South Africa scored big in this year’s African Blogger Awards, securing top honours in the bulk of the categories.
The awards – which received more than 1 000 entries this year – called for entries in more than 30 categories, but selected winners in only 28 of them, most of them local.
One of the winners was Sharon van Wyk, who scored big in the parenting category.
“Blessed Barrenness” was originally about her infertility but changed its focus over the years to parenting post-adoption.
Van Wyk explained that the blog’s name is a play on words: “Being blessed, twice, via adoption, I am the quintessential barren woman and I liked playing with the words, hinting at both royalty and barrenness.
“I was inspired to start my blog as a cathartic purging of all the pain and negativity I was trying to cope with throughout our infertility journey and when readers started responding to my words, I received a sense of belonging, of not being alone on an essentially lonely journey and the blogging bug bit,” she said.
Van Wyk, who is from Johannesburg, said that considering that there were so many talented bloggers out there, she felt honoured to have been selected.
One of the founders of the awards, Murray Legg, said there had been strong entries from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Botswana.
“Growth in both users on social channels and readers of blogs increases in number vastly each year and allows more people to participate in the conversation, stimulating richness of thought and depth of insight into current affairs and niche interests.
“We expect content producers to continue growing the fan bases and content over the coming years.”
However, he said insufficient access to smart devices remained an impediment to expanding audiences of African blogs.
To be considered for the awards, entrants had to link their blogs to www.webinfluential.com.
Winners were chosen based on whether their content was engaging, had interesting content and had captured a growing audience.
There were five main categories, which included, best blog about Africa, best Instagrammer, best Twitter personality, Best YouTube channel and best Facebook page.