Times journalist Ponje triumphs in Sadc awards


By Matthews Kasanda

Times Group journalist, Ananiya Alick Ponje, has won this year’s Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) media award in the television category, attracting applause from various quarters including President Lazarus Chakwera.

In a statement signed by Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, the President states that the development is a “proud moment for Malawi bearing in mind that there is always stiff competition among the 16 [Sadc] member states.”


“Further, it is the expectation of the State President that the award will encourage Mr Ponje and the media in general to work harder than before,” reads the statement.

Chakwera also hopes that the award will inspire every Malawian to work hard to put the country on the international map for good reasons and that it reminds the nation that Malawi has enough capacity to compete and succeed.

“Building on Mr Ponje’s success, government encourages the media to participate in the 2021 awards whose details will be made available in due course,” the statement says.


Reacting to the recognition, Ponje said he has been inspired to work harder than before and always aim for the best while being as professional as possible.

“We work because we have a duty to serve others. But, when we get recognised for our efforts, it tells us that our work has an impact out there. In fact, it also challenges us to do better than before,” Ponje said.

A statement from Sadc Secretariat issued yesterday says Angolan Afonso Jorge has won in the radio category while Prosper Ndlovu of Zimbabwe scooped the print-category award with Godfrey Mpuse of Botswana winning in the photo category.

Ponje’s winning story ‘Adamant strangers?: Mozambicans are back’ chronicled the lives of over 400 Mozambican ‘asylum seekers’ who had returned to Mwanza district after their repatriation towards the end of 2018.

Meanwhile, the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust has asked the government to have operational Sadc structures in the country so that Malawians can easily engage in policy dialogue and social accountability related to regional integration.

The executive director of Nice Ollen Mwalubunju asked this during the capacity building workshop of Nice district information officers and community radios on the coronavirus and Sadc regional integration.— Additional reporting by Rebecca Chimjeka.

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