NAIROBI, Kenya- Tennis top seed Ismael Changawa is the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Sports Personality of the Month Award winner for November.
The United States of America based player won the StarTimes sponsored award following his exploits in regional tournaments in Rwanda and Malawi last month.
The 21-year old emerged as the Rwanda Open champion after beating perennial rival Duncan Mugabe of Uganda 6-1 6-2 in the final.
“I am glad I did not drop a set throughout the tournament,” said Changawa.
Changawa proceeded to claim victory in the Malawi Open a week later. He beat Zambia’s Edgar Kazembe 6-2, 7-5 in the final to lift the tournament without dropping a set.
In addition, Changawa won men’s double in Malawi after he successfully partnered with fellow country man, Ibrahim Kibet to beat Zambian duo of Kazembe and Liberty Ndula in the heated final.
Changawa faced stiff opposition from New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Kenya’s top Chess player, Steve Ouma, of Equity Bank on his way to winning the coveted SJAK award.
Another worthy contender for the award was Ken Moseti who scored the winning drop for Kenya Commercial Bank against Homeboyz in the semifinals of the Impala Floodlit tournament and played a pivotal role in the final against Impala.
Changawa was presented with the award on Friday at Karen Country Club in Nairobi where he had sailed to the semis of the ongoing Karen Open and was poised to tackle Kibet for a berth in the final later in the day.
“This is beyond my imagination, at no point did I ever think of one day being awarded as the best sports personality of the month in Kenya.
“This award truly goes a long way to inspire and motivate me to work harder. It is also an inspiration to other tennis players,” said Changawa.
On top of the award, Changawa was presented with a trophy, a StarTimes 42-inch digital television set and KSh100, 000. He now becomes the fifth player to receive the honour.
“Changawa deserves this special recognition, victories away in Rwanda and Malawi are exploits that are worth celebrating,” StarTimes Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Japheth Akhulia, noted.
“I am excited that this far SJAK has awarded four various deserving sport disciplines – athletics, rugby, volleyball and now tennis, is proof that Kenya is truly a talent hub,” Akhulia added.