“Don’t forget to remember me, because l will be here even when am gone,” departed hip hop artist Martse wrote on his Facebook page in January this year.
Four months later, the rapper, born Martin Nkhata, died aged 28 after sustaining serious burns.
President Lazarus Chakwera seemingly honoured the artist’s request when he awarded him posthomously during the Zikomo Presidential awards at Kamuzu Palace on Friday.
The accolade was for his role in inspiring the youth.
The awards, a brainchild of Chakwera, started last year in recognition of health workers who fought the Covid-19 pandemic with zeal.
This year, it spread to more sectors including arts, information and communication technology, entrepreneurship, education and agriculture with 21 individuals honoured.
The triumphant artists were actresses Flora Suya and Enifa Chiwaya known by stage name Nanyoni, painter Elson Kambalu and poet Lukia Chikopa.
In his speech, Chakwera said the awardees were recognised for their rare contribution to the country.
“We recognise Malawians who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their compatriots. While this has a lot of meaning for those being recognised today and for the promotion of good citizenry and collective national development,” he said.
The President further promised to expand the awards to more sectors in future.
He said: “I know that there are other citizens in our country who are worthy of recognition, including teachers, public servants, civil society activists, faith communities, and many more.
“While we cannot give an award to everyone who deserves one, we will always endeavour to expand the sectors to be recognised each year.”
On her part, Suya said the award will inspire her to achieve more.
“This award means my efforts and contribution in the film industry are being recognised. I have been given extra fuel to work even harder and I’m going to continue contributing to nation building as a proud Malawian citizen,” she said.
In an interview yesterday, Chiwaya, said the award was the pinnacle of her success.
he said:“When I was embarking on my acting journey, I didn’t expect I would reach this far where I have been recognised by the highest office in the land.
“I am overjoyed with the award. In fact, I didn’t expect it because there are many artists in the country. So, standing out and being counted is not easy at all. I thank God for his grace.”