Andrew Mtegha’s Story: Infusing disability rights advocacy into Paralympic sport broadcasting in Malawi
As part of the Para Sport Against Stigma programme , the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) provided free-to-air coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games to 49 Sub-Saharan African territories. For the first time African viewers (estimated over 250 million) watched the opening and closing ceremonies broadcast live on 24 August and 5 September 2021. Daily 52-minute highlights packages of African centred content were provided in English, French and Portuguese. However, with the aim of informing planning for Paris 2024, In Malawi, however, the broadcast was also provided in Chichewa (national language of Malawi). This was part of focussed research to examine local media practices and local understandings of disability stigma, with the aim of informing planning for Paris 2024.
Introducing Andrew Mtegha
Andrew Mtegha is a disability rights advocate and presenter of several programmes about disability inclusion on the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), such as Disability is Not Inability. The aim of these programmes is to give a platform to people with disabilities to voice out their views about their own issues in Malawi. Although Andrew has never done any sports reporting he was invited to be part of the MBC commentary team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, provided in Chichewa.
Andrew’s engagement through Para Sport Against Stigma
Including Andrew as a commentator for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was progressive as very few people with disabilities are broadcasters in Malawi. As a person with a visual impairment, he said he was able to provide insights and relate to other people with disabilities (i.e., audiences). As a disability rights advocate, throughout the commentary of the Games, Andrew played an ‘activist’ role to draw attention to social inequalities and disability rights. For example, at times, he used humour to highlight very low disability sport participation rates in Malawi so that the corporate world and those in authority would listen.
Read more about Andrew's Story here: Andrew's Story