Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) journalist Mallick Mnela has been named as this year’s joint silver winner in the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Awards.
Mnela has been awarded for a TV documentary he did earlier this year on the partnership among Malawi, the United States of America and Britain governments in preparing Malawi Defense Force (MDF) soldiers for peacekeeping assignment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The accolade is one of the UN Correspondents Association awards for best media coverage of the United Nations, its agencies or UN field operations.
Mnela is expected to fly to the US early December for the awards gala to be held in New York on December 5, this year.
A letter from the UNCA, co-signed by the body’s President Sherwin Bryce Peace and UNCA Awards Committee Chairperson Giampaolo Pioli, says United Nations General Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be guest of honour of the evening.
Reads part of the letter: “The United Nations Correspondents Association is delighted to inform you that the UNCA Awards Selection Committee has chosen you as the joint-silver winners of the Ortega Memorial Prize for broadcast media at the 2018 UNCA Awards.”
The letter adds that over 600 guests including UN ambassadors, high level UN officials, Hollywood celebrities, humanitarians and international media organisations as some of those expected to attend the black-tie event.
In an interview, Mnela was excited for the award.
“I am honoured to receive the prestigious Award. This is historic,” he said.
The annual awards were established 23 years ago in memory of Ricardo Ortega, a correspondent of Spain’s Antenna 3 TV, who died while on assignment in Haiti in 2004.
The gods must have smiled widely on the Mnela as the UNCA recognition comes
barely two weeks after the journalist emerged to be one of three finalists in the continental Isu Elihle Awards on reporting children organised by South Africa’s Media Monitoring Africa (MMA).
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) –Malawi Chapter president Tereza Ndanga agreed it was interesting times for the local journalism sector.
“This news is exciting because it shows that Malawi journalism is as vibrant as anywhere else.
It also shows that we are concerned where there is violence and would like to help in that advancement of peace in the world,” she said.