Artists Sangie, real name Angel Mbekeani, and Robert Chiwamba have received international recognition for their song Ngwazi Zazikazi (Champion).
The award, which has been awarded by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), is for the communication category as the best music video against gender stereotypes.
According to information on en.unesco.org, Ngwazi Zazikazi music video was produced by Unesco as part of the European Union (EU) funded Skills and Technical Education Programme (Step) project in Malawi, and has won the EU Development Cooperation (Devco) Europeaid Communication Award.
The website says the two impressed with their song which talks about the promotion of gender equality and fighting gender-based stereotypes in all aspects of life.
“The awarded music video breaks negative gender norms and beliefs by portraying women in traditionally male-dominated technical trades such as auto mechanics and bricklaying, thereby encouraging more young women to enter technical training courses,” reads part of the communication on the website.
The website further said that written in Chichewa, one of Malawi’s languages, the song has been downloaded over 75 000 times and the video viewed over 11 000 times.
Reacting to the news, poet Chiwamba said he was delighted with the recognition.
He said: “I thank God for this achievement. Never in my life have I ever thought that I would win a thing so big considering that I am a vernacular spoken word poet. I owe this to God.”
Sangie also said she was pleasantly surprised with the award, saying when she wrote the song with Chiwamba she did not expect to be recognised for it.
“This feels good and it gives me confidence to continue working hard and perfect my art. Apart from entertaining the masses, we are also being agents of change which is great,” said Sangie.
She added that she will continue with her path of writing songs that carry deeper meaning than just having fun.
Chiwamba is a well-known Chichewa poet who made a name mainly with his debut poetry album Mudzafa Imfa Yowawa.
He released another successful album in 2015 titled Kwa Mayi Chiwamba which has poems such as Malemuwa Apita ndi Ndalama Zanga, BP Yanga Yakwera and Aliyense Adye Zomwe Akugulitsa, among others.
Recently, he launched a new poem called Wachinyamata Ndi Bomba which encourages the youth to have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Sangie on the other hand is a renowned reggae female artist who rose to fame with her single I Do it for Love.
She has since released one album, Speechless.
Sangie grew up in Ndirande Township in Blantyre and released her first single, I do it all for Love in 2014.