President Peter Mutharika has asked Malawians to stop complaining needlessly and blaming others for their problems, instead of stepping out to look for solutions.
Speaking on Friday night when he hosted the fifth edition of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Innovations Awards at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, Mutharika also challenged Malawians to begin thinking creatively to find solutions to challenges facing the country.
Mutharika, who has presided over all the five editions of the awards, said blaming others and playing the victim mentality will never develop the country.
“The only way to change our country is for us to think differently. This is the only factor that distinguishes countries. If you start thinking differently, you will be a different person.
“Start thinking positively and you will begin to achieve positive results. You can never achieve positive results by thinking negatively,” he said.
Mutharika cited the current political situation, where he said, in apparent reference to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, after losing the election they decided to start destroying the country.
“This spirit cannot develop this country. Foreigners come into the country, they see what we all see, but they think differently. In every challenge we see, they see opportunities and they take advantage, make money and leave us poor,” he observed.
Turning to the social media, Mutharika urged Malawians to learn to listen to the right voices, because “it is not everything that is said that we must believe in”.
“We must also learn to appreciate what is good about us as a country. We must learn to count our blessings. We must always seek out opportunities and make use of them,” he said.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani said MBC launched its innovations award to stimulate innovation in the country.
Since the awards started in 2015, more than 40 innovators have so far benefited through various opportunities, including going on fully-paid for trips to China and Egypt, and over K40 million has been given out as prize money to the winners. During the 2019 innovation awards, the public broadcaster honoured 10 innovative Malawians and two individuals were awarded posthumously.
Those who were honoured posthumously are actor and standup comedian John Nyanga aka Izeki for his exceptional contribution to the creative industry and the late Michael Sauka, who composed the Malawi National Anthem.
Individual and group winners in different categories included Charity Salima (health), Kasangazi Irrigation Scheme (agriculture), Vincent Rangel (disability), Gift Ligomeka (small scale entrepreneurship) while Namitsempha Cooperative won in environment.
Others were musician Boniface Ndamera, the brains behind Lucky Stars Band popularly known for the hit song Chinafuna Mmbale, Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman owner of Super League outfit Ntopwa Football Club won the sports category while Gladstone Mzilahowa and Addition Mulungu were honoured for their innovations in science and technology, and education categories.
All the awardees received a trophy, a certificate, K1.5 million each and a one-month study visit to China.
But the personality of the night was the small-scale entrepreneur Ligomeka, a resident of Chemusa in Blantyre, who was crowned ‘The Innovator of Innovators’, hence received an additional K2 million.
MBC director general Aubrey Sumbuleta said the 2019 innovation awards winners were unique in that some of them started from humble beginnings and excelled to where they are today and are helping the growth of the country’s economy.