The Malawi media industry has learnt with great shock about the death of Joy Media Group Station Manager Lloyd Zawanda who will be laid to rest today in Kasungu district.
Zawanda a veteran journalist died on Tuesday night at around 2100 after collapsing since morning when he was about to leave for South Africa for Southern African Editors Forum on Climate Change.
Expressing their shock, members of Network of Climate Journalists (NCJ) and the Blantyre Press Club through press statements said the Malawi media industry has lost an icon.
According to Blantyre Press club president Blessings Kanache, Zawanda was one of the few who have played a crucial role in training and mentoring most of the media practitioners in the country.
Kanache said those who have been trained by Zawanda can attest that he was selfless and was always willing to offer help to other journalists.
“Behaviour wise, Zawanda was someone who could not differentiate between the old guards and the new comers in the media industry. To him both these groups were equal. To Lloyd, there was no old or new journalists, he acknowledged everyone as a journalist.
“Lloyd Zawanda was one of the old journalists who wished Blantyre Press Club well, and would always join the club in most of its activities. Lloyd loved the profession dearly. He was a senior manager but still, he could grab a microphone and search for news. The older he grew, the more he loved the industry,” said Kanache in a statement.
Kanache further said the club will sincerely miss his advice, his skills and his zeal to push for adherence to ethics and media professionalism in the country.
On his part, Chairperson for NCJ Deitrich Friedrich said Zawanda was instrumental to the establishment of NCJ.
According to Friedrich, Zawanda was an adviser to NCJ on various matters and was a member of the Southern African Editors Forum on Climate Change.
“Mr Zawanda was a comrade who believed in hard work and was able to relate well with everybody, regardless of position. We will miss his advice, his jokes and above all, his hard work,” said Friedrich.
In a related development, journalists in the country are mourning the death of wife to Capital Radio journalist Rhodes Msonkho who died yesterday.