Vanessa Phekani eyes UN seat: Malawi MP Lunguzi canvasses for her votes

The UN-Habitat is inviting and encouraging young people between the ages of 16 to 32 from around the world to vote for their representatives for the 2015-2017 UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board.

Vanessa Phekani

Vanessa Phekani

Candidates and voting are organized by continent with each voter allowed to vote for two candidates, one male and one female.

The Youth Advisory Board is a youth consultative body that advises UN-Habitat on strategies to engage young people in sustainable urban development.

From Malawi, Ms. Vanessa Phekani, 26 is contesting and competing with four peers from the continent namely, Ms. Harimbolam Alala Rakoto Andrianjaf (Madagascar), Ms. Irene Ikomu (Uganda), Ms. Margaret Koli (Kenya) and Ms. Sarah Mwikali Musau (Kenya).

The link for voting is:

On paper, going by the World Bank’s 2014 population estimates, Vanessa’s is a tough battle because Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar have numbers on their side.

Kenya’s estimated population is 46 million, Uganda’s 39 million, and Madagascar 24 million against Malawi’s estimated 17 million.

Speaking to Vanessa about these odds, she remains upbeat and confident on the grounds that if Malawian youths vote for her in numbers, Malawi can easily take advantage of the split votes from Kenya which has featured two candidates.

This still leaves Madagascar and Uganda.

She adds that if internet penetration can be a factor, Madagascar with an internet penetration of just about 2.2% against Malawi’s 5.4% is beatable.Source: ITU 2014. Data: 2013

Vanessa quickly adds however that: “If Malawians can vote generously and help her lobby fellow youths from SADC region for support, Malawi can secure the seat on UN Habitat Youth Advisory Board even against Uganda which has an internet penetration of 16.2% and a higher population.”

Whether Malawians who religiously follow trivial shows like Big Brother Africa will rise to the challenge, remains to be seen.

Responding to the question what exactly is she offering to the Board and Africa? Vanessa, she says:

“I am a Malawian youth who believes that Africa has an untapped resource and I want to play an integral role in harnessing it. While our continent of Africa is blessed with many resources; opportunities are limited for us, especially girls cannot contribute to changing our fortunes. As I want to be the change I want to see, I am proactively involved in numerous youth empowerment projects like educating and advocating for adolescents; campaigning against child trafficking; promoting gender equality; conducting career development initiatives & youth counselling.”

Her previous work with UN- Habitat Kenya in the Youth Unit, would be a boost for her if she is elected because she is already conversant with how the UN Habitat operates.

Canvassing for her, youthful Dedza East parliamentarian  Juliana Lunguzi who has endorsed her via social media saying:“Vanessa has the passion, zeal and can-do attitude to serve as an effective Youth Ambassador via the Youth Advisory Board,”and she urges all youths across Malawi and the SADC region to vote for Malawi.”

Voting opened on 01 August 2015 and will close on 31 August 2015 and voters are advised to vote only once. To vote go to:

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23 thoughts on “Vanessa Phekani eyes UN seat: Malawi MP Lunguzi canvasses for her votes”

  1. Afana Zedi says:

    I don’t know what UN-Habitat does, i don’t know what role the youth advisory board has, I have no clue who the candidates really are And what qualifies them for the position. Also, if this is a meaningful position, why is it filled through internet voting with no eligibility criteria on the voters? So, every Jim and Jack from any country can just vote? It also seems like she’s targeting only Malawian voters. why not run your campaign in the 50 other African countries that don’t have a candidate ? That way, you may not have to worry about Malawi’s small population and small internet penetration. Koffi Anan didn’t become UN SG because Ghana had the biggest population in the world. He won it because of his global appeal and a solid CV

  2. wovinidwa Ine says:

    Lunguzi’s commentary doesn’t mean anything, as far as influencing my vote is concerned. And this article should also have listed Ms. Phekani’s bio, achievements and agenda: to give us a clearer picture, and base the voting on that.
    Should I really vote for her because I share her nationality? Really?
    Why then, Malawians, would we, in the next breath, chastise other Malawians for voting along cultural (tribal) lines, during national elections? We are being disingenuous, to be sure!

  3. Jang'ala says:

    I cnt worst ma time voting 4 u lady. Moreover u cnt succeed ma dear jst wthdral it. Mark ma word u cnt mk it babe.

  4. Fury Road says:

    Concerned citizen(??????)

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    Zapanda ntchito izo ndipo sindingataye nthawi yanga

  6. Prison Warden says:

    Tavota kale ife!

  7. Nyambitoni says:

    Stop name calling and VOTE!!! I just did that, wathuyu ndi wa kwa neba (Zambian male)

  8. mwenengana fyamba fimpapatire says:

    all the best ccta u hav my vote alrdy

  9. Concerned health provider says:

    I was able to vote though I would not be considered a youth in any country except Malawi! It was inspiring to read the bios of these amazing young professionals from around the continent. I think Vanessa deserves the accolade and success because of her record of service and accomplishments, and her clear goals in pursuing the position. I only wish we had many more individuals such as the candidates represented to spur development in our country and region. Best wishes, Vanessa!

  10. Obster says:

    Wish you all the best

  11. Sengo says:

    voted for your sister and will spread the word within SADC!

  12. Andy says:


    You need to canvass more support tactfully especially in the neighbouring countries. The internet penetration index which you seem to rely on is fine but not everything. In fact it is only workable for Madagascar and not the rest of the countries.

    Where does Mhuru the male candidate whom I have voted for including you of course come from? So if he is from Zim, then ask Malawians to vote for him as male candidate and ask Zimbabweans to vote for him and you on the female vote. Get in touch with him right away and forge an alliance

    If Zambia has no candidates then both of you appeal for support jointly in Zambia, find a way to canvass support in Mozambique as well

    Wish you well my sister

  13. Marvelous Kenala says:

    go Vanessa,i have already voted for you,am proud of you mwana wa abwana anga

  14. I wanted to vote twice unfortunately its unacceptable

  15. max nsani says:

    number 5 kizito linyamula, mpaka ‘ it pains you when people praise Juliana Lunguzi?’ shaaa! that is soo sad! Bwanji!? zitaye m’bale wanga. or kapena changovuta ndi chingelezicho? you come out sounding so bitter, envious and sad. care to elaborate why you would go as far as being at pains?

  16. Edwin Mwalwen says:

    All the best, voted for you,baby.

  17. Apollo Ngwira says:

    All the best Vanessa. Just voted for you.

  18. Kizito Linyamula says:

    I pains me me when some misguided people inflate Juliana Lunguzi. She is not youthful in the first place. can u tell us how old she is.?

    1. mphwiyo says:

      nanuso, paja adakukanani chibwezi Julianayu yeti!

  19. Me says:


  20. Zig says:

    Apart from twisting the words of the queens language, I see no real manifesto coming from our Malawian candidate. You may have the numbers; but you ought to demonstrate to them that you are the material in need to address global issues that have effects on the youth by thinking globally and acting local

  21. Maggie Lucius says:

    I have already voted for her. Please vote. It is for a good course. For once we can stop posting negative comments and just vote for this young woman. Congratulations Vanessa. You are already a winner regardless of the results.

  22. Wina Mpoto says:

    The lady looks old as compared to the picture. dont worry since lunguzi has supported we MCP members will obviously vote for u but i love u. give me your number

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