for saving every school paper I ever wrote, for encouraging me to write even when I felt I had nothing worth saying, for reading every blog even though she wasn’t a runner and for believing in me when I doubted myself. I’m incredibly sad that she is not here for this moment but I can feel her cheeky grin and tears of pride. Thank you to my family and friends for the amazing support and encouragement. Thank you to the running community for embracing me and my journey. Thank you to those who have contributed to my blog by writing interesting articles for me. Thank you to my loyal readers, most of whom I’ve never met – I’m so grateful for you taking the time to read. To all who voted and campaigned for two weeks, I’m forever indebted to you and promise to keep running and writing. And to my husband, thank you for all the photos.

Thank you to the Afrobloggers Team for creating a platform that supports African Bloggers and recognises their hard work and contributions to the continent and the world. And finally, to all the winners across the different categories as well as those who were nominated, a heartfelt congratulations to you all. Let us continue to support each other and make our voices heard.

I’m joining Kooky Runner and Zenaida on their link up, Tuesday Topics. I’m also joining the Runner’s Roundup with Mile By MileCoach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.

35 thoughts on “Afrobloggers 2020 – Blogger Of The Year

  1. AWESOME!!!!! I KNEW YOU WOULD CRUSH IT, SHATHISO!

    I am so, so happy for you and honoured to be one of your readers. This is a great milestone in your blogging career and well-deserved.
    I’m looking forward to reading many, many more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow!! Congrats! I’m so NOT surprised though… 🙂 since you are a wonderful writer, and come up with varied and creative topics. Well deserved and keep it up (for our benefit)!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great achievement, Shathiso!!!!! I am so proud, excited and happy for you 😉 As you said, blogging (and running/blogging for sure!) is tough. There are so many times we write just to write, and it’s so humbling when others reach out to us and thank us for our efforts. Well done, very well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A well deserved honor, Shathiso! I’m sorry your mum is not with you physically, but she’s always there in your heart. I have no doubt that you could, indeed, feel her — and that she’s smiling and so very proud of you. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an achievement and you must be so proud of yourself. I love your blog, it’s so cheerful but honest, full of good advice and a lovely way to learn about your country for people who don’t live there – it must also be lovely for local readers to see their country represented so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Laura. Who knew blogging would be so much work?! LOL! But I’ve loved connecting and learning from everyone in this running/blogging community. We are a special group of people and I’ve grown as both a runner and blogger because of all of you xx

      Like

  6. WOW! What an accomplishment! I’ve only recently started reading your blog and I enjoy it. Yes, you put a lot of work into it and it shows. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations, Shathiso!!! You deserve the award for sure. You are an amazing writer. I love the community of fitness bloggers we have both found. Such a welcoming, positive group of (mostly) women. Your hard work paid off. Nice job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Laurie. What a wonderful coincidence that I found this group just as I was starting to run and blog. Belonging to a group like this has really helped me to grow as a runner and a blogger. I’m always so inspired by what others write, how consistent everyone is and how we all seem to be juggling so many things in life plus this hobby on the side!

      Like

  8. You know how I feel about your blog. I have mentioned it a few times. You are amazing and your blog is just exactly what I love reading. You inspire, make me laugh, and smile. Thank you. Thank you. I do hope one day we can meet but in the mean time I am sending you LOTS of virtual hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Zenaida for these heartfelt words! You have said it for a long time! Every time I pick up a magazine, I remember you saying that I should get published! So glad we’ve connected on this platform and that you’ve also created link-ups that enable us to keep inspiring and motivating each other. It may be a few years yet but I have a sneaky suspicion we will one day meet for a real hug!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.