President Lazarus Chakwera and vice-president Saulos Chilima on Monday morning joined hundreds of mourners when they paid tribute to the former Miss Malawi, Blandina Khondowe, who died Sunday afternoon in Lilongwe.
Khondowe’s death moved Malawians in an unprecedented way. She was a people’s person.
Chakwera and Chilima went to the funeral home in Lilongwe of the former staunch advocate of the fight against breast cancer.
Khondowe, born on October 12, 1980, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, which she later overcame after chemotherapy and other treatments, only to be diagnosed with it again in 2017. She succumbed to cancer reoccurrence on Saturday.
Chakwera and Chilima condoled the bereaved family in the funeral home.
Khondowe, who won the national beauty crown in 2002, was founder of Think Pink, an organization that encourages women to go for cancer screening. She was also a tourism officer in the ministry of tourism.
Chilima who took part in burial ceremony said he was devastated at the loss of Khondowe who he described as “a consummate patriot, a fearless and courageous fighter”.
Some of the notable faces at the funeral were Information and Tourism ministers, Gospel Kazako and Michael Usi, respectively.
Khondowe was also a staunch supporter of UTM, a political decision which nearly cost her job as a tourism officer during the reign of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
She has been working at Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and wildlife, since 2008.
The cancer activist was also the 2019 recipient of the Barbara Brenner Breast Cancer Activist Scholarship to attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) in Texas.
She is survived by a husband and two children.
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