Oxygène wins international PR award for its ‘Kazi Mtaani’ campaign

Integrated marketing communications firm Oxygène MCL has been named one of the 2021 Global SABRE Awards Winners for its Kazi Mtaani Public Relations (PR) campaign entry.

Thanks to the firm’s Kazi Mtaani entry earlier rolled out on behalf of the State Department for Housing and Urban Development; the global award is the latest feather on Oxygène MCL’s cap. The firm won a 2021 SABRE EMEA award in the Government Agencies category in London last June.

On Wednesday, Oxygène won the coveted award at the 2021 Global SABRE  Awards, which took place virtually on Wednesday October 27, 2021 in the US.

From more than 5,500 entries submitted worldwide to PRovoke Media’s SABRE Awards competition, the judges selected 40 to receive Global SABRE Awards at PRovokeGlobal, held virtually this year for the second time.

The SABRE Awards attract more than 5,500 entries from more than 60 countries. The winners of the Global awards are the elite of the elite, representing best practice in categories ranging from social media to social responsibility, from public affairs to employee communications.

The Kazi Mtaani concept championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta has seen over 200,000 youths from the informal urban settlements work on various public works as part of an elaborate social protection program. The program rolled out in two phases was aimed at providing money to meet basic needs, drive a sense of purpose among youth, and help them to create a bond of service to their communities at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking, when he received the global award news, State Department of Housing and Urban Development PS Charles Hinga described the award as a timely tribute given that the Government is making preparations to roll out the third Kazi Mtaani Phase.

“We celebrate the excellent news on the Kazi Mtaani 2021 SABRE Global award win, and congratulate Oxygène MCL for a job well done. This is a deserved tribute to all the stakeholders who dedicated their time and efforts to ensure the smooth rollout and public communication of the Kazi Mtaani National Hygiene Program,” PS Hinga said.

Addressing the nation on Mashujaa day, President Kenyatta said: “Noting the success of Kazi Mtaani Programme and its effect in enhancing opportunities for the youth across the country, I direct the National Treasury to allocate Kshs 10 billion for the third phase of the Kazi Mtaani Programme. The programme covering over 200,000 youths will be rolled out to all counties, with priority given to densely populated areas.”

Ahead of the 2021 SABRE EMEA win, Oxygène MCL had won several awards in the 2021 SABRE Africa regional event announced Mid May, including the Public Affairs/Government Relations category, for its Kazi Mtaani campaign. In addition, the firm also received Certificates of Excellence for its KCB Group – 2jiajiri campaign rolled out for the KCB Foundation.

The SABRE Awards recognize campaigns that demonstrate the highest levels of strategic planning, creativity, and business results.

SABRE Awards attract more entries from around the world than any other PR awards program. Winning campaigns can honestly claim to have been measured against – and triumphed in competition with – the best public relations campaigns in the world. Because SABRE Awards judges are drawn from the most senior ranks of the PR industry- both from agencies and the client-side of the business – the third-party endorsement that results from an exhaustive peer-review judging process has real credibility and speaks volumes about the standard of winning work.

Locally, the National Hygiene Program (NHP), dubbed Kazi Mtaani, aims to restore local economic activity within informal settlements while providing cleaner environments for persons living in informal settlements. The Kazi Mtaani campaign was rolled out at the end of April 2020 as a social protection and local economic recovery activity. Kazi Mtaani utilised extended public works project (EPWPs) to provide relief by providing jobs and hygiene interventions; to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic in informal urban settlements.

Kazi Mtaani was a timely government intervention that effectively managed to pump in more than Kshs 1.5 billion every month to thousands of economically hard-hit youth in the informal urban settlements monthly and eased some of the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. Pumping in Kshs 1.5 billion worth of liquidity to the most vulnerable was no mean feat as it had a positive multiplier effect at the grassroots level.

Designed as an innovative social protection scheme, Kazi Mtaani focused on delivering wages while promoting labor-intensive approaches to existing public project portfolios in all counties.

To win the 2021 SABRE EMEA award last June, Oxygène MCL beat finalists drawn mainly from Europe.

The finalists in the Government agencies category included:

  • Anrufen hilft! (Calling helps) – UBSKM with Ressourcenmangel
  • European Investment Bank Activity Report 2020: Solutions for a year of crisis – European Investment Bank
  • Igniting Hope – European Investment Bank with SIGMA, Savion Ray, and GOPA
  • Kazi Mtaani – State Department for Housing and Urban Development with Oxygène Marketing Communication
  • Road Trip Project – What’s Up Europe? – European Commission with ICF Next

This year’s SABRE Awards EMEA shortlist included around 400 campaigns selected from among more than 2,000 entries in this year’s competition, recognising Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. An international jury of industry leaders evaluated the PR campaigns.


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