Nation Publications Limited (NPL) chief executive officer (CEO) Mbumba Achuthan on Saturday evening received the highest media honour, Lifetime Achiever, for her contribution towards the development of media in the country.
Achuthan, who was not present during the 2012 Media Institute of Southern Africa (Malawi Chapter) World Press Freedom Gala, joined a record number of women who scooped awards that saw Blantyre Newspapers Limited and Zodiak Broadcasting Station dominating.
In an interview on Sunday, Achuthan thanked Namisa for the recognition, saying it is an honour.
â€œEvery good gift comes from God, so I thank Him. The support my parents, children and the rest of the family have always given me has been key in ensuring that I stay focused. None of what NPL has done would have been possible without the superb team that I have and have had, each and every individual. I thank them all.
â€œOne of the first things we did upon setting up NPL was to come up with our Editorial Policy and mission Statement. That has been our guide from the day it was passed. Very clear in our policy and mission are the facts that: Our aim is to contribute to nation building and in so doing our loyalty is to the people of Malawi without fear or favour and we must at all times endeavour to publish the truth. These have both served us well and at the same time got us into trouble, but at the end of the day I believe we have successfully played our role.
â€œI hope that with the changes that have taken place, all stakeholders will work together to ensure that we have an environment in which we can operate professionally for the good of us all. We shall surely continue to demand that as it is our right,â€ she said.
Achuthan remains perhaps the most influential media woman having been at the helm of the NPL since its inception at the dawn of pluralistic politics, steering the countryâ€™s biggest newspaper group through political, economic and social challenges.
Her father and political icon who founded the media company, the late Aleke Banda, also received a similar accolade.
During the gala, NPLâ€™s Mwereti Kanjo (business), Emmanuel Muwamba (education), Kondwani Munthali (blogger) and Raphael Mawera (cartoon) also emerged the best in their categories.
Other female winnersÂ included Journalist of the Year and Investigative Journalist of the Year Theresa Chalapula, Theresa Ndanga of Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), respectively;Â Wezzie Nsomba Banda,Â Tiwonge Ngâ€™ona,Â Â Brenda Kaonga andÂ Doreen Sonani.
The male winners who dominated the awards included ZBSâ€™ Pilirani Phiri who scooped three awards and his colleague, Winston Mwale, whereas BNLs Charles, Mpaka and Isaac Masingati emerged tops in several categories.