Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Nation Publications Limited (NPL) chief executive officer (CEO) Mbumba Banda were on Wednesday night among Malawians from all walks of life awarded as 2015 achievers by the Youth Network Africa (YNA).
Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Chiumia, who was the guest of honour during the gala night in Lilongwe, challenged the youth to follow the footsteps of progressive and successful Malawians.
“Time has come for our youths to be innovate and never give up on their dreams. We need visionary youths who can challenge stereotypes and break barriers,” said Chiumia who received Chilima’s award on behalf of the Vice-President who was absent.
Speaking after the award ceremony, Banda welcomed the recognition, saying as a brand, NPL is geared to grow without compromising its quality.
She said: “Obviously, we are appreciative of such awards because it demonstrates that people are recognising our [NPL’s] work. It can only spur us to do better and we will strive to do better.”
Netball star Mwawi Kumwenda, named the best player at the 2015 Netball World Cup held in Australia, also made the list as did Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) managing director (MD) Gospel Kazako, politician-cum-musician Lucius Banda and youthful Blantyre City mayor Noel Chalamanda.
Other awardees included politicians, among them 2014 presidential hopeful Hellen Singh, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentarian and businessperson Felix Jumbe.
The awards also recognised businesspersons such as FDH Financial Holdings Limited majority shareholder and CEO Thom Mpinganjira, Mulli Brothers Limited MD Leston Mullli, Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) chairperson Mike Mlombwa and Napoleon Dzombe.
YNA executive director Vasco Madhlopa expressed optimism that the awards would return next year and said the organisation was also developing footprints across the continent with youth empowerment initiatives.