For the first time ever, Malawians will be casting votes for what has been named “The 2008 Malawi Web Awards“. Awards will be given in categories ranging from web entrepreneurs, online broadcasting, music videos, social interactive media, online magazines, bloggers, journalists, web artists. There are also categories for achievements not based on the Internet, including Best Malawian Personality and Leaders of Tomorrow. In the words of the organizers:
The Malawi Web Awards were conceived to acknowledge contributions that Malawians have made throughout the past year. The Malawi Web Awards mainly recognize individuals who helped in publicizing Malawi and raising awareness of issues affecting the population of the Warm Heart of Africa. This year the nominees raised awareness of Malawi in various areas (political, cultural, entertainment).
The announcement has been released via three formats: on Caleb Phiri's blog called Malawi Current News, on an event created on the social networking website Facebook, and on the video sharing website Youtube.
Amongst the tens of people nominated for various awards are Hazel Warren, a Malawian woman who this year became the runner-up in the Big Brother Africa 3 reality TV show, bloggers William Kamkwamba and Victor Kaonga, coach of the Malawi national football team, Kinnah Phiri, several TV and radio personalities, and music artists such as Lawrence Mbenjere featured in the video below:
There is time to vote in each category until Friday December 19th 2008 at 22:00 PM GMT. The results will then be announced on Monday December 22, 2008, on the Malawi Current News blog.
The news of Malawi's first ever web awards comes in the wake of an announcement earlier in the week that Malawi's former president, Dr. Bakili Muluzi, has created a Facebook profile, with the aim of connecting with young Malawians around the world. In addition to having a Facebook profile, Dr. Muluzi has also created a Facebook group for his supporters.
The current president of Malawi, Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika, also has a Facebook fan group, which has existed since May 2008.