NTCHEU-(MaraviPost)- Scores of Malawians that included politicians, journalists, and ordinary people drawn from all corners the country on Saturday gathered to celebrate the life of renown columnist and BBC correspondent Raphael Tenthani at Agabu Village, Traditional Authority (T.A.) Ganya in the central district of Ntcheu.
The late Tenthani, who was also senior reporters at The Maravi Post, tragically died at the age of 43 in a car accident on May 16, 2015.
Tenthani was well known for his hard-hitting and in-depth social-political analysis through his column Muckraking on Sunday, published in The Sunday Times of Times Group. He catapulted onto Malawi’s media platform straight from secondary school when he secured a rookie reporter post at The Independent newspaper during the campaign to establish the multiparty system of government in Malawi.
Before being spotted by the BBC, Tenthani worked for the Nation, where he continued to perfect his investigative journalism brand, creating a powerful and noticeable niche.
The Saturday event that also served as a tombstone unveiling, there were prayers to celebrate his life as change agent for social, political and economic welfare of Malawians through his writings.
The late Raphael Tenthani’s brother, Kizito Tenthani, said the scores of people who attended the tombstone unveiling ceremony, symbolize how much his brother was loved and appreciated by people.
“This ceremony comes as a celebration of Ralph’s life. We are happy to see people coming to celebrate with us. We are sad he is not around to be with us, but again we are reminded that we had a man of his caliber among us. The works of his hands still speak for him,” he said.
Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula described Tenthani as one of the best journalists Malawi has ever had.
“We pride in the fact that at Times Group, we gave him a platform to voice out his mind. He was a good writer, he was fearless. The gap he left is so big, people always made sure to buy The Sunday Times just to read what Tenthani wrote following whatever transpired during the week,” he said.
Peter Mjegwa Kumwenda, a very close friend to Raphael described the columnist as the legend of the crop of journalist who could work without bias in his writing.
“Ralph was a very interesting character to interact with. Ralph was writing [about] issues as they were and he could not mince any words when he was articulating issues concerning the country,” he said.
Speaking from the political parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Secretary-General Gustav Kaliwo, said Tenthani will forever be remembered as an advisor to government and the opposition.
“We on the receiving end, always wondered what he would write about. He was fearless and we miss his great advice. His work should be every journalist’s dream,” Kaliwo said.
May his soul continue to rest in eternal peace?