Onjezani Kenani’s ‘CoVID Response Private Citizen’ initiative receives the Commonwealth Points of Light award

Great Britain’s Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has awarded recognised the ‘CoVID Response Private Citizen’ initiative which Malawian Onjezani Kenani rolled out to fundraise towards procurement of medical resources in the fight against CoVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative has been awarded with the Commonwealth Points of Light award, says a statement from the British High Commission in Malawi.

The Commonwealth Points of Light awards are made by Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, to thank inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond.

In the statement the British High Commission to Malawi says the “second wave of CoVID-19 pandemic hit Malawi extremely hard evidenced by record number of admissions and deaths”.

Kenani: Recognised by the Queen of England for  Covid-19 Response Initiative

“The health system was overwhelmed as there were not enough cylinders and concentrators, which are essential for the supply of the oxygen to CoVID patients, as well as PPE and diagnostic kits.

British High Commission takes cognizance that the CoVID Response Private Citizen’ initiative “spearheaded a crowdfunding campaign that has raised nearly £207,000 to enable the purchase of oxygen cylinders and associate items, PPE and assorted hospital equipment for distribution in main hospitals across Malawi”.

British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer is quoted in the statement as saying: “CoVID-19, particularly the second wave, has had a serious impact on Malawi through loss of loved ones and damage to the economy.

“At a time when the resilience of the country’s health system was seriously tested, this citizen’s initiative complemented Government efforts to fight the pandemic in a timely and very effective way.

“Fight CoVID-19 needs every one of us to act, and the efforts of the Citizen’s Initiative should serve as an inspiration to us all,” Beer said.

The statement quotes deputy lead organiser of the initiative, Dr. Thandiwe Majenda Hara as saying the project brought together primary school children, alumni from secondary schools and universities, struggling single parents, hardworking small businesses, big banks, the religious fraternity, the media, political figures and all Malawians at home and abroad.

“All these diverse individuals had just one mission between them — saving Malawians from the deadly virus.

“As a team, we can’t claim we deserve this award any more than the members of the public, who brought the initiative to life. The award captures what it means to be ‘Malawian’.

“That is: to stand up and do something about a situation than to wait for help; to be proud to do something for the nation; to jump in and be part of it!

“I dedicate the award to each and every one of the Malawians who demonstrated what it means to be Malawian. You are the stars.

“On behalf of these people, I say thanks to Her Majesty’s Government for recognizing these out standing citizens,” said Hara, who trended as Thandie Wa Pulimuheya during the initiative on Facebook.

British High Commissioner: David Beer

After Kenani posted the good news on Facebook, there were over 1,700 likes after 10 hours in which over 300 were congratulations comments.

Abbas Panjwani said this was a well deserved award and that Onjezani Kenani and his team has made all proud by putting Malawi on the world map with “this selfless initiative”.

Mphatso Mbewe said he joins the rest of Malawians in celebrating that the “Queen has recognized the initiative and every Malawian who took part. Onje, you are man of the moment, we wishing you a very long life.”

Clement Kanyama: Stan, you did good — lives were saved and families restored. We all saw and truly appreciated these remarkable acts of serving. Receive my congratulations.

“As I know you personally and have been part of your journey, I feel to note that the larger world community has recognised you. May God’s abundance be with you and family.

Human rights activist, Habiba Osman applauded all fellow Malawians “that came forward and made this a reality. You all are our heroes and heroines. This should go down in history as a ‘Citizen Rescue Mission’.

While Davis Ndelemani said “without prejudice” the Malawi Government “would have been the first to give a special recognition to this initiative not by [just] in a speech. Munaliphula dziko pa moto a Kenani ndi anzanu (you saved the country from the coals of fire).”

Bhima Mkutumula said “the true definition of being Malawian is umunthu and this initiative has demonstrated that at length” but it is “sad” it has to take the Queen “to accountably recognize that but what did we normally expect when such a virtue seems to be alien here at home”.


“Anyway, on behalf of the prime citizens who are a bit embarrassed to express such gratitude, we give you our heartfelt medals of honor. You have since been inducted into our halls of fame.”


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3 years ago

Rename some of our street with no meaning after them plz.lets respect and appreciate our own when they are alive

3 years ago

Malawi Government could not even openly say thank you to these heroes and heorins. Ministers and MPs pretended there was nothing of this sort. Unfortrunateyly Ojezani Kenani is not among the eight people the Queens has recognised. Can someone explain why? This story has not provided such details – I dont know why because the list of such people is available.

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