Chelsea footballer Mukhtar Ali scores top sporting prize at the International Somali Awards

British Prime Minister praises contribution of International Somali community at awards ceremony

16th March 2017: Mukhtar Ali, Chelsea’s young Somali footballer, has won the Sports Person of the Year award at the International Somali Awards (ISA) hosted by the Anti-Tribalism Movement in London.

The Prime Minister Theresa May has voiced her support of the inspirational Somali role models recognised at the event in the fields of business, social work, sports, education and the arts. The ISA event is a unique opportunity to recognise both the extraordinary and everyday contributions made amongst the international Somali community, who make an impact wherever they are.

The ceremony also provides an opportunity to help alleviate the growing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, as all ticket proceedings were donated to this cause.

Mukhtar Ali, currently on loan at Vitesse, is one of the many international success stories from the Somali community. Along with Ahmed Rooble from the Outstanding Educational Achievement award whom narrowly beat Fahma Mohamed and Dr Siyat Hillow.  

On receiving the Sports Person of the Year award Mukhtar Ali said:

“I am very honoured to win this prestigious award, and it was remarkable to share the same platform with so many inspirational figures. The successes and contribution of Somalis in Britain and across the globe are noticeable and encouraging.  I wholeheartedly appreciated the thousands that voted for me to receive this award.”

Guests gathered for the ceremony in the heart of Westminster and were joined by a number of prominent VIPs, including senior UK politicians, Government Ministers and well-known personalities such as Halima Aden, the Somali born model and star of this year’s Milan fashion week.

In a personal message the UK Prime Minister Theresa May praised the incredible success of the Somali community, to the nominees she said:
These awards represent a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation for the contribution that Somalis make to communities across the UK and around the world. All those who have been nominated for these awards should be incredibly proud of their achievements.

The Prime Minister went on to praise the work of the Anti-Tribalism Movement, saying:
“I would also like to convey my gratitude for the wider work of the Anti-Tribalism Movement, and for your organisation’s engagement on a variety of issues over recent years. You are doing important work to inspire young British Somalis with a hopeful and positive view of the future”. 

Hodan Hussein, Director of the International Somali Awards, commented:
Last night’s event was about recognising the outstanding contributions of the Somali community while acknowledging the difficult days ahead. Unfortunately, this is a crucial time for Somalia and so to help our brothers and sister’s back home so all ticket sales have been donated towards tackling the growing humanitarian crisis. 

Somali people are vibrant, creative and proud of our country.  To realise our potential we need to celebrate the fantastic achievements and hard work of today’s role models We encourage the next generation to join us in taking inspiration from these role models and contribute to building a stronger Somalia.”

The full list of categories and nominees can be found exclusively on

Notes to editors

The International Somali Awards is an event honouring the greatest achievements of the worldwide Somali community and promises to be one of the most important events of its kind ever staged. An innovative, unique and prestigious event, 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.



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