NBS Bank awards Cyclone Freddy heroes

By Linda Kwanjana

Listed commercial bank, NBS Bank, recently joined the Public Relations Society of Malawi (PRSM) in recognizing and awarding several people who went out of their way to help and rescue others in their communities during the Cyclone Freddy disaster early this year.

NBS Bank awarded the 12 individuals with certificates and cash during this year’s PRSM lakeshore conference held in Mangochi from 5th to 7th October 2023.

NBS Bank Public Relations Officer Olivia Chiligo said they decided to reward the Cyclone Freddy heroes for exhibiting extraordinary acts of kindness, bravery, and selflessness during and the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy to serve the community.

“Cyclone Freddy was an event that tested the strength and character of our nation, and in the face of adversity, we witnessed countless acts of heroism. People opened their doors to shelter others, workers went above and beyond their duty to provide assistance, and individuals risked their own lives to rescue and help those in need. These are the stories that inspire us all. They remind us that even in the darkest hours, the spirit of compassion, unity, and solidarity shines through.”

“PRSM’s decision to recognize these heroes aligns perfectly with NBS Bank’s commitment to community development and our belief in the power of collective action. We firmly believe that by acknowledging and celebrating these acts of kindness, we not only honour those who went above and beyond, but we also send a powerful message to the world about the resilience and unity of the people of Malawi,” said Chiligo.

Among those awarded were three Marine Police officers from Mangochi and Monkey Bay who went missing after the boat they were traveling in capsized on Shire River as they were going to rescue people who were trapped by the Cyclone.

Despite having their boat capsized, the three continued with their mission after being rescued by some members of the community.

“It was a near death situation when our boat capsized. We are very grateful to God and the community members who searched for us until we were found. We could not have abandoned the mission because we made a commitment to save and protect the people of Malawi that is what kept us going,” said Lucia Nthala from Monkey Bay station.

PRSM President, Benson Linje, said there are a lot of people who risked their lives in trying to reduce suffering of people who were affected by the Cyclone in their respective communities and beyond, but their efforts are not recognized.

“The way these people conducted themselves is inspiring hope that there are people in this country who are passionate about changing the lives of people that require support. There are other people who had the capacity to help but they did not, so it is worth recognizing those who left their comfort zones for the sake of others,” said Linje.

Linje thanked NBS Bank for sponsoring the awards which he said have managed to motivate the people to continue doing good to people in need.