Malawi: Lazarus Mgomezulu from Radio Alinafe wins Best Farm Radio Program Award (By Pauline Mbuwka, for Farm Radio Weekly in Malawi)
Date Posted: May 21st, 2012
Lazarus Mgomezulu received the inaugural Best Farm Radio Program Award during the National Media Institute of Southern Africa (NAMISA) 2012 Annual Media Awards ceremony, held on May 5, 2012 in Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe.
His award winning program, entitled “Dairy farming ends hunger,” focused on a dairy farming initiative introduced by World Vision Malawi in 2006. Initially, eighty farmers were each given a cow. When the cow produced female offspring, the farmers passed one on to another member of the dairy co-operative. Currently, 153 farmers have received cows through the project.
When announcing the winning program, the Chairperson of the Judges Committee noted that Mr. Mgomezulu had won the prize in part because he had met Farm Radio International standards of “… valuing the farmer by doing a program in the local language which is gender-sensitive, and [giving] … farmers the opportunity to speak and be heard.”
The judges used VOICE standards to evaluate the program submissions: (Value for farmers, Opportunity for farmers to speak and be heard, Information that is timely and sensitive from the best sources, Consistency, and Entertainment for both male and female farmers. They also used NAMISA criteria of originality, impact, consistency, investigation, analysis and courage.
Lazarus is a 34-year old who has been teaching primary school for 15 years. His passion for broadcasting began as a child. Lazarus has been volunteering at Radio Alinafe since 2004. In 2008, he received a Certificate in Journalism from the Malawi Institute of Journalism.
Radio Alinafe is a religious radio station established in 2002. Its broadcasts cover the central region of Malawi. Currently, Lazarus co-produces the station’s main farming program Ulimi, meaning “Farming.”
When asked about the award, Lazarus said, “This is [a] breakthrough for me and Radio Alinafe. I did not expect to emerge the winner…. This has motivated me to work extra hard and to improve the future production, because I know more people are going to submit next year.”
A smiling Lazarus reports that he is very interested in farm radio programs “… because then listeners can relate theory with the practicals. And I also believe that people gain knowledge from others which helps them improve in farming.”
For the award, Lazarus received a trophy and a plasma TV.
The Best Farm Radio Program Award is a new award category for NAMISA. It is sponsored by Farm Radio International, Farm Radio Malawi and the Department of Agricultural Extension Services. It was introduced to recognize the role of agricultural broadcasters in improving the lives of small-scale farmers, and the need to motivate agricultural broadcasters and raise the standards and profile of farm radio programming in Malawi.