Dance, fun, fashion and laughter characterised this year’s annual Zokonda Amayi celebration on Friday night at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
Women who patronised the event danced, networked and dined with First Lady Gertrude Mutharika who is also the patron of Zokonda Amayi Macheza group.
The taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) initiative is an offspring of an interactive radio programme called Zokonda Amayi which allows women to call live on air and greet their family and friends.
However, over the years, the programme has evolved and developed other aspects like listening clubs which engage in charity work, among other things.
The annual event saw over 1 000 women from across Malawi wine and dine with the First Lady and Mary Chilima, wife to Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Speaking to the women during the event, Mutharika encouraged them to continue working hard to improve the welfare of their families.
She also advised them to regularly go for cervical cancer screening in line with this year’s theme Tigonjetse Khansa ya Amayi.
She said: “I lost a close friend to cervical cancer. I know if she was screened in good time she would have been saved. So this is important for all of us to go and get tested before it is too late.”
During the event, MBC awarded the top four with trophies and money.
The four groups were chosen by a team of independent judges based on the impact of the charity work the clubs undertook in the year 2017.
Kapiri-Mchinji Zokonda Amayi club took the first prize and got K1.5million while Kasungu got the second prize of K1 million. Chitipa-Lufita Zokonda Amayi club came third and got K7500 00 and Blantyre Zokonda Amayi came forth and got K500 000.
MBC director general Aubrey Sumbuleta said the awards are meant to motivate the women to do more for the needy while at the same time working towards improving their own lives.
“This will be an annual thing. We will continue to show appreciation to our ladies,” he said.
Towards the end of the event as the women enjoyed their dinner, President Peter Mutharika made a surprise appearance to greet the guests.
Donning a chitenje fabric jacket, Mutharika looked relaxed and chatted with the women before joining the First Lady at the high table.
The event was spiced up by live performances from Ethel Kamwendo Banda and other female artists, including Miracle Chinga, and Princess Chitsulo.n