Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s (MBC) Radio 1 interactive programme, Zokonda Amayi Macheza, is back again this year but in a relatively unique style.
The programme will bring together around 1 000 women from across the country at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre for the high-level annual celebration where they will dance, interact and dine with their patron First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, also expected to be the guest of honour.
However, this year’s event is exceptional as it will also witness the launch and decoration of three inaugural winners of the Zokonda Amayi Macheza trophies.
MBC public relations manager Chembezi Mhone said in an interview the public broadcaster wants to recognise the women for the initiatives they have put in place in their respective districts.
From a mere phone-in programme on MBC Radio 1 where they just used to greet each other, the women have now formed clubs where they meet in their districts for various activities.
“It’s not about the money but what these women are actually doing in terms of initiatives they have launched in their communities. So we want to promote that sense and spirit of coming together and being independent through various initiatives,” said Mhone.
The triumphant group will cart home K1.5 million while the second and third-placed will each receive K1 million and K750 000 respectively.
The winners will be recognised based on functionality of their groups, their initiatives and how those initiatives are impacting on their socio-economic growth, the club’s sustainability and how they are transforming the lives of women by coming together and getting empowered in their respective communities.
Already, MBC is also running the annual Innovative Awards where exceptional Malawians of diverse backgrounds are honoured with cash prizes, certificates and tailor-made trainings in Egypt and China.
Besides the trophies as the main highlight of this year’s event, MBC has also invited a specialist to give a motivational talk on cervical cancer to encourage women to go for screening.
“The theme for this year’s Zokonda Amayi Macheza celebration is Tigonjetse Khansa ya Amayi. What we are looking at is that cervical cancer is curable and with enough awareness and sensitisation as a country we can get rid of it and the issue could be a thing of the past,” Mhone explained.
This is, according to Mhone, in line with the First Lady’s aspirations for more women to go for screening so that if detected in good time could ably be treated.