Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) country director Michael Usi has taken a swipe at state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), mainly it’s director general Aubrey Simbuleta for blocking latest ‘Tikuferanji’ episode.
The latest episode was supposed to be aired last Saturday, but the state broadcaster’s Director General reportedly shoved the series as its content were reportedly not in favour of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government.
Instead MBC Tv repeated a programme that was shown a fortnight ago without seeking consent from ADRA, a development that did not go well with Usi, who took trouble to confront MBC management over it.
Usi, widely known as Manganya in comedy circles , said he was surprised when his eyes caught a repeated Tikufera programme when they had produced a latest series and was duly given to the state broadcaster for beaming last Saturday.
“We pay them K25 million every year to have Tikuferanji beamed on state television. Their conduct breached the contract existing between MBC and ADRA
“The programme was replaced following a directive from above and it is the director general himself who made this retrogressive order and chose to breach our agreement. He made the directive just because of the fear of unknown. Tikuferanji is non-partisan and is there to address issues on human rights, gender, democracy and good governance,” said Usi.
He said they will not produce another episode until MBC beam the series in question.
When asked whether they will consider pulling out the programmes, the outspoken comedian said “they must respect the contract which is there, but if they don’t go by the agreement, appropriate action will likely be taken”.
When contacted to provide his side of the story, MBC director general Aubrey Simbuleta declined to comment.
The focus of the drama series has slowly been widening to encompass not only HIV/AIDS issues but also addressing issues on human rights, gender, democracy and other social topics.
ADRA Malawi has a long history of over 20 years of implementing HIV/AIDS programs, working in a range of methods of HIV prevention, treatment and care support and ‘Tikuferani’ is also aimed at preventing and mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS.
ADRA uses Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) methodologies through mass media and community based mobilization and advocacy.
The drama series called Tikuferanji “Why are we dying?” produced by the ADRA Malawi has been on the radio for nearly 13 years and on television for approximately 8 years disseminating HIV/AIDS messages.
And it is one of the popular television shows and it received the radio play of the Year Award at the 2008 MBC Entertainers of Year Awards, and it has been voted the best advocacy program in Malawi on radio and television.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :