The Board Member for YONECO, Joseph Mshanga, described the media as part of the solution in the process of ending child marriage which is one of the gross child rights violations in Malawi.
Mshanga urged the media to cast more light on child rights and appeal to change at a Media Awards Ceremony which YONECO in partnership with Media Advocates for the Advancement of Child Rights in Malawi organized.
“Child marriage is a very big problem in Malawi and it requires our serious attention and the role of the media cannot be overemphasized; it is quite critical and this should not be the end,” said Mshanga before a panel of 5 judges announced names of winners in print and electronic categories.
After the judges’ analysis and deliberation, Cassim Aubi of Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) emerged the winner in the electronic category and was seconded by Hassan Phiri of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). In the Print media category, Yamikani Yapuwa of Malawi News Agency (MANA) emerged as the winner with Mike Van Kamande, a Correspondent with Nation Newspapers Limited (NPL), as the second winner. The first prizes were MK 150,000 and MK 100,000 for the first and second winners respectively.
In his remarks, the representative from Media Advocates for the Advancement of Child Rights, Bashir Amin concurred with Mshanga and he said the media exist to bring people’s attention to various ills of the society with the hope that the rightful authorities and the citizenry will pick them up and do the needful to address the issues.
In her acceptance speech, the first winner in the Print Media Category, Yamikani Yapuwa, said that the award has acted as a motivator and promised to advocate for the rights of children especially adolescent girls.
The function was organized by YONECO with support from Simavi through More than Brides Alliance Malawi under Marriage No Child’s Play project which is being implemented in Mangochi, Mchinji and Nkhata Bay districts.