Mary Mbewe accepts the 2020 Editorial Leadership Award for Africa

"I believe journalism chose me and I fell in love with writing from an early age (12 ), when my brother, Donald Malama (now late) forced me to read novels and later explain the content to him in our mother tongue (Bemba). 

Working in a very politicized country is difficult because  any other story no matter how important, takes second or third stage. Our population and readers have been too politicised. However, Daily Nation is the people’s newspaper and it is our duty to tell the ordinary person’s story. It is the media’s responsibility to echo society views from all aspects of life. Not everyone is a politician and this obsession is unhealthy.

There are  ordinary men and women, especially women making less than K10 (50 cents) per day yet make ends meet and are perfectly happy. The Daily Nation Newspapers through its various media such as Millennium Radio, Millennium TV and The Sun, has provided a voice to local communities to tell their story  and struggles. Like the story of Maradona, the boy who died because there was nothing anyone could do medically to help with his bulging stomach. Or the forgotten boy with sealed eyes. The women who make a living from scavenging  through rubbish. These get forgotten because focus is only on politicians and political intrigue.

I am happy to be part of a team shaping a different narrative to support the ordinary people get attention. This award is therefore dedicated to all the hardworking men and women who spend hours making life easy for others, women in shelters looking after abused girls. They wipe tears and stay up late listening to the silent tears of troubled, traumatized girls abused by their fathers, uncles, step dads or grandfather. Pregnant 10 year old perplexed by the pains in their bodies. Lastly but not least, to the Zambian men and women in the media for striving to be better than the best, sailing and surviving through storms  in a tough field especially the havoc caused by COVID-19.

Special thanks to my boss, Mr Richard Sakala for trusting me to run the paper. Madam Patricia Chilibiti for convincing me to join the Daily Nation Newspaper. 

Special thanks to my family and friends who inspire me to soldier on. May we all survive this COVID-19."

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