Youths in the country have been urged to pursue technical education as one way of reducing unemployment. This has been said at a prize presentation ceremony for winners marking the end of Ngwazi Zazikazi Story Writing Competition which took place at Salima Technical College in Salima.
Speaking at the event Mr Charles Mataya from Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Educational and Training Authority (TEVETA) who was also the guest of honour said youths should be thinking of becoming employers instead of getting employed which is also in line with Malawi government efforts.
“The Malawi government has been championing technical and vocational skills among young people in Malawi through technical and vocational training colleges including community technical colleges to reduce unemployment and to promote spirit of entrepreneurship among them.
I encourage those of you who are still in Secondary school or are still looking for a career to pursue to consider technical and vocational education and training…Do not come to technical and vocational training because you have nowhere to go, come to technical and vocational training because you can earn a decent living and you can prosper” said Mataya.
The event was also part of commemorating International Youth Day for 2017 under the theme of promoting entrepreneurship amongst the youth where STEP Ambassadors Robert Chiwamba and Sangie launched their theme poem and song on youth and entrepreneurship.
National Youth Council of Malawi (NYCOM) which facilitated the competition said over 350 entries were received in total for all the three categories namely Stories, Poetry and Video submissions.
Commenting on how the competition has been, Program Assistant for Youth Participation and Empowerment at National Youth Council of Malawi, Felix Chiyenda, said that as organisers they are satisfied with the participation which among others shows that the competition brought about excitement from students to out of school young people as well, and that the aim of the competition has also been achieved
“The stories that we received clearly demonstrated how women are breaking gender stereotypes by venturing into fields that traditionally have been dominated by men. We want to share the winning stories with youth to motivate them; that with the right attitude, mind-set and support from the wider community they can do it as the Ngwazi Zazikazi have already demonstrated to us” said Chiyenda.
The first and second positions in all categories received prize money of USD300 and USD200 respectively whilst those in third positions got USD100 each. A total of 15 bags and 15 lanterns were distributed as consolation prizes.
Cynthia Chithope Mwale who won the second position in Story Category said she was inspired to write about a successful Female Engineer Dr Mkandawire after seeing a poster about the competition on a tree in Lilongwe.
She said she is excited to be one of the winners after putting much effort in researching and interviewing her role model to share her story.
The competition which was launched during the International Women Day commemoration in March 2017 aimed at celebrating valiant women who are shaping a positive Malawi by breaking gender stereotypes.
Ngwazi Zazikazi story writing competition targeted youth from 10 to 25 years old across Malawi and is part of the STEP objectives that is to promote equitable and gender-based access to Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training-TEVET.
STEP is implemented by UNESCO with funding from the European Union.