Dear Story Zangu,
I apologize that this reply took a while.
It is unfortunate that as a BAKE member, you feel that you are not being heard. If this has been prompted by any communication failure on our part, we hope to work harder and change that. There are valid questions in your article and I will do my best to answer them. There are also untruths in there and I’ll point them out as well.
1. The process
The Kenyan Blog Awards (BAKE Awards) has a process. It starts with the Submissions phase where blogs are submitted by the public into the competition. In this phase, only one submission counts and no matter how many times a blog is submitted it doesn’t influence its nomination. The next phase is the Judging phase. Judges sit and decide on the best 5 blogs. They (the judges) go through all the submissions and collectively choose 5 blogs from each category. The nominated blogs are chosen from the submitted blogs. For a blog to be nominated it needs to abide by the rules. The judges make their decision following this criteria:
- Relevant Content
- Consistency in posting
- Language use
- Writing style
It is therefore untrue that there are favourites in the competition or that the BAKE leadership has nominated its friends or themselves for the awards. We do not, at any stage, directly submit bloggers into the competition or nominate them. We simply shepherd the process while engaging third parties to participate in the direct submission, judging and voting.
I get that you don’t agree with the nominees, and especially those in the Technology Category. That list consists of the judges choice. It might not be perfect but that is their choice. Continue submitting your favoured blogs and hopefully they will be nominated. This however does not mean that those not nominated are not good. The BAKE Awards is a competition and like all other competitions, not everyone can be nominated.
Gender is usually not a factor in the nominations. Blogs are judged for what they are and not who owns them. It is the blog and not the blogger that is considered for the awards.
4. Mobile phone Reviews in Tech category
In the tech category, as with other categories, any blog that has tech content, mobile phone reviews included, and meet the nomination criteria are considered.
The voting is not rigged as you stated. The whole process is open and to verify this, we will host an open day on 19th March 2016 where people can attend and even see the voting platform.
6. Decision making
It is not possible to have all members of an organization making every single decision pertaining the organization. That is where the leadership comes in.
I do agree that there is a need for meetings. We have attempted to have meetings for the last 2 years but we never have quorum. We hope that the next time that we have a meeting, members will attend and hopefully move the organization forward.
A meeting of members is important because there is an important change that needs to happen. We need to change our constitution as well so that we include membership fees. We are registered under the Societies Act and it dictates that there be membership fees and only those who have paid this fee can vote. At the moment members only pay a joining fee.
No corporate that sponsors the Blog Awards influences the nominations in any way. Also, our financial statements will be shared with members before the AGM for their inspection. Our auditor will be at the AGM and can be asked any finance-related questions.
Having said that, we encourage all our members to contact us should they feel aggrieved about any issues touching on the Kenyan Blog Awards or the Association in general. We invite your feedback and engagement and hopefully, you will stop feeling that you are not being heard.
Recurring winners (response to comment)