By David Odongo

The Standard Group was Friday unveiled as the official media sponsors of the Ninth Chaguo la Teeniez (Chat) Awards. The annual fete will be held on April 16 at the Carnivore. Speaking during the launch of this year’s Chat Awards held at the Standard Group headquarters, Group Vice-Chairman and Chief Strategist Paul Melly lauded the organisers of the event, saying it gave the youth a platform to showcase their talents as well as earn a living.

He added that The Standard Group was committed to instilling positive values in the youth.

"We are happy and proud to sponsor such a noble cause. The youth are the backbone of this country and that’s a fact that can no longer be ignored," said Melly.

Gichugu MP Martha Karua gets down with musician Linet Munyala during the launch of the 9th edition of CHAT Awards. Karua has been nominated for an award in the Teeniez Role Model category. [PHOTO:HAIG ANYONYI/STANDARD]

He decried tribalism, high unemployment and poverty, saying the youth should play their role in confronting these challenges. Melly said that the youth, through music and other platforms, could take a crucial role in helping to reshape Kenya’s political culture that has been steeped in ethnicity.

Unlock potential

The chief guest at the launch ceremony was former Justice Minister Martha Karua, who has been nominated for an award in the Teeniez Role Model category.

"It’s such an honour to be nominated by the youth. This awards will definitely give the youth a chance to unlock their potential," said Karua, who is also the Gichugu MP.

The legislator also said the Government needs to look for ways to invest in the youth’s innovation and talents.

Dancehall superstars

"The Youth Development Fund is great but it is just not enough," added the legislator. Local celebrities and musicians among them first time Best New Artiste nominee, Rapdamu, graced the event. Others included Size 8, G-Kon, Marya, Eko Dydda and Avril.

KTN’s daily music show, StraightUp, and a locally produced drama series, which airs on the channel, have been nominated for Teeniez Hottest TV Music Show and Teeniez Hottest New TV drama/soap awards.

Ogopa Deejays signee, Avril, and Gospel artiste Daddy Owen have the highest number of nominations – four each – in this year’s Chat Awards. Reggae and Dancehall superstars, Denyque, and QQ will jet in to perform at the annual ceremony.

The Chaguo La Teeniez Awards was launched in 2002.

It is held annually during April school holidays.

Chat Awards seek to recognise and award the youth who have made meaningful contribution to our society by excelling in various disciplines such academics, arts and sports.

Since inception, the Chat Awards have grown to become Kenya’s most watched and diverse awards event. The theme for this year’s award is ‘Revved Up’ – inspired by the positive aspects of Kenya’s matatu culture.

Those wishing to vote for their favourite artistes can do so by sending a short message to the code 5683, USSD code 5683 online at either The Insyder magazine website (, or the Safaricom website (, or by filling in a form in the latest issue of the The Insyder magazine. Voting closes on April 11 at midnight.