Diaspora Malawians in the UK Friday evening hosted a cocktail party at Kwacha House, London in honour of the Malawian Olympic team currently participating in the ongoing 2012 Olympic games.
The reception also hosted Malawi’s up and coming fashion designer Lilly Alfonso who participated in the stupendous Africa Fashion Week in London and the Nazikambe Theatre arts group members who are in the UK to stage a series of performances on Jack Mapanje’s memoir titled ‘And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night.’
Minister of Sports and Youth development Enoch Chakufwa Chihana and Malawi’s newly appointed deputy High Commissioner to London, John Tembo Jr led the Malawian community in hosting the flag carriers.
Organisers included entrepreneur Phyllis ‘Sweetjuice’ Chipojola, Nyasa Times journalist Peter Makossah, and businesswoman Edith Chikago-Parker in conjunction with the Malawi Embassy in the UK.
In his keynote address Chihana thanked Malawians in the UK for offering a sense of community and showing solidarity to the visiting Olympians, the country’s celebrated fashion designer and the touring Nazikambe actors and actresses.
“I am very happy and at the same time thankful that you have organised this party for us all who are in the UK on a tour of duty. You have offered us a sense of homeliness and have made us to feel at home,” said the sports Minister.
Chihana said he was happy that Malawians in the UK have given support to the Olympians.
“As a country we must be very proud that our own Joyce Tafatatha’s performance at the Olympics was excellent and this inspiring to the country. As a country we need to support our athletes so that next time we can achieve more, we have the ability but we need more support to develop our sports from the grassroots level,” said Chihana.
Chihana said that under the new leadership of President Mrs Joyce Banda in a short time has managed to retain the diplomatic relationship with her Majesty’s government.
“The new Joyce Banda administration needs Diaspora Malawian solidarity. Our president is a listening president and together we can change our country for the better but importantly the president needs your support not only from people who are in Malawi but also those in the diaspora. She is a leader with a heart of gold and has heart for Malawi and her people,” said Chihana.
The 14-year-old Joyce Tafatatha, earlier in the day, made the Malawi great proud when in the first action of the Malawi team in London Olympic Games; she won the fourth heat with a decent time of 27.74s. She won in the category of the women’s 50 metres swimming freestyle and despite not claiming any medal, she made Malawians proud.
In his remarks, the newly appointed Malawian envoy to the UK, the second in command to London, John Tembo Jr. thanked the organisers for organising the event for the Malawian Olympians and the entire Malawian delegation for welcoming him to London in a special way.
“I’m so very honoured that Malawians in the UK have organised this event to welcome me and to interact with them. More importantly, I am happy that this event has been organised in honour of our Olympians who are representing our country and putting our flag on the world map.”
He added: “This is wonderful and breathtaking. I am also happy that in the UK at the moment we have a Malawian fashion designer who is showcasing her works at the London Fashion week. We also have our own theatre group currently in the UK on tour and this party only shows that Malawians here are united and I promise to serve all Malawians to the best of my ability so that together we can serve our beautiful country Malawi,” said Tembo Jr.
Speaking earlier president of the national Olympic Committee Oscar Kanjala expressed gratitude to the Malawians in the UK for honouring the Olympians with such an eventful occasion saying it gave them an opportunity to interact with Malawians.
“On behalf of all the athletes and officials I would like to thank the organisers and all Malawians for this honour. It is an honour and nobility that will lift our spirits as we compete in the Olympic Games. Thank you for your support. We feel proud to represent our country knowing that our countrymen and women are proud of us,” said Kanjala.
Making her opening speech, Gertrude Chirambo, vice chairperson of Malawi Association UK said her organisation aims to increase community connections between Malawi and the UK through the building of local and international partnerships and networks and seeks to support development activities in Malawi and to promote a positive image of Malawi and its culture abroad.
“We Malawians in the UK are very proud of the Olympic team achievements and we want you to rise higher in knowing that the sky is not the limit for you for there is more beyond the sky. You make us proud to be Malawian. Your presence in London clearly demonstrates your unique talents which are recognised at national level,” said Chirambo.
Chirambo urged the Olympians to work hard and to give in their best for their country saying sports is beyond competition.
Said Chirambo: “Sports is not just about winning it also gives us an opportunity to learning to be disciplined, follow the rules of the game, endurance, tenacity, not giving up, team spirit, skills which can be applied in life at any level. For the youth sports can help in eliminating idle times and prevents them from other forms of misbehaviour.”
She said Malawi Association UK are always happy of initiatives aimed at celebrating fellow Malawians in line with goals to enhance unity connectivity and networking among Malawians adding that she her organisation was thankful to the organisers of the event.
The event was sponsored by flag carriers, Air Malawi Cargo Service.
In an interview, Air Malawi UK manager Steve Msamala said he was so proud that Air Malawi was part of the event saying as flag carrier Air Malawi Cargo is always pleased to be associated with other flag carriers and in this case; the Olympians, the Nanzikambe Theatre group and Alfonso all of whom are in the UK to lift the Malawian flag aloft.
“Air Malawi cargo is for Malawians and we are always happy to be associated with our people in the UK. We exist solely to serve the interest of the Malawian people. I must thank the organisers of the event it was so well organised. It was great meeting with our clientele – the Malawian people in the UK,” said Msamala.
Kondi Bowoyeke Munthali was the DJ at the event and played Malawian tunes to the patrons.
Malawi women Association founding president lawyer Grace Manyika applauded the organisers of the event and the Malawi Embassy in the UK for organising such a wonderful event saying it a great gathering with lots exciting people to interact with.
“This is great,” she said. “The event was so well organised, and for the first time I saw a lot of Paparazzi’s and professional photographers at a Malawian function”
Artist and TV crooner Justin Malewezi Jr. of Okongola Malawi trademark and Poet and spoken word lyrist Aubrey ‘The Gospel’ Mvula of Ralphapaul photography provided professional photographic services at the event.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :