Journalist Mallick Mnela wins first prize in 2019 SADC Media Awards

Dar es Salaam, A Malawian journalist who formerly worked for Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Mr. Mallick Mnela was Saturday awarded first prize in 2019 Southern African Development Community (SADC) media competition, radio category competition and went away with US$ 2,500, laptop and certificate.

I never expected it to be this big. Honestly, (to me) it was just an ordinary daily routine work, said the jovial Mnela in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he received the award.

Mnela who currently works as a freelance journalist, was among the six journalists in SADC Region who submitted entries under Sadc media competition, radio category.

A Sadc document made available to Mana, reads, Mallick Mnela from the Republic of Malawi was awarded the first prize of USD 2,500 for his entry on Malawi’s peacekeeping assignment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Commenting on the selection of the winners, Mnela said: I think the adjudcation is fair. The integrity of Sadc cannot be questioned. The secret perhaps, is writing stories that cover issues that impact on or relate to Sadc member countries.

Mnela’s runner-up is Mr. Butler Nhepure from Zimbabwe who was awarded USD1,000 for an entry titled: SADC food deficit- A cry to the sky, which highlights the growing concern of food deficit in the Sadc Region.

The Sadc handbook, says the runners up will each receive USD1,000 through their national contacts in their respective countries.

Coincidentally, Mnela developed the award winning story when the Vice President, Right Honorable Everton Herbert Chimulirenji, representing President Peter Mutharika at the SADC Summit, was deputy minister of defence.

According to press officer in the veeps office, Charles Wahara, Right honourable Chimulirenji led a team of journalists including Mnela to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to appreciate how the Malawian soldiers, in the peacekeeping mission, were fairing.

Previous winners from Malawi were as follows: 2013-MBC Vincent Khonyongwa Radio category, 2015-ZBS Winstone Mwale and Times Late Bonex Julius for Radio and photo categories respectively, in 2016-Late Bonex Julius in photo category.

A total of 31 media entries were received by adjudication committee of Sadc. Other categories were photo category under which first prize went to Mr. Royd Sibajene from the Republic of Zambia who was awarded first prize of USD2,500 for his photo entry on the inauguration ceremony of His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

On second position, photo category, was Mr. Joao Gomes from Angola who was awarded prize of USD1,000 for his photo entry captioned President Joao Lourenco welcoming members of the Sadc Ministerial Committee of the organ on politics, defence, and security cooperation headed by Angola.

The print category was won by Ms Doreen Nawa from Zambia who was awarded USD2,500 for her article which highlights benefits of completion of the Mwami border ´┐ŻLuangwa bridge road project that has caused the mobility of both persons and goods travelling through Zambia to Malawi and Mozambique. The runners up is Mr. Pako Tswelelo Lebanna from Botswana who was awarded USD1,000 for the entry focusing on Kazungula Bridge which is set to hasten trade links between Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Maria de Fatima Cossa from Mozambique dominated the television category with a report which highlights the challenges and opportunities in the transformation of the Sadc parliamentary forum into a regional parliament. On the second position was Ms. Sasha Maria Schwendenwein from the Republic of South Africa who was awarded the second prize of USD1,000 for her entry titled: Follow the guns.

President Dr. Hage G. Geingob of Namibia as an outgoing Sadc Chairperson presented the awards to the first prize winners in both media competition and first winners in the secondary schools essay competition.

The SADC media awards and secondary school essay competitions take place annually. The media awards take place in four categories of print, radio, television and photo journalism. The competition is open to all journalists who are SADC nationals.

The annual essay writing competition plays a key role in raising awareness among the youth about the values, activities and programs of SADC, while bringing to their attention to the issues that affect them and how these issues can be addressed.

Tanzania, the host of 2019 SADC summit, had no winner in four media categories but had national winners in essay competition.

Theme for 2019 Sadcs Summit is A Conducive Business Environment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, Increased Intra-Regional Trade and Job Creation.

Source: MANA Online