Background Image Graphic

About Us

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.


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 who sporting achievements are world class, who is respected ambassador for their sports and who 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 educational at high school, college and universities levels. This is an opportunity for you to nominate top educational achiever to celebrate success, and to develop and reward high performing individuals.

Best Entertainment Award

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

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime achievement award recognises the impact of an individual on a particular field, whether through sport, 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 either as part of an entity or through individual action that made outstanding and significant contribution to the community. Voters and judges are required to look a proven track record of delivering community important initiative.

Innovative Award

This award is given to a group or individual who used creativity appropriately to develop new or improve processes, methods, systems, products, or services and encouraged others to do the same.


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

2016 Winners

Business of the Year

This multinational financial organisation arose from the ashes of civil war and now operates worldwide. Dahabshiil prides itself on its fantastic employment track record and its investment in people and despite Dahabshiil’s incredible growth, it has never lost sight of its social responsibilities and desire to give something back to the community. In the process it has blossomed into a shining example of what a world-class institution should be. Read more

Most Effective Initiative of the Year
Adeso Africa

Adeso is a humanitarian aid organisation that has been changing the way people think about, and deliver aid in Africa for over twenty years. By giving cash to families to help them deal with immediate crises, it encourages them to manage their limited resources, and start investing in the future. With cash in their pockets, those in need have improved access to both food and non-food items. Read more

Sports Person of the Year
Mo Farah (CBE)

Mo Farah (CBE) is double Olympic, European Athletics and World champion and the UK's greatest ever distance runner. Mo’s achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, arriving in London from Mogadishu at the age of 8 speaking very little English. He recently became the first athlete to win three long-distance doubles at successive World Championships and was made a CBE in 2013 for his services to the UK. Read more

Best Entertainment Award
Mo Ali

Mo Ali is a Somali-born award-winning filmmaker and director. He has worked with some of the most respected talents in the UK and internationally and has directed music videos and the movies ‘Shank’ and ‘Montana’. His creative genius and dedication to his craft has inspired many young visual artists. Mo Ali mentors twenty young filmmakers who will no doubt pass on his knowledge and skills to the next generation. Read more

Highest Educational Achiever
Hawa Jama Abdi

A recent graduate of the Somaliland Brail Centre with one of the highest marks on record, Hawa has never let her blindness stand in the way of her eagerness to learn. She is currently working on a diploma in journalism, and hopes to gain a PhD in the future, whilst the humanitarian work she undertakes in her country helping blind young people is an inspiration to us all.