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 Mile, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running! Be sure to read their blogs and catch up with other runners from around the world.