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Phillip Dzikanyanga, runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award

At secondary school, Phillip Dzikanyanga dreamt of becoming a broadcaster. Mr. Dzikanyanga was inspired by the desire to be a voice for the voiceless and to bridge the communication gap between the elite and the poor and disadvantaged. After completing a university diploma in journalism in 2014, he followed his dream by becoming a radio presenter and producer, and is now the assistant programing officer at Channel for All Nations Media in Lilongwe, Malawi, where he leads the programming team.

As a broadcaster, Mr. Dzikanyanga’s strength is his ability to explain difficult issues in terms that listeners can understand. He regularly includes farmers’ voices on his programs by visiting listeners’ clubs, recording farmers in their fields, and reading out farmers’ letters and phone calls on air.

This year, Mr. Dzikanyanga is a runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award.

Through his interactions with farmers in Malawi, Mr. Dzikanyanga discovered that many don’t fully understand climate change and struggle with its impacts. He responded by covering climate resilience in a program called Liu la Mlimi (Voice of a Farmer). After listening to the program, farmers have reduced their reliance on less climate-resilient crops such as maize, and turned to drought-resistant crops, as well as rearing livestock.

Mr. Dzikanyanga’s listeners regularly offer feedback. One listener recommended that the farmer program shift from a studio-based to a field-based program to help the production team understand and appreciate what farmers experience on the ground. After Mr. Dzikanyanga made that change, farmers say they love the program because they can relate to other farmers’ stories, and more easily identify areas they need to improve in their own farming.

Mr. Dzikanyanga also produces Chindunji pa chilengedwe (My Environment), a 30-minute program that explains the importance of the environment and how to care for it. He has participated in both face-to-face and online trainings with FRI and says these have provided him with valuable information that improved his professionalism and the quality of his work.

Mr. Dzikanyanga says: “I have been critical in producing environmental and agricultural programs which have gone a long way in influencing policy and helping farmers in Malawi to adopt new methods of doing agriculture while at the same time minding the environment.”

Photo: Phillip Dzikanyanga in studio. Photo courtesy of Phillip Dzikanyanga.