Benson Nkhoma Somba, is a holder of an MA in Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies from Cardiff University, UK; BA Mass Communication, University of Zambia, Postgraduate Certificate in Media Management, Rhodes University, RSA, and Certificate in Professional Marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing, CIM, UK).
He is an experienced media manager, communications and social marketing professional who blends media and marketing skills, has over 17 years of practical experience in journalism, media leadership, development, establishment and management of radio, TV, newspaper and alternative media.
His involvement in marketing communications for corporate, social development and public entities in areas of communication and advocacy strategy development, implementation (development of IEC and promotional materials) and monitoring and evaluation; branding, promotion, web content development and updating, corporate publications, advertising, public relations, advocacy, campaigns, media and stakeholder relations – gives him an edge to knit and propel any Social and Behavior Change Communication campaign. His proven record stands tall as a pioneer of a number of successful initiatives and campaigns both at national and international levels for the youth, women and children. He has biases towards gender transformative initiatives, and youth participation in leadership and social economic development.
Over the years, Benson has been key in transforming mere ideas into brands. He led a technical team that supported YONECO to establish a radio station that targets the Youth, Women and Children, popularly known as YFM. He pioneered the establishment of a development and social change-oriented body, known as Galaxy Media Consultants through which he has supported various health campaigns, conducted trainings, research and developed targeted media content. Through it, he trained (and continues to do so) media practitioners and 20 media houses to produce Radio Dairies series by Johns Hopkins Bridge 1 and 2 Nditha Project. Some of the trained producers, became famous and a force to reckon with in the industry. He further trained, offered editorial and content production services for the Cheni Cheni Nchiti, a Social and Behavior Change Communication Radio programme which won the Finalist Certificate Award in the New York Festival World Best Radio Programme in Health/Medical Category (2011). Cheni Cheni Nchiti now christened Moyo Ndi Mpamba (Life is Precious) is currently a Ministry of Health Communication Strategy.
Over the years, Benson has also been very instrumental in the strategic development and growth of the YONECO Tithandizane National Helpline Services to its current status. He has a strong reputation for the development and implementation of democratic media trends, crosscutting health issues, gender and equal rights. Has excellent track record of translating ideals into tangible realities; demonstrated capability to achieve business and project goals through innovative and participative leadership skills.
While in such a senior position at YONECO, Mr. Nkhoma Somba continues to render consultancy services to a wide range of organisations for YONECO, Galaxy media and self. He is also a cultural columnists (Cultural Talk) in the popular Sunday Times. He is a very well experienced consultant in various fields including Health, Gender, Child Rights, Youth Participation and Development, Media services and strategies as well as advocacy campaigns, writing and editorial services in policy, social research, message dissemination and more types of documents. His most outstanding works include Gender and Women empowerment campaign with Oxfam, HIV/Gender for the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation, CHRR, Leadership and Youth Participation (YONECO/WORLD BANK), Youth and Private sector Engagement Directorate (YONECO/WORLD BANK), Child Rights Campaign (UNICEF/MINISTRY OF GENDER), and Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS in development (BRIDGE/John Hopkins University of America/USAID) among others.
In his previously work life, Benson was one of the pioneers for the popular Up-Street radio station, Capital FM where he won awards through the flagship programs called Newstalk and Day Break Malawi. He has also worked as a secondary school teacher at Namwera and Mulauli Secondary Schools.
Benson seats on two international Boards. He is also an alumni of the Leadership Training in Behaviour Change and Communication, Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Bridge project Malawi (2010); International Diploma in Leadership, University of Exeter course (UK) (2003 – 2004), and Advanced University Diploma in International Broadcast Journalism, The Thomson Foundation, UK. (2001 – 2002)
Above all, Mr. Nkhoma Somba is an enthusiastic worker/leader, passionate for youth, women’s and children’s rights, media and democracy, equal rights and social development. He is always keen to learn new things and helps to get the job done. Upliftment and involvement of marginalized groups in the development agenda of the nation is his greatest passion.