Hundreds of journalists and other Blantyre city residents on Saturday, January 31, 2015 braved heavy rains to attend the fundraising braai organised by journalists under the banner ‘Media Action 4 Society’ to raise funds for flood victims in Blantyre city and rural areas.
Top of the pile was a K1 million donation from Mota Engil Africa which was announced at the event by the company’s media consultant Thomas Chafunya who travelled all the way from Lilongwe accompanied by his wife Tamara to attend the event.
Blantyre City mayor Noel Chalamanda – accompanied by her four-year old daughter, was among the patrons at the lively braai which organizers estimate could have grossed K2 million on sales, donations and door collections. Chalamanda himself donated K50,000 towards the cause.
Other notable figures who attended the braai include Zodia Broadcasting Corporation managing director Gospel Kazako, MBC acting director general Aubrey Sumbuleta, former Nedbank CEO Anderson Kulugomba, renowned marketer Khumbo Sambo and Big Bullets senior official Malinda Chinyama.
Sumbuleta also donated K50,000 following earlier donations towards the initiative which included K50,000 from State House press officer, Silvestor Namiwa, K50,000 from Ntcheu Bwanje South MP Godwin Kanjere, K30,000 from NBM head of marketing Wilkins Mijiga, K10,000 from Ministry of Agriculture officer Aaron Mapsere and K6,000 from journalist and The Meat Shop owner Frank Phiri.
In his remarks, Chalamanda commended the journalists for organising the fundraiser, saying the media in Malawi has played a crucial role – through their stories, in ensuring that victims of the floods get support from both local and international donors.
“This fundraising initiative just cements the good job you guys have done since the floods started,” said Chalamanda.
On his part, the initiative organizing chairperson, Thom Khanje – who is also Media Institute of Southern Africa – Malawi Chapter chairperson, said thanked fellow journalist for the team work they have shown in organizing the event, saying the scribes have demonstrated they are one family who can unite to achieve any particular cause.
“And let me also support media owners for providing support which included free advertising space and airtime for the initiative, as well as other members of the public for giving us various donations and for attending this event. Without all of you, this initiative would not have been a success,” said Khanje.
The organizers are expected to meet during the week to reconcile all the collections and donations they have realized and decide when and where in Blantyre city and rural their donations will have to be presented.