22 March 2019
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Saturday, 29 December 2018 13:47

Mana's Yamikani Yapuwa is best print journalist in 2018 Yoneco Media Awards

Written by  Thokozire Mtonga
Yapuwa - happy and contented with her prize - Pic by Kondwani Magombo Yapuwa - happy and contented with her prize - Pic by Kondwani Magombo

Mangochi, December 29, 2018: Blantyre-based Malawi News Agency (Mana) journalist Yamikani Yapuwa and Zomba-based Zodiak Broadcasting Station’s Cassim Aubi went home smiling on Friday after emerging best print and electronic reporters, respectively, in Yoneco 2018 Media Awards.  

The awarding ceremony took place in Liwonde witnessed by journalists from various media houses across the country and representatives from Media Council of Malawi and Blantyre Press Club, among others.

Yapuwa emerged the best with her feature article: Treating Child Marriages as What they Are: Defilement which was published on November 14, 2018 in The Daily Times exposing challenges young girls in Mangochi and Mchinji face due to early marriages.

The article wonders why the nation leaves men that marry young girls unpunished despite a law in place stipulating that any person who has sex with a minor commits an offence of defilement.

Aubi came first in the electronic category with a special report on challenges underage girls face in the two districts due to Chitomero cultural practice, among others that push the minors into marriage.

The two carted home cash amounting to K150, 000 each.

Their runners-up, Balaka-based Nation Publications Limited’s correspondent Mike Van Kamande (print category) and Mangochi-based Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) reporter Hassan Phiri (electronic) went away with K100, 000 each.

“I am very excited,” said Yapuwa when Mana sought her reaction after receiving the award.
“I am very happy and thankful to Yoneco for organizing the Media Awards and I am very grateful to my workmates and editors at Mana for the support they always give,” she added.

On his part, Aubi said: “I thank Allah and the team at Zodiak. I also thank Yoneco for the initiative as it has motivated me to write more on child marriages and child rights in general.”

Yoneco organized the Media Awards under the project ‘Marriage: No Child’s Play’ which it is implementing in the area of Traditional Authorities Namavi and Makanjira in Mangochi and Zulu in Mchinji to fight early marriages.

The project started in 2016 and will end in 2020 with funding from the Dutch Government through Yoneco’s long-term partner Simavi.

Yoneco has over the years conducted training sessions and media tours to the project impact areas with selected journalists from various media houses for them to appreciate the situation on the ground.

Yoneco Board Member, Joseph Isaac Mushanga hailed the media for consistently reporting on challenges young girls face in the three impact areas due to early marriages.

“I would like to commend the media for the important role that you are playing in protecting the rights of children through your reportage,” Mushanga said.

Yoneco’s Programme Manager Wezi Mtonga Kamphale urged journalists to remain the voice of the young girls and continue bringing to light issues hindering their access to sexual reproductive health services, among other things.

The panel of judges for the awards included Bashil Amin from Media Council, District Information Officers for Mchinji, Mangochi and Machinga, namely, Sarah Munthali, Kondwani Magombo and Patrick Ndawala, respectively.

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