I would increase rural Internet access, says TNM CEO for a day Enipher

TNM CEO for a day

To commemorate the 2021 Day of International Girl Child, 17year-old Enipher from Khwalala Secondary School in Mulanje was thrust into the role of CEO for Malawi’s  mobile telecoms operator, TNM Plc, CEO Arnold Mbwana. 

The Form III student took over Mbwana’s role after being briefed on operations of the integrated ICT company.

Among other things, Enipher (in her capacity as CEO of TNM Plc) highlighted that she would amplify the provision of computers and Internet in rural schools as one way of enhancing e-learning and digital literacy.

"The Internet is a wide academic resource which has updated material and amid this COVID-19 pandemic, students from rural schools miss out a lot on e-learning opportunities thereby rendering us dormant and prone to toxic behaviour," she explained adding that digital literacy is a non-starter without the availability of computers and Internet in schools.

As a flagship project to support digital literacy in secondary schools, TNM has supported Ngumbe and Januwale CDSS, Chayamba and Yamba Secondary Schools with computers and Internet connectivity, to ease the information access needs of learners at these schools.

 She further said she would sustain bursaries that TNM currently offers to secondary and tertiary school students to ensure the underprivileged fully access education. 

"There are a lot of intelligent young people out there who fail to proceed with education due to unavailability of resources. We need to do more in offering bursaries to the needy so that everyone's right to education is not compromised," said Enipher. 

TNM has been sponsoring 20 girls in boarding secondary schools under the Age Africa Scholarship programme. Previously, the company offered a full bursary to 20 girls at secondary school level and 4 of them are currently in public universities where TNM still caters for their tuition and upkeep. This year the 4 students were provided laptops and connectivity by TNM to allow them to continue their studies in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

TNM has since offered Enipher an instant scholarship to complete her studies at Khwalala Secondary School following her impressive performance during the take-over. A Samsung smartphone and TNM MIFI were also given to the young CEO as she finished her duties. TNM through the CEO also committed to provide books to Enipher’s school library at Khwalala Secondary School.

Enipher’s attendance as the one-day CEO of TNM Plc was conducted in partnership with Plan International Malawi which is promoting girls access to education, among other initiatives. 

“As we reflect on this year’s theme for International Day of the Girl, we need to realise that digital literacy is central in all that we do since our lives revolve around the internet hence the need for adequate computers in schools and access to the internet,” said Rogers Siula, Communications and Campaigns Manager for Plan International Malawi.

Enipher lost her parents at a tender age and struggled to continue her education. Her continued education was made possible by Plan International which constructed a Girl’s Hostel at her school where Enipher was among the first occupants.

TNM CEO Mr Arnold Mbwana then narrated, his own life story of how without parents, he made it from an utmost rural area of the country to now stand at the helm of one of the biggest local Malawian companies.  

"There's no pre-defined route to become a CEO. I lost my parents at a tender age and grew up with my grandparents from the age of five. After attending school in the morning, I used to farm in the afternoon and at night we used to go fishing...this was the order of my primary school days. But through this experience I learnt to work hard, being disciplined, and related well with people such that when I was selected to secondary school, I was determined to pursue further education with a purpose," said Mbwana.