Kenyans Evans Wadongo, Cecilia Mwangi, Asunta Wagura and Atul Shah have been chosen to be Olympic Torchbearers ahead of the 2012 sports event in London.
The four were chosen from 250,000 nominations for the ‘Moment to Shine’ campaign, as it has been labelled by the London 2012 Organising Committee.
The Kenyans were nominated by Samsung, who are one of the official sponsors of the event.
They will join close to 80,000 torchbearers chosen from around the world to carry the lit golden torches for one hour, from one London town to another.
The Kenyan group will all be bearing the symbolic torches on July 1; Evans, Cecilia and Asunta in Solihull, while Abbas will bear the torch in Evesham.
“We were chosen because of the community work we do,” Cecilia told Capital Lifestyle, elated at being among those who will make history.
“I was selected as an anti-jigger campaign ambassador. It’s a milestone for Ahadi Kenya Trust. It’s also a moment for Kenyan people to shine and for the world to know our story,” she said. “It came as a surprise.”
“We will also have a reception dinner afterwards,” says Evans, who will be rubbing shoulders with iconic Senegalese musician Youssou Ndour who is bearing the torch in Alcester on July 1.
“I feel proud and happy to be selected. It shows that people believe in and are inspired by my work,” Evans added. “Samsung wanted people who can inspire others and people whose work is widely known to make a positive impact.”
Evans came into the limelight after being feted as a CNN hero in 2012, for founding a company that makes solar lanterns for masses in Kenyan rural areas that cannot afford lighting at home. In doing so he was hoping to also improve the health of the impoverished minorities, who often get eye ailments because of using smoky uncovered kerosene lamps.
Former Miss World Kenya Cecilia on her part is well known as a crusader against jiggers, which are especially rampant in Central Kenya.
In a statement, Samsung told Capital Lifestyle that the Olympic torch bearers’ nomination process took into consideration the individuals’ corporate social responsibility to the community.
“Samsung is committed to strengthening the Olympic movement globally as well as in the country. Samsung has been supporting the global event since the partnership with the Olympic committee was formalized in 2009,” they said.
The London 2012 website says the nominations were received between May and June last year and successful nominees notified this month.