Journalist Raphael Tenthani’s burial today
The body of renowned Times Group columnist and BBC correspondent Raphael Tenthani, will be laid to rest today at his home village, Agabu, in the area of Traditional Authority Ganya in Ntcheu.
Several tributes from media colleagues, politicians, the civil society and other people have been pouring in for Tenthani, who was well known for providing hard-hitting and in-depth socio-political analysis through his column Muckraking on Sunday published in The Sunday Times.
Tenthani, who was 43, died on Saturday night in a car crash at Kam’mwamba while returning from his home village.
A brother to Raphael, Kizito Tenthani, described him as a gentle brother who loved his family members, saying the family will greatly miss him.
Kizito said Raphael showed his passion for journalism at a tender age when he used to subscribe to Malawi News using the little money that their parents gave them.
“Some of us would used our money to buy clothes and sweets. But Raphael would use the money to pay for newspaper subscription. He would pay subscription for three or six weeks—he had that passion. He also used to listen to ‘Theatre of Air’ every Fridays. So, I grew up knowing him as somebody in the literary world and that came to fruition right about the time we changed to multiparty democracy through his time with The Nation up to the time he was identified by the BBC. So, he has grown and lived his passion,” the brother said.
Speaking at the College of Medicine before his body was taken to Ntcheu, Times Group Managing Director Leonard Chikadya said Tenthani was not only a journalist but an advisor.
“He was an advisor to the President, an advisor to politicians, advisor to the civil society organisations and their leaders and an advisor to all Malawians. His writings were full of wisdom and every person reading his articles was able to draw great lessons from them. That is why even the BBC recognised that talent and used it. We have lost a rare talent,” Chikadya said.
He said many people would grab a copy of Sunday Times to read what Raphael Tenthani wrote on that particular Sunday.
In a statement that Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa described Tenthani as a patriot.
“He was a patriot, who, through his writings, fought for and shaped Malawi’s democracy. Through his writings locally and beyond, he helped in putting Malawi on the world map. Mr. Tenthani contributed the development of Malawi by sensitising our citizens on their rights and responsibilities.
“He will be missed for his charm, his courage, zeal, skill and his willingness to share his ideas with us all. The President’s deepest sympathies and heart also go out to the Tenthani family, especially the children, who were together with their father during the tragic accident,” Nankhumwa said.
Media Insitute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter Chairperson, Thom Khanje, said in Tenthani’s death; Malawi’s media has lost a pillar of media freedom, a prolific writer, a mentor and a friendly colleague.
“He once served as a member of the Misa Malawi National Governing Council (NGC) and proved to be an instrumental defender of media freedom and freedom of expression. Tenthani will not only be remembered by many as a senior journalist and editor, but one of the most respected and inspirational writers in Malawi,” Khanje said.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues