Innovators hail Airtel ZiliMwaife initiative
By Witness Chipwere & Tiyese Monjeza:
Innovators have hailed Airtel Malawi for its ZiliMwaife initiative which, they say, is promoting local innovations that have solutions to challenges the citizenry are facing.
The K100 million ZiliMwaife imitative, launched to appreciate exceptional individuals who are doing charitable and transformative works to uplift lives of communities, has seen the mobile services provider awarding some people with cash in the range of K1 million to K5 million.
One of the beneficiaries, retired clinician at Ekwendeni Mission Hospital Keston Mhango, who won K1 million, said he will use the money to open a disability centre in the area to assist people with various forms of disability.
The Ekwendeni-based winner with disability from Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District sacrificed himself to render health services in rural areas after observing that the malnutrition rate was high at 49 percent.
His initiative saw the rate reduced to two percent.
Among other things, Mhango interfaced with the donor community, traditional leaders, politicians and church leaders to open outreach clinics which were there at that time and 15 more were built.
“Staying at the hospital is like window-shopping because many people in rural areas struggle to access health services; they cover long distances. I thought it wise to render the services in their places for all to have access.
“It is by the grace of God, through Airtel Malawi, for me to win the prize and I will use it to open a disability centre and buy wheelchairs so that many who are in dire need of them are assisted,” Mhango said.
Another beneficiary, Mark Christopher Pakanatani, a fourth-year Bachelor of Education (Sciences) student at the University of Malawi who offers secondary school tutorials online, said the recognition will motivate him to do more in his work.
‘‘I used to borrow the laptop I used to upload lessons online but now I will be able to have my own laptop from the K1.5 million I received. I am grateful to Airtel for this initiative which is a life-changer to me. I believe I will do a lot to society,’’ Pakanatani said.
He asked Airtel to continue with the initiative.
Speaking during the awards ceremony for the winners recently, Airtel Malawi Marketing Director Thokozani Sande said they received 63,000 stories of individuals who are changing the lives of communities across the country.
She said the initiative was one of the company’s ways of giving back to the community which trusts its mobile services.
Other winners included Kondwani Kachamba Ngwira, Protazio Jedidiah, Chimwemwe Mwenefumbo and John Emmanuel.