* After its success in the past 15 months since its launch in partnership with NICO Life Insurance company
* NICO Life is set launch more diaspora targeted products — hence promoting the plan further
By Duncan Mlanjira
WiseChoice Insurance Agency is set to promote Kumudzi Diaspora Funeral Plan Essex Malawi Association/Malawi UK Association (MAUK) Independence Day celebration after the scheme’s success in the past 15 months since its launch in partnership with NICO Life Insurance company.
Launched in April last year, the Kumudzi Diaspora Funeral Plan was initiated after taking cognizance that there have been many occasions when Malawians in diaspora and their relations back home teamed together to mobilize funds to repatriate their deceased loved ones for a dignified funeral and burial back in their dear motherland.
In an interview, WiseChoice Insurance Agency’s Edith Parker said the scheme has become successful and NICO Life is set launch more diaspora targeted products — hence they decided to promote the plan further.
“The Independence Day celebration here, which are organised by Malawi UK Association (MAUK) in collaboration with various of its affiliates, are used to promote unity amongst us in diaspora,” she said.
“We use them to promote various initiatives that are on the ground and following the success of Kumudzi Diaspora Funeral Plan, we decided to market it further using the Essex Malawi Association Independence Day celebration to be held on Saturday, July 8.”
Taking note that acts of love and solidarity in which close friends contribute — and sometimes do not meet the targeted cost of repatriating their late beloved relations and are forced to bury them in their host countries — WiseChoice Insurance Agency partnered Malawi’s leading insurance company, NICO Life to design a flexible scheme for the benefit of those left behind.
At the official launch in Blantyre last year, NICO Life Chief Executive Officer, Eric Chapola unveiled that Kumudzi Diaspora Funeral Plan was to pay out a cash benefit between K1 million and K5 million for funeral expense services following consistent monthly premiums of K6,500 and K30,000.
And it is accommodating up to 10 immediate and extended family members including the principal member and through WiseChoice Insurance Agency’s online insurance platform, premiums can be paid directly from overseas through local banks and mobile money transfers.
Chapola said this has been initiated as NICO Life, which also manages two local funeral policies — Tilinanu and Dekhani — “strives to ease the pressure of all Malawians regardless of where they are in the world”.
“We understand that the loss of a loved one is tough, and even more so when the death occurs outside Malawi,” Chapola had said. “The Kumudzi Diaspora Funeral Plan ensures that your loved ones have a dignified funeral without stress of funding.
“At NICO Life, we understand the need to lay loved ones to rest with dignity. We are prepared to shoulder the burden of funeral expenses as you get the chance to pay your last respects with dignity.”
WiseChoice’s Chief Executive, Benson Mapereka added credence that the policy will be of benefit to many, describing it as historic being the first of its kind in the country and unique in that it will be accessed on WiseChoice website and social media platforms such as Facebook.
WiseChoice Insurance Agency is a Malawian based insurance intermediary duly registered and authorized by the Registrar of financial services, the Reserve Bank of Malawi, to transact insurance business in the country under the Financial Services Act, 2010.
Meanwhile, ‘Soldier’ Lucius Banda arrived in UK ready to spice up the Gala Night of the Essex Malawi Association/MAUK Independence Day celebration — organised in collaboration with the Office of the High Commission.
The legendary Lucius Banda has been invited by the Malawi High Commission in his official capacity as presidential advisor on culture and I n addition, the organisers have also managed to get Wendy Harawa, the acclaimed Malawian gospel artist who also performed with Lucius Banda in the past.
The organisers have also added some Malawian artists in the UK as supporting artists including MBL and Wiza Kaunda with DJ Hannie G to play international and local Malawian tunes.
The evening summer ball dinner & dance will be held in The Grand Ballroom Suite of the Mayfair Venue, Romford Essex, RM6 4BD — a red carpet event with strictly black tie for gentlemen and ball gowns for the women.
For the first time this year, the organiser have also invited non-Malawians as a way of putting Malawi on the map and to support tourism.
The celebrations will start with prayers at 11:00am and followed by an Independence Day football tournament to kick off at 12 noon, which has become a mainstay during the Independence Day celebrations.
There will also be Malawian games for women and children to participate in such as Fulaye, Rounders, Phada, Bawo, traditional dances and much much more.”
The event will also help expose Malawians in diaspora’s children to their culture and get them involved in more of the association’s activities.
Essex Malawi Association is a chapter of MAUK and each year, the chapters rotate to hold the celebrations alongside those back home.
Meanwhile, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan arrived in the country to join Malawians to celebrate the 59th Independence Day at Bingu National Stadium.
Last night she was guest of honour at the State Banquet and this Thursday morning, she visited Malawi Parliament and the Kamuzu Mausoleum — accompanied by Vice President Saulos Chilima.
The Tanzanian leader planted a soldier tree at Parliament premises and also laid a wreath at the Kamuzu Mausoleum in respect of the Malawi first republican president, late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
She is in for a three-day state visit on invitation of President Lazarus Chakwera, whom she is expected to hold bilateral talks and visit one of the areas affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy-induced floods.—Additional reporting by Rosalia Kapiri, MANA