Celebrated Malawi music artist, Tay Grin, and soccer stars, Fischer ‘Anong’a’ Kondowe, Henry ‘Magetsi’ Kabichi, and George Nyirenda over the weekend inspired the youth of Mangochi during a HeForShe campaign.
The event was held at Nampiguja Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Bwananyambi. It was organized by UN Women as part of the organization’s activities in promoting girl child education and gender equality in the districts of Dedza, Salima and Mangochi.
The celebrities encouraged the youth to set realistic goals and work hard towards achieving the same even when challenges seem to be too hard to overcome.
“Each and every one of you has different talents instilled in you and I’d like to encourage you to discover that talent and work hard to perfect it,” said Nyasa Big Bullets soccer star, George Nyirenda in his address to hundreds of youths who patronized the event.
Nyirenda also urged parents to begin to treat both boys and girls equally in their families and give them all the support they need to claim their rightful space in society.
The soccer star said it was very disheartening to note that sometime parents tend to value male children more than their female children in most aspects of life such as education.
In an interview with journalists, Fischer ‘Anong’a’ Kondowe singled out poverty as the main reason many girls always fail to go further with their education.
Kondowe concurred with Nyirenda that “success comes at a cost” and he urged the youth to face challenges head-on if they are to make strides in life.
“Apart from poverty, I’d add peer pressure as one of the social problems among the youth making them fail to continue with their education in Malawi and Africa as a whole,” noted Fischer.
He added: “I’m saying this from experience; sometimes the people one chooses to be associated with may lead to one’s success or one’s downfall.
“I’d like to strongly appeal to the youth not to get carried away easily; choose friends who can help achieve your set goals.”
Coordinator for the HeForShe Movement for UN Women in Malawi, Habiba Osman expressed satisfaction that the campaign is paying dividends in Mangochi.
Osman said so far they had managed to mobilize male champions at all levels such as chiefs, religious leaders, parliamentarians and celebrities to join the campaign.
“Mangochi is among the districts where our baseline survey indicated that there was high rate of school dropout due to early pregnancies and teen-marriages,” explained Osman adding that the project also takes on board boys because leaving them out was not helping to solve the problem.
Osman added that the HeForShe Movement was, therefore, designed to bring together boys and girls to achieve the much needed equality and girl child empowerment.
The event was spiced up by various activities among them, football and netball where four schools around Nampiguja Primary competed for HeForShe trophy.
Tay Grin took the event to a higher tempo to consolidate all the HeForShe messages by dishing out what the self-acclaimed ‘Nyau King’ is well known for in music circles.