Malawi’s first independent radio station FM 101 Power founder and managing director Oscar Thomson, will on November 6 be honoured with this year’s UMP Lifetime Achievement Award at the UMP Awards in Blantyre.
The Lifetime Achievement Award comes as a part of the annual UMP Awards and is presented to individuals who have enormously contributed to the growth of Malawi urban music and youth talent development.
For 18 years, Thomson and his FM 101 have been instrumental in the promotion of Malawian music, one of the components the UMP Festival celebrates, and it has pleased the UMP Executive to recognize such immense impact.
According to a statement released on Thursday, as someone who is passionate about music, Thomson was a club disc jockey (DJ) in Bristol, UK, before he came back to Malawi to start FM 101.
“While in the UK, Thomson applied for a radio licence but it was not successful. While he was waiting on the UK radio license, he heard that Malawi had opened for radio licences and he decided to come back to apply for a radio license in the country where he started running FM 101 in 1998.
“Power 101 proceeded to have a program dedicated to the youthful artists. Then eventually the radio station had three radio programmes dedicated to the youth,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further quotes Thomson saying: “The youth and music really inspired me and this is what really pushed me to open the radio station, Power 101. I felt that the youth of Malawi had nothing in terms of radio entertainment. I also felt that there was need to give the youthful artists in Malawi a radio platform for their music and since then FM 101 has dedicated most of its programming to Malawian music.”
The UMP Music Awards are part of the annual UMP Festival, an event celebrating Malawian urban music, arts and culture and was instituted by Nde’feyo Entertainment in 2009.
The 2015 Lifetime Achievement Awards went to two awardees, Mafunyeta and Criminal A.