This year Montfort Media celebrated 20 years of the existence of Together Magazine – the only youth magazine that acts as a platform for the youths in the country. Bartholomew Boaz (BB) is the incumbent Editor and is the longest serving member of the magazine. Nyasa Times Reporter Elijah Phimbi (EP) engaged him in this interview as part of the 20th anniversary of Together Magazine.
EP: First of all congratulations for being part of the team celebrating 20th Anniversary for Together Youth Magazine.
BB: Thank you so much.
EP: Can you give us your brief background, who is Bartholomew Boaz?
BB: I am the first born in a family of five, born on November 24, 1978 in Machinga district. I did my primary school education at Nkasaulo Primary School in Machinga then went to do my secondary school education at St Paul the Apostle Minor Seminary in Mangochi.
Since my initial desire was to become a priest, I joined St John the Baptist Major Seminary to proceed with priesthood formation but decided to discontinue. Hence I left the seminary when I was in the third year of my formation after I had obtained my Diploma in Liberal Arts (Philosophy).
Later in 2002 I joined Radio Maria Malawi where I doubled as a reporter and presenter until 2005. I left Radio Maria when I was head of news.
EP: When and how did you join Montfort Media?
BB:I joined Montfort Media Ltd in February 2005. That time, apart from the printing section, Montfort Media had a radio studio. I was one of the producers producing various programmes that were aired at Radio Maria Malawi. Gradually, I started writing for Together magazine and later The Lamp magazine.
EP: You have been at the hub of Montfort Media, particularly Together magazine, how has been the journey?
BB: I have been with Montfort Media for the past 11 years. I became Together magazine editor in 2011 after the departure of the then editor, Patrick Bwanali. I took over when the magazine had already stamped its authority among the youths. I have also been one of the pioneers of the company’s vernacular newspaper, Mkwaso, which started in 2007 and which I am also its editor.
The journey has been a mixed bag, with full of successes as well as challenges. Together magazine has continued to attract more readers as evidenced by the increased circulation. The magazine has also improved in terms of general outlook and content.
However, Together has survived harsh economic times. With many publications folding due to resource constraints, the magazine has been there for the past 20 years continuing to be a platform for the youth. It is a miracle that the magazine is still surviving because advertisers, whom we desperately need, are not forthcoming to advertise with us.
EP: How can you describe the future of Together magazine?
BB: Together has a bright future. We feel more youths are falling in love with the magazine because it is their only meeting place. It is their only medium through which they are able to voice out their concerns.
EP: Your advice to the youths of Malawi
BB: The youth have the potential to make a positive contribution to the country’s development. They just have to have self-belief. They need to discover their talents and make use of that talent. I ask them to strive to live to leave a positive impact.
EP: What is your favourite food?
BB: I go for any food that tastes good. However, local foods are my preference.
EP:What team do you support both locally and internationally?
BB: At the international level I support Arsenal in England and Real Madrid in Spain. At the local level, kindly allow me keep to myself the team I support.
EP: What do you like to do during your free time?
BB: During my free time I like reading and writing books. You might be aware that I authored two books; a vernacular novel titled Bwasala and a football book called Football Made Simple. Currently I am writing children books. Apart from writing I also enjoy playing social football during my free time.
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