11-year-old boy wins US$1,000 in Somali-language COVID-19 video competition

11-year-old boy wins US$1,000 in Somali-language COVID-19 video competition

Somalilandsun|The winners of a two-month Somali-language COVID-19 video competition were finally revealed online today, with the US$1,000 first prize going to a short video on some of the best ways to avoid infection produced by a schoolboy in Qardho, Puntland and his older sister.

Abdijabar Dahir and his sister made the video while he was stuck at home after COVID-19 forced local schools to close. Instead of going outside to play with friends – and so risk bringing the virus back to his elderly grandparents at home – Abdijabar decided to make this video to show other children how to stay safe.

Organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the competition was launched so that people of all ages could use their creative talents to help spread accurate COVID-19 information online, both within Somalia and among Somali-speaking communities abroad.

Entrants were asked to send short videos on how to prevent the disease, based on up-to-date information provided on the country’s first Somali-language COVID-19 website: www.kahortagacorona.gov.so. More than 20 videos were submitted from across Somalia. They were assessed by three celebrity judges – cartoonist Amin Amir, musician Aar Maanta and poet Naima Abwaan Qorane – based on the number of views and shares as well as their artistic flair.

“I was impressed by the creativity and the energy of young people who took part in this competition,” said Naima Abwaan Qorane. “Although, the competition has now finished, more people are watching the videos and benefiting from the health messages they carry. It has generated important online discussion and we should continue to spread the word until we defeat this deadly virus.”

“Thanks to the entries in this competition, which have been seen by almost 1 million people on our Facebook page alone, UNDP has been able to reach new audiences with potentially life-saving advice on COVID-19,” said Jocelyn Mason, Resident Representative for UNDP Somalia. “Our fantastic judges helped push the message out even further and we are very grateful for their support throughout.”

The winner of the US$1,000 first prize was a young boy and his siblings who showed how people can protect themselves from the virus through simple actions like washing hands with soap for 20 seconds. The video also taught people how to produce homemade facemasks.

The second prize of UD$500 was won by the story of a couple who had to cancel their wedding due to the coronavirus, while third place and US$300 went to a movie on how the virus can disproportionately affect disabled people.