Relief, ecstasy and triumph characterised the feelings among all the people associated with the 68-kilometre run from Zomba as the runners finally made it to the finish line in Blantyre.
Four journalists—Nation Publications Limited’s Dexter Kaunda, Jonathan Pasungwi, Archibald Kasakula, and Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s Josephine Semu-Phumisa recently challenged to join Story Workshop executive director Kent Mphepo to run for charity from the old capital to Blantyre in a day.
The gesture was in support of the Mother’s Fun Run (MFR), Nation Publications Limited (NPL) project that mobilises for medical supplies and equipment to improve maternal health in public health facilities.
But the run, aimed at raising funds to help curb maternal and neonatal deaths in Ntchisi that stand at 12 and 162 every year, respectively, was not without surprises.
Chikondi Phikiso and Winnie Bota, Semu-Phumisa’s colleagues, joined the runners. Another surprise was Mphepo’s wife, who covered over 70 percent of the distance. Zomba City Mayor Christopher Jana led the team up to Six Miles.
From then on, it was serious business.
Pasungwi, endured an injury sustained during practice and limped the whole race to the finishing line at Hotel Victoria.
NPL deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) Alfred Ntonga was visibly awed by the feat, by both Mphepo and the journalists.
“Honestly, I feel this is the best embodiment of patriotism. These runners have defied all the odds to complete the run. To think that they did it for others speaks volumes of how determined to be agents of change the team is. I just hope many others will emulate their selfless deed to help change Malawi for the better.”
Speaking on behalf of MFR’s corporate partners, United General Insurance sales and marketing manager Sungeni Chiligo said the organisation feels ‘challenged’ by the feat, urging the people to do more for the country.
He said: “We find NPL’s commitment to the drive amazing, something that needs to be emulated and encouraged by all. To have an ageing Mphepo volunteering to run for Ntchisi mothers is another issue that moved us to do something about it.“
Raised resources are expected to be delivered to Ntchisi District Health Office on October 13 this year. n