As part of this year’s International Day of the Girl commemorations, various corporate and non-governmental organisations gave select girls from various secondary schools an opportunity to run their companies for a day.
On Thursday, October 7, Enipher Stanzio, a 17-year-old student from Khwalala Secondary School in Mulanje, acted as TNM’s chief executive officer (CEO), courtesy of Plan International Malawi and TNM Plc.
The Form Three student took over the role of TNM’s CEO Arnold Mbwana after being briefed on operations of the integrated information and communications technology (ICT) company.
Among other things, Stanzio highlighted that she would amplify the provision of computers and Internet in rural schools to enhance e-learning and digital literacy.
She said: “There are many of intelligent youths out there who fail to proceed with education due to lack of resources. We need to do more in offering bursaries so that everyone’s right to education is not compromised.”
Stanzio lost her parents at a young age and struggled with her education despite her elder sister trying to support through casual labour. It was only after her uncle who took up the responsibilit of looking after her that she got a second chance.
Plan International Malawi also made her education easier when they constructed a girl’s hostel at her school, with Stanzio being among the first occupants.
At TNM, Stanzio was inspired when Mbwana narrated his life story of how, without parents, he made it from a rural school to be at the helm of one of the biggest local companies
Said Mbwana: “There’s no pre-defined route to becoming a CEO. I lost my parents at a tender age and grew up with my grandparents from the age of fve. After attending school in the morning, I would farm in the afternoon and go fishing at night. This was the order of my primary school days.
“But through this experience I learnt to work hard, be disciplined, and relate well with people such that when I was selected to secondary school, I was determined to pursue education with a purpose.”
Plan International Malawi communications and campaigns manager Rogers Siula thanked TNM for according the girl such a platform which, besides inspiring her, may boost her esteem and prospects in life.
He said: “These spaces are very instrumental in shaping up ambitions for young people. Today has been a fruitful day and TNM has been a big boost to Enipher and the entire Khwalala School following the commitments put forward.
“As we reflect on this year’s theme for International Day of the Girl, we need to realise that digital literacy is central to modern life; hence, the need for adequate computers in schools and access to the Internet.”
Following her impressive performance during the take-over, TNM offered Stanzio a scholarship to complete her studies at Khwalala. At the end of her CEO duties, she also received a Samsung smartphone and TNM MIFI.
TNM has also committed to provide books to Enipher’s school library at Khwalala Secondary School.
As a flagship project to support digital literacy in secondary schools, TNM has supported Ngumbe and Januwale CDSS, Chayamba and Yamba Secondary Schools with computers and Internet connectivity, to ease the information access needs of learners at these schools.
TNM has also been sponsoring 20 girls in boarding secondary schools under the Age Africa Scholarship programme.
This year the four students were provided laptops and connectivity by TNM to allow them to continue their studies in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. This year’s International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated on October 11 under the theme Digital Generation.