We speak to Jabulile Audrey Binauli, the young Malawian journalist who won the first prize in the 2021 SADC Media Award TV category

"I knew that I had won the award a month before announcing the awards, but I couldn't believe it. I told myself that I will believe it when they mention my name at the summit."-Jabulile.

The SADC Media Awards are aimed at promoting excellence in the fields of Print, Radio, Television, and Photojournalism. They also serve as a link for coordination and synchronization between formal structures of SADC member states and media.

These awards further seek to bring and enhance the partnership between media and government institutions in advancing the achievements and good stories of this region in bettering the lives of its citizens.

25-year-old Malawian Jabulile Audrey Binauli, won the first prize in the TV category, with her story on how Malawi and Mozambique are strengthening their bilateral ties in the context of SADC regional cooperation and integration, following the meeting of the Presidents of Malawi and Mozambique.

AfricaBrief Editor-in-Chief Winston Mwale (WM) speaks to Jabulile (JAB) on the media award.

WM: How did you feel when you learned that you have won this prestigious regional media award?

JAB: When I first learnt that I had won the award, I was in awe. I knew that I won the award a month before announcing of the awards, but I couldn't believe it. I told myself that I will believe it when they mention my name at the summit, and when they did, I couldn't believe it. I was so happy to learn that it was true, and I was overwhelmed with joy-and I was very excited. I just couldn't believe it.

WM: Tell us a bit about your award-winning story. What is it about?

JAB: The SADC media award that I have won is based on a video documentary that I produced in October 2020 when I covered H.E President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera in Tete, Mozambique.

The documentary talks more about Dr Chakwera's visit to Mozambique where a meeting for solidarity and bilateral trade talks was held. The president also toured the Cahora Bassa Hydro Power Dam where a Malawi to Mozambique transmission line is being constructed under the Malawi- Mozambique inter-connector project.

During the visit, the two countries agreed to work together to create additional infrastructure along the development corridors with the aim of improving the mobility of people and goods, by prioritizing the Malawi connection to the Sena line.

President Chakwera thanked the Mozambican president for safe passage and opening his country’s borders to Malawian returnees and transporters during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also talked about how trade relations between the two countries continue to strengthen following the bilateral trade agreement that was signed by the two countries in 2005.

The documentary was entered into the SADC media Awards competition earlier this year by one of my bosses and then I won first prize Television Journalism category.

WM: Well, let us face it: you are just a young upcoming journalist. What was your secret to reach this far?

JAB: To be honest, I couldn't get this far without the people surrounding me, from my mother, my brothers, my family, my colleagues as well as my bosses.

These people believe in me more than I believe in myself, and they always push me to work hard and to be extraordinary. They challenge me to do better and I believe that that is why I have reached this far, including, of course, hard work and determination.

When people said no girls cannot be good at camera work, I was like watch me. When someone tells me: “You can't do this because of this or that”, I tell them: “Well I will do it.”

So the people around me contributed a lot for me to reach this far a swell my faith in God.

My daily affirmation is the bible verse Philippians 4 vs 13 which reads: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

So yea that's why I have reached this far.

WM: Any plan of how you are going to spend your $2, 500 prize money?

JAB: Well, I plan on making a profitable investment with the money. So I'm going to take my time to think about what I'm going to do with it.

WM: Anything else to say on the media award?

JAB: First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the wisdom and Intelligence: if wasn't for him I wouldn't even be here in the first place.

I would like to thank my colleagues at Malawi Film Unit for always having my back and for the great teamwork spirit they always portray; my bosses Mr. Stan Chiumia and Mr. Arthur Chipenda for always believing in me, and challenging me to do better; my friends who are my biggest cheerleaders as they are always supportive; and my family, my mother Mrs. Jean Binauli for her prayers and words of encouragement and my brothers Mark and Bongani for being very supportive.

I have this award because of everyone mentioned here. So very big thank you to them and may God continue blessing them.

Thank you