President Lazarus Chakwera has appealed to Malawians to continue exposing and using their skills selflessly for the betterment of the country.
He made these remarks on Friday during the 2022 Presidential Zikomo Awards ceremony at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when 21 outstanding individuals in the fields of education, arts, agriculture, information and communication technology (ICT) and youth entrepreneurs under 30 years of age were awarded during the ceremony.
In his address to the awardees, Chakwera highlighted the importance of promoting talents for national service over mere pursuit of accolades.
“This award doesn’t mean that you who are here being awarded should be complacent, but it intends to spur you further into greater sacrificial acts of altruism in service of your country, and therefore, much more shall be expected from you.
“And this award does not mean that you are being compensated for your services to the country. If you have been doing your works out of love for the country, that means you have already accepted the progress of Malawi as a result of your works.
“The greatest reward we enjoy is the privilege and opportunity we have been given to serve,” the president said.
Earlier on, Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Culture, Dr. Michael Usi, appealed to the youthful generation to continue using their skills by coming up with many outstanding projects and engage in services that benefit the country.
Representative of the awardees, ICT specialist, Dr. Rachel Sibande, described the gesture as a fuel in the engine to encourage others to do more and better in changing lives of Malawians.
“These 2022 Zikomo Awards are simply a representation of your dedication to recognize the various skills we have. I believe that I am speaking on behalf of many unsung heroes outside there who are greatly impacting the nation. You have propelled us and planted in us and many others outside there, a seed of inspiration,” she said.
During the event, hip-hop artist, the late Martin Nkhata, also known as ‘Martse’, was posthumously awarded during the 2022 Presidential Zikomo Awards for inspiring the youths.
Among many in the arts industry, renowned actress Enifa Chiwaya, also known as ‘Nanyoni’ was awarded for her profound talent and dedication.
In agriculture, Chikoko Chirwa, who has been instrumental in the expansion of Kasangazi Irrigation Scheme, also received an award, while in education, Temwa Msiska, founder of Zowe Foundation, was recognized for supporting 285 vulnerable children.
Renowned artist Pisky spiced the occasion with his hit song, ‘It’s Anana’, which sent the audience into a dancing frenzy.
The awards started in 2021 when 20 people from the Ministry of Health were awarded for their exceptional services during the lethal Covid 19 pandemic toughest. The event promises to stay as annual event where various Malawians will now be awarded for doing well in their various fields.
NBS Bank, National Bank, Standard Bank, Premier Bet and Speedy were among many organisations that sponsored the event.