UNESCO, Macra say radio powerful tool to combat stereotypes

UNESCO and Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) have described radio and sports as powerful tools that can be used in combating stereotypes and gender imbalances in the country.

Macra’s itayer and other officials present prizes

The two organizations made the observation on Tuesday at Monkey Bay Community Resource Centre Ground where Malawi joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Radio Day which falls on February 13 every year.

Assistant Executive Secretary for Malawi National Commission for the UNESCO, Christopher Magomelo, challenged radios in the country to start providing coverage to minority sports activities that many consider unpopular but have deep cultural influence among communities.

“In Malawi we have games such as bawo, which is source of relaxation for many people across the country and it can be used as instrument for promoting cohesion and understanding if it were to be organized across districts and regions and widely covered by radios,” said Magomelo.

He added: “Let’s celebrate the traditional sports that connect us to our cultural heritage; the grassroots sports that exist within our communities and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and also covers equally both men’s and women’s sporting events.”

He described 2018 as the year of significance as there are numerous sporting events at international level, citing Winter Olympic in Korea currently under way as an example.

The UNESCO official challenged radios in the country and world over to seize the opportunity to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity.

On the other hand, Macra Director General, Godfrey Itaye said broadcasting in Malawi has comparatively taken remarkable strides.

He hailed the flourishing of community radios in the country which he said play a vital role in fighting stereotypes and gender imbalances in rural communities among other things.

As part of the event which was celebrated under the theme ‘Radio and Sports’, Macra Director General toured Dzimwe, the oldest community radio in Malawi located at Monkey, which has lately upgraded its broadcasting services with support from Macra and UNESCO.

The event was also marked by a net ball match between Lisumbwi and Monkey Bay secondary schools which ended 4 to 11 baskets in favor of the latter.

Macra awarded the wining school with MK40,000 cash and a desk top computer while the other school went away with MK20,000 cash and a desktop computer too.

The communications regulatory body also donated a computer to Dzimwe Community Radio to ease its operations.

World Radio Day was first celebrated in 2012. Following its declaration by the UNESCO General Conference, it was subsequently adopted by UN as an international day.

Malawi first cerebrated the Day in 2014 and has since been observing it every year under various localized themes.

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