DPI/AP Reports 2009

Awards - Diversity Leader 2008 Gala - Rachel Kachaje

The Diversity Leader National Gala Awards were first introduced by IncMedia in 2005 to recognize and honour the top individuals and institutional performers of the year. It has proven to be a perfect place to network, exchange business cards, meet the movers and shakers of Malawiโ€™s social and economic sectors, sample Malawiโ€™s finest buffet dinner, while enjoying carefully chosen artistic performances. Diversity Leader has been inspired by those that have excelled in their sectors, contributed immeasurably to the countryโ€™s growth, economically and socially and have seen the rise of revolutionaries that have taught them that we can achieve anything we set our minds on.

Disability 2008 Community Builder of the Year: Rachel Kamchacha Kachaje

The Diversity Leader gala awards celebrate leadership in its truest and most diverse forms. The movers and shakers of economic and social sectors are recognized for the contribution they have made towards the growth of Malawi and its people. These are often times selfless leaders who have โ€˜โ€™the character that separate the shepherds from the sheep, the courage to leadโ€™โ€™. Since inception of the awards, Diversity Leader has seen over 60 individuals decorated for their bravery, leadership, integrity, focus and growth. Both institutions and individuals have gone on to receive further awards and recognition and becoming highly respected role models. The gala is fully covered in the leadership magazines, Diversity Leader and Top Women in Malawi, Publications that are fully online for free download and distributed worldwide including embassies and Trade missions representing Malawi plus the larges library in the world, the Library of Congress.

The Diversity Leader Revolutionary Award 2008 was held on 27th November 2008 at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre, Malawi. The process of nominations were done by an initial invitation to the general public to nominate individuals that have excelled in particular fields, giving reasons why, and then incmedia researches and profiles the individuals. Thereafter an elite panel of judges, which has had members of the judiciary, top Civil Servants, members of the donor community eg DFID, Principal Secretaries, Chambers of Commerce and Business Consultants sifts the nominees to arrive at the final awardees. Many are called, chosen are few. The Elite Committee was inspired with the way I have excelled in life despite all odds. As a person with disability and a woman in particular, I revolutionalised the committee and taught them a lesson that it is possible to achieve anything we set our mind on whether disabled or not. It proved the saying that โ€˜โ€™Disability is not Inabilityโ€™โ€™.

The two successive British High Commissioners, the South African, Chinese and Zimbabwean Ambassadors, two Cabinet Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Captains of Industry, Academics have powerfully debated, motivated and inspired further on different topics ranging from governance to women empowerment and HIV and AIDS. Ringo Madlingozi, the well known artist for his true vision of using the wisdom, love and power of the universe to create music that will heal, also in his own quest of being true to his authentic self, made music lovers to experience his life purpose, that of comfort through music performed and entertained the audience with a mission to leave a legacy of rich cultural and music heritage for generation that will live on this planet long after his era.


Rachel Kamchacha-Kachaje became disabled at the age of three when there was an outbreak of polio in Malawi many years ago. As a disabled child, it was really a challenge to walk to and from school. Gradually, she completed her Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE), and subsequently she secured a job with National Bank of Malawi (NBM) as a telephone operator, and then as a typist. She worked for NBM for 22 years before she was relieved of her duties in 2001, when the company was restructuring.

Current member of Commonwealth Disability Forum that represents all disabled women in the Commonwealth region, Kamchacha-Kachaje has been a disability activist since 1990 when she joined the Disability Movement in Malawi. During her activism, she has held several top positions in the disability sector, both domestically and internationally. She was the first female Chairperson of Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), before her appointment as Deputy Chairperson for Development and underrepresented Group of Disabled People's International (DPI), a global organization promoting and protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Other award nominations include the Malawi Human Rights Commission awards for advocates who have contributed to the promotion of disabled peopleโ€™s rights in the country.

As a disability activist, she has been to many countries in the world among them USA, Japan, UK, Canada, Malta and South Korea advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities. Kamchacha-Kachaje believes โ€œdisability is not inabilityโ€ and that โ€œdisabled people have the ability to be part of the development of Malawi.โ€

Rachel Kamchacha Kachajeโ€™s life has been that of advocating and promoting Human Rights for the disabled people and lead a life that would affect the lives of other people in particular people with disabilities in a positive manner and demonstrating that spiritual and material success depends on oneโ€™s own positive mental attitudes and always living in the present and focusing the future and achieve the intended goals.

Source : http://v1.dpi.org/lang-en/resources/d

Author: DPI-HQ
Language: English
When: 21/2/2009

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