Malawi has dominated this year’s prestigious Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television, Arts and Sports Awards (BEFFTA) astoundingly scooping five medal awards at an alluring ceremony held at the weekend at Central Hall Westminster in London.
Malawians subjugated the glamorous and glitzy 7th BEFFTA awards with a staggering eight nominations in total in an assortment of categories and came tops with five Malawians taking home the medals at the star-studded event which attracted superstars and Very Important Personalities (VIPs) drawn from the US, Africa, Canada, UK, the Caribbean and the rest of Europe turned up in large numbers as BEFFTA honoured and celebrated global talented personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television, arts and sports.
Malawi’s leading online news source, Nyasa Times was named ahead of many online publications as the best online publication of the year while its editorial director and columnist, Thom Chiumia was decorated as the journalist of year beating hordes of journalists from across the globe.
Nyasa Times and Chiumia were honoured for their significant contributions in reporting news without fear to their readers not only in Malawi but across the globe.
Accepting the award, the charming and self-deprecating journalist Chiumia who is a writer for the hard-hitting column, Loose Cannon said: “We media practitioners brag that the pen is mightier than the sword, tonight a Beffta will ink that pen to be more mightier…”
Chiumia said he informed Nyasa Times CEO Edgar Chibaka about the awards through a text same night and he expressed “delight”.
He said Nyasa Times will celebrate 10 anniversary next year and the Beffa accolade could not have come at a better time than now.
Malawi ethnomusicologist and Afro jazz music prodigy, Wambali Mkandawire was honoured with an award as Africa’s music legend and his award was accepted in his absence by Thom Chiumia.
Wambali Mkandawire told Nyasa Times that he was delighted and thrilled but humbled for the great honour bestowed on him by BEFFTA.
“I am so honoured to receive this award. I am so humbled. It is very heartening to be recognized at a world stage. This achievement is not for me alone but for Malawi as a country and the entire African continent,” said Wambali.
Birmingham based Malawian stylist and fashion designer Dama Phiri was decorated as the best fashion designer of the year.
Another Malawian, Gertrude Chirambo, the ward counsellor for Blantyre City Centre, Namalimwe and former Vice chairperson for Malawi Association UK received a honourary Leadership Excellency award for her humanitarian and charitable contributions to the world.
The Leadership and Excellency award which Chirambo received was previously given to British actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry, legendary British Broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonalds and America’s music mogul and celebrated producer Quincy Jones.
Chirambo, who is now based in Malawi accepting her award, thanked BEFFTA for the great honour saying that she was pleased to receive the award adding that the award was for the people of Malawi who she strives to serve.
“It is an honour for me, but this moment is much bigger than me. This moment is for all the people who I serve, this moment is for the people who believe in me. This great moment is for the great women and children of Malawi and the UK, and all the people that stand beside me,” said Chirambo.
Added Chirambo: “This moment is for all the people who I serve. This moment is for every Malawian out there. It is a moment for every nameless, faceless woman, man and child of colour that now has a chance to be recognized as I have been; this special moment is about humanity.”
Pamtengo Radio, MC Chijota, photographer Dave Sazuze, Miss Malawi UK director, Kondi Bowoyeke Munthali, Hair stylists Phyllis ‘Sweetjuice’ Chipojola and Thungeya ‘Lady Boss’ Nhlane, journalist Vinjeru Mkandawire, former beauty queens Alexina Phiri and Rose Mmangisa were all nominated for BEFFTA awards but did not take home the gongs.
Malawi’s hip hop star Limbani Kaliani best known as Tay Grin in the music echelons won the a BEFFTA award in 2014 as the best African Music act of the year.
BEFFTA Awards during the ceremony also honoured football legend and former Chelsea football Didier Drogba, the twice African footballer of the year but now plying his trade in the US with a special honorary award ‘The Beffta Humanitarian Award’.
The world famous striker, Drogba, founded Didier Drogba Foundation which helps educate thousands of children in Ivory Coast.
Drogba spoke to the audience through a video link.
Europe’s biggest award ceremony was established in 2009 with an aim to celebrate black and ethnic personalities in entertainment, film, fashion, television and arts is set to release a special edition of BEFFTA magazine called BEFFTA Hall Of Fame Edition.
BEFFTA awards was founded by entrepreneur, TV presenter and philanthropist Pauline Long to celebrate greatness within the African and Caribbean community and fully funded by the media personality.
“This year is extremely special, we have gone an extra mile to recognise more talent and in the spirit of giving back to the community everybody including the nominees will receive special prizes,” said Pauline Long.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :