The second edition of Malawi Achievers Awards in UK was held at a glittering gala event held in Leicester last Saturday evening.
The fete featured a star-studded line-up of artists that included Ireland-based rapper Popp Dogg, Scotland based Brave Mnyayi and Double Action dance group.
The fully packed black tie event, held at Athena Conference Hall, also attracted acts from other African countries including Dot&Darryl from Nigeria and South African female artist Lungo.
Joe Mang’anda and Radio 247 talk show host Patricia Peters Chirwa ably presented the show as hosts.
During the night, Malawi Achievers Awards recognised academician, poet, linguist and human rights activist Dr. Jack Mapange for a Life Time Achievement award. The retired university lecturer who is based in York was recognised in absentia.
Dr. Milika Matiti, the chairperson of Malawi Health Care Support (Mahecas) charity, scooped an academician of the year award.
Another highlight of the night was the award to first Malawian girl to be signed by a professionally run club in England, young Asante Khamula.
She received a Rising Star Award and it was presented to her by sports administrator and lawyer Sunduzwayo Madise.
Business and entrepreneur of the year award went to Chancy Mopho Jere owner of Robert Brown Consulting Group (RBCG) . It was presented to him by CEO for Nyasa Times, Edgar Chibaka.
Brave Mnyayi received the award of the artist of the year, Manchester Malawi Association went away with an award of association of the year which was received by its chairman Charles Kachitsa.
Nyasa Daughters of Nottingham received an award for the event of the year as they successfully organised a fund raising event on behalf of Malawi Association UK in aid of flood victims.
Zimbabwe-owned Pamtengo Radio received an award for online radios which was received by Malawian DJ and station manager, MC Chijota.
Celebration of extraordinary
Project coordinator of the awards, Felix Banda said the Awards were “truly a celebration of extraordinary” Malawians for positive impact.
“The Malawi Achievers Awards are here to stay and the best is yet to come,” said Banda, who told the packed audience that after the launch last year and this year’s second edition, they will be in top gear in 2016.
In his speech, Malawi deputy high commissioner to UK, John Tembo Jnr, commended the Malawi Association UK for the awards.
“The second edition of the awards indicate that they are here to stay,” he said and urged Malawians to continue being good ambassadors of Malawi.
“Let us promote brand Malawi at every opportunity to bring in more tourists and investors,” he appealed.
Tembo said Malawi High Commission in London fully supports and recognises the awards, as integral part of the diaspora community.
“The awards also serve to bring us together to encourage and celebrate our achievements together,” he said.
Diaspora community vital
Tembo said the government of President Peter Mutharika, recognises the important role the Diaspora can play in the development of Malawi.
“Already, apart from family to family assistances in supporting our relations, the Malawian Diaspora, through various agencies have been engaged in investments, social and charitable causes benefiting Malawians back home,” said Tembo.
Tembo informed the patrons that government of Malawi is “grateful to the overwhelming response the Malawian community in the United Kingdom and friends of Malawi gave to the recent flooding.”
He said he was encouraged that part of awards proceeds will go towards alleviating the suffering of flood victims.
Not popurality contest
Commenting on the list of winners, Awards PR manager Thom Twee Chiumia explained in an interview that the selection process to pick winners from nominees was done by a separate committee led by lawyer Sheriff Kaunde.
“It is not a popularity contest to select who has more nominations but the committee analysed other key factors relations to the category,” Twee said.
Leading sponsors were Nyasa Times, Crown and Law Solicitors of Dr. Boniface Chimpango. Others were solicitor Sharif Kaunde of Leicester, Carlsberg Malawi, First Response Group, Just Trading, Radio 247, Against All Odds and Air Malawi Cargo.
Malawi Achievers Awards UK, whose aim is to celebrate and recognise outstanding Malawian individuals and groups in the UK for their exceptional achievements and contributions to their respective communities both in the UK and in Malawi, is a project of Malawi Association UK (MAUK), an umbrella body for all Malawians in the UK.