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About Us

The International Somali Awards is an award ceremony honouring the greatest achievements of the worldwide Somali community and promises to be one of the most important ceremony of its kind ever staged. An innovative, unique and prestigious ceremony, The ISA pays tribute to inspiring Somali success stories from all walks of life, and recognises inspirational role models from the fields of business, social work, sports, education and entertainment.


These categories are a testament to those visionaries who are instrumental to the success within the following sectors:

Sports Person
of the Year

This award will be presented to a sporting star that best represents the ideas of sportsmanship and determination to reach new heights. We encourage voters to look for an individual whose sporting achievements are world class, who is a respected ambassador for their sports and who has shown a passion for excellence throughout their career.

of the Year

This award will recognise a business that demonstrated exceptional business model, which navigated a path to success in challenging times. We are looking for a business with values of creativity, innovation and corporate social responsibility. The winner of this award will be an established and respected business that has achieved commercial success.

Outstanding Educational

This award is to recognise the top achievers in education at high school, college and university level. This is an opportunity for you to nominate top educational achievers to celebrate their success, in addition to developing and rewarding high performing individuals.

Best Entertainment Award

The best entertainment award is to honour and recognise personalities from the field of entertainment, across different areas such as movies, music, television, sports, social media, theatre and dance.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime achievement award recognises the impact of an individual from a specialised field, whether through sports, business, entertainment, culture or arts. The recipient will be a high profile leader and pioneer with a proven track record of success covering the values of ambition, dedication, hard work and creativity.

Outstanding Contribution
to the Community

This award recognises those who are part of an entity or have been recognised for an individual action that has made an outstanding and significant contribution to the society by delivering important community initiatives.

Innovative Award

This award is given to a group or an individual who has used creativity appropriately to improve or develop new processes, methods, systems, products or services in addition to encouraging others to do the same.


Sports Person of the Year

Mukhtar Ali

A prodigious talent who plays football with his heart on his sleeve, Mukhtar has shown that he has the potential to be the greatest Somali footballer of all time. Due to his prowess on the pitch, he has now signed his first professional contract with Chelsea Football Club and he is attracting the football industry attentions.

Farhia Abdi

A talented and inspiring young woman who raises the stakes of what it means to be a Somali female athlete and has inspired the next generation of women athletes by becoming the first Somali woman to be drafted in the WNBA. The 24-year-old currently plays professional basketball for Maccabi Ashdod B.C. where she is a rising star. Farhiya's path towards success was not effortless, but gradually, she is beginning to be recognised for everything she has accomplished.

Farhan Hadafow

Farhan is a 19-year-old based in Italy and Somalia who represents Somalia in the wheelchair racing competition in the 100, 200 and 400 metre races. When he was landed with the opportunity to represent his nation in Rio 2016, the task that lay ahead of him was uphill but Hadafo displayed professionalism, talent and inspirations to millions when he waved the one-star blue flag of his nation. Hadafo continues to represent Somalia and he is a role model to many across the horn and Hadafo never let his disability stand in the way of his eagerness to succeed.

Business of the Year

Horyaal Group

Horyaal Group is an accredited design, decorating, and renovation firm that specialises in creating extraordinary architectural interiors and exteriors with in Somalia. They work exclusively with specialised renovation and construction professionals to design unique and beautiful spaces that is reviving and restoring the nation into a more colorful country. They are currently working on projects in Djibouti, Mogadishu and Hargeisa, Garowe, Jijiga and Garbaharay.

Hass Petroleum

Incorporated in 1997, Hass Petroleum Group invested heavily in the development of storage facilities as well as in retail station networks and a strong supply chain infrastructure. This, coupled with the use of cutting-edge technology, positioning the group as the market leaders in the East regional oil industry. Hass Petroleum Group has grown rapidly over the last decade and has become a household name in Somalia with significant contributions made to local residents.

Somali Poultry Farm

Formed in Somalia on the 5th February 2012, the company underwent a steady development in Somali’s poultry sector and currently produces 5,000 broiler chicks and 18,000 layer chicks per week. The company reduced the imported frozen chicken dependences by introducing locally produced chicken. The company employs local youth to drive its productions as well as a means to develop their skills and providing them a reliable income source.

Outstanding Educational Achievement

Ahmed Rooble

Ahmed is a 15-year-old Brixton schoolboy. He is the only boy from London and is one of only nine nationwide, to win a full two-year scholarship to Eton’s sixth form this year. He is head boy at Ark Walworth Academy, where teachers expect him to earn A*s across the board in his GCSE’s. He is also a volunteer police cadet, a member of Southwark Youth Council and a keen charity fundraiser. Ahmed hopes to win a place to read history at Oxford or Cambridge to emulate David Cameron.

Fahma Mohamed

Fahma Mohamed become one of the youngest in the UK to receive an honorary degree acknowledging her campaigning work to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Fahma started at Kings College University in London September 2016. But before she even starts her new degree, the 19-year-old was given the doctorate at Bristol University's graduation ceremony. Fahma rose to fame after she led a campaign to end FGM by bravely speaking out about the horrific acts of FGM in Britain and violence against girls.

Dr Siyat Hillow

Dr Siyat completed a PhD at Flinders University as the first blind lecturer in Southern Australia with remarkable achievements, Dr Siyat has never let his blindness stand in the way of his eagerness to learn. He is currently a University Lecturer in Southern Australia and he is an advocate for ethnic people with disabilities in Perth.

Best Entertainment Award

Amaal Nuux

Most described by her sound, a fine-tuned voice pared with moving melodies bellowing through her chest - truly captivating. Amaal intuitively maintains her stimulating sound, allowing the intelligent style of classical rhythm & blues to discover the depths of her voice. She is has been successful thus far and growing in leaps and bounds down her road of creative liberation. Amaal inspires others with her musical talents and her philanthropic work.

Sooraan and Jawaan

Sooraan and Jawaan are a comedy double act based in Somaliland. They travel throughout the country performing street comedy with subtle social messages to society. Sooraan and Jawaan use entertainment and storytelling to bring about social change in society. Through their films, street performances and stage plays they endeavor to broadcast their message to the global Somali audiences to shift attitudes and change behaviours surrounding social issues through entertainment.

Ahmed Naaji Sacad

A living legend, Ahmed’s iconic voice and stature has been shining since the 1960s and is still going strong today. He has travelled the world sharing music about love, tolerance, peace and patriotism. Ahmed is one of the most prominent and cherished of Somali artists. Ahmed refrained from being associated with Somali conflicts of words that had affected all sections of Somali society thus producing memorable songs to revive the Somali identity and promote peace. He has taught us how to use our talents to promote positive social changes.

Innovative Award

Fahad Rage

Fahad is an Engineering student who was acclaimed as a “Future Industry Leader” last year, Fahad was tasked to help improve the productivity of Network Rail’s High Output Plant System (HOPS), a system used to electrify the UK railway. Fahad created an app solution that has the potential to ensure that work can be delivered safely and efficiently. After winning the regional final, he went on to beat eight other finalists to claim the top prize. Fahad’s creativity has been described as a huge boom for the industry.

Fursad Fund

Fursad Fund is an innovative, ambitious project aimed at establishing Somalia’s first independent trust fund, entirely funded and managed by Somalis for Somalis. It is solely funded and managed to benefit the citizens that need it the most by creating job opportunities, support entrepreneurial start-ups, and provide education and infrastructure for the disadvantaged communities in Somalia.

Somali MN Museum

The Somali Museum of Minnesota is the home of traditional Somali arts in Minnesota, displaying a collection of over 700 pieces and offers educational programs about Somali heritage that is not offered anywhere else.  The Somali Museum offers an unparalleled opportunity for Minnesotans of all backgrounds to experience and learn about traditional Somali culture. The Somali Museum enables young people who have grown up in the United States to connect with the Somali history by using innovative technology programmes. The Museum is the first of it’s kind to have ever been opened outside of Somalia.

Outstanding Contribution to the Community

Abdimalik Muse Coldoon

Abdimalik is a journalist who uses his journalistic platform to highlight social and political issues that are not recognised by mainstream Somali media. Abdimalik has taken it upon himself through his journalism to highlight and champion for the unprivileged members of our society and to share their stories with the wider audience globally with the view to change and empower them. He has become a household name in the horn and diaspora due to his selfless transparent fundraising efforts and discussing social issues that are considered as a taboo, for example people living with HIV/AIDS.

Barkhad Abdi

Barkhad is a human rights activist based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Barkhad has dedicated his life to campaigning for equal rights and opportunities for the marginalised members of the Somali community, who have been discriminated against. He campaigns to educate and remove the stigma attached to these groups once and for all and to end the social oppression caused by it. Barkhad began his human rights activism due to the bitter taste of tribalistic ideation and inhumane treatment towards sections of the Somali society as well experiencing first hand discrimination against others.

Hawa Abdi Foundation

Since 1983, Dr Hawa Abdi Foundation provided healthcare, education, food and clean water to displaced Somalis independent of their clan, gender, religious and political affiliation. DHAF is a solutions-oriented organisation that seeks to provide our people with the skills, resources and knowledge to stand on their own feet. For three decades DHAF provided lifesaving relief to the Somali people. DHAF became a recognised and respected entity within the NGO’s world, receiving number of prestigious international recognition and commendation.


2017’s International Somali Awards will take place on 15th March 2017 in London.

  • 22/08/16 - 24/10/16: Nominations open
  • 7/12/16 - 7/02/17 : Voting opens
  • 15/03/17: Winners announced

2017 Winners

Sportsperson of the Year
Mukhtar Ali

Footballer recently signed to Chelsea FC – a prodigious talent with the potential to be the greatest Somali footballer of all time.

Business of the Year
Hass Petroleum

A local investor, a market leader and a household name - using cutting-edge technology and creating jobs.

Best Entertainment Award
Ahmed Naaji Sacad

Iconic voice of peace and patriotism - one of the most prominent and cherished of Somali artists.

Outstanding Educational Achievement
Ahmed Adam Roble

The Brixton schoolboy, police cadet, Southwark Youth Council member and charity fundraiser who just won a scholarship to Eton sixth form.

Innovative Award
The Somali Museum of Minnesota

Offering an unparalleled opportunity for young people in the US to connect with Somali history through traditional Somali arts and innovative technology programmes.

Outstanding Contribution to the Community
Abdimalik Muse Coldoon

A groundbreaking journalist who highlights social and political issues often ignored by mainstream media, disrupting taboos and raising awareness.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Hawa Abdi

Physician, human rights activist, founder of the Dr Hawa Abdi Foundation.