What started as a normal business day instantly turned into tears for the Nation Publications Limited (NPL) family after news filtered in that marketing manager Albert Banda had succumbed to Covid-19 in Lilongwe.
Business partners, friends, family and workmates described Albert, who was laid to rest at Area 18 Cemetery, as “a friend of many” and a “jovial” person.
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved family, Masankho Banda thanked the family and healthcare workers for the support rendered to Albert during his illness.
He described Albert as a family pillar who was a constant great helper to the family.
“He will be greatly missed,” mourned Banda.
Speaking on behalf of NPL, the company’s Lilongwe Bureau Chief Samuel Chunga said Albert—who served the media company in various roles for 22 years after joining in 1999—was hard working and “a great friend for many”.
He said the deceased was the face of NPL who remained humble despite many professional and academic accomplishments.
“He will be greatly missed by the company. He will also be missed by many people outside,” said Chunga.
He said Albert had told his workmates of his condition after testing positive and continued positive exchanges with his colleagues through the phone.
During his service at NPL, Albert passionately promoted the company’s flagship and award-winning corporate social responsibility initiative, Mother’s Fun Run, which mobilises resources from partners towards ensuring safe motherhood nationwide. He spiced up the initiative’s mobilisation drive with various innovations, including the Sleepover Challenge which attracted female diplomats and other senior executives in raising funds.
In an interview last evening, NPL head of Business and Organisation Development Macdonald Kadewa said Albert was a people’s person who was good at networking. He said Albert was behind several NPL initiatives and successes.
He said: “He [Albert] was number one brand ambassador for NPL. He was very instrumental in organising the famous Mother’s Fun Run.
“He was very passionate about the plight of needy women in hospitals. He will be missed by partners as well. He was very friendly, very approachable. Always ready to work with everyone.”
Born on August 17 1974, Albert came from Katongomala Village, Traditional Authority Zilakoma in Nkhata Bay District. He is survived by a wife and children.