Bodybuilding Icon Evelyn Owala and CEO Mark Dunford to Judge Tujiamini Eastern Applicants

May 8, 2024
Pius D Shiundu

·        Bodybuilding Icon Evelyn Owala and CEO Mark Dunford to judge applicants from Eastern Region

·        Winning applicants to be announced in the coming days

As the groundbreaking Tujiamini initiative shifts its focus to awarding Eastern Kenya winning applicants, a pair of distinguished figures from the worlds of sports and business have been tapped to serve on the prestigious judging panel.

Bodybuilding champion Evelyn Owala and Mark Dunford, CEO of real estate firm Knight Frank Kenya, will lend their expertise in evaluating the shortlist of Eastern applicants vying for the coveted Tujiamini Gold and Silver awards.

Their role follows the successful Central region judging panel that featured rugby luminaries Peris Mukoko and football coach Juma Abdallah, who helped identify the pioneering winners receiving prizes up to KSh 500,000.

"We're thrilled to have Evelyn and Mark joining as special guests to review the amazing talents emerging from the Eastern counties," said Tujiamini representative Lyle Asiligwa. "Their unique perspectives from athletics and business will ensure we select the most deserving recipients to empower."

Owala has made a name for herself as one of Kenya's most accomplished bodybuilders. With multiple titles to her name such as East Africa's Women's Leadership award and Africa Women Bodybuilding Champ, she brings an elite athlete's mindset in assessing the drive and potential of Eastern and Northeastern applicants.

From the corporate world, Dunford heads up Knight Frank Kenya as CEO, overseeing one of the nation's largest independent property consultancy firms. His business acumen as well as his involvement and experience in Nondies Legends Rugby side will be invaluable as Tujiamini identifies talent to invest in.

The two special guest judges will join a panel of 3 SportPesa Kenya representatives to thoroughly evaluate and score each shortlisted applicant based on criteria such as backstory, talent, prospects and overall impact potential.

As with previous regions, the top applicant will claim the prestigious Tujiamini Gold Award providing up to KSh 500,000 in essential products and services. An additional 5 Silver Award winners will also be selected to receive up to KSh 100,000 each.

The guest judges' role is part of Tujiamini's commitment to upholding a rigorous, transparent selection process free of bias or external influence.

"By bringing in esteemed figures across different fields each month, we ensure the judges recognize the diverse array of talents applying," Joseph Steventon of DBA Africa explained. "Their objectivity allows us to identify the most passionate, deserving individuals to support."

With over 7,000 applications received during the first two month from across Kenya, the competition for Tujiamini's life-changing awards remains fierce. But for the talented applicants of the Eastern region, having trailblazers like Owala and Dunford evaluating their submissions is sure to be a gratifying experience.

The Tujiamini initiative is part of SportPesa Kenya’s sustained effort to empower dreams and uplift communities nationwide through strategic funding for sports, arts, business and more. As more winners emerge, their stories are inspiring the next wave of applicants hoping for their own Tujiamini breakthrough.