Malawi: Arrested genius radio owner freed[excerpt]
The arrested primary school dropout who established a community radio station using two used transistors in the Mulanje district has been freed. His release followed efforts from community members who listened to the 21-year-old Gabriel Kondesi's ingenuity.
The villagers raised K14, 000 ($100) to free the boy while his father sold part of his property to prevent the boy from spending time in jail. "I think people got so much used to my radio because I started broadcasting some three years ago," said Kondesi.
He was surrounded by proud villagers upon his release.
Meanwhile, Zodiac Broadcasting Station's (ZBS) Managing Director, Gospel Kazako, travelled all the way from Blantyre to Mulanje with the intention of freeing the boy. ZBS is one of Malawi's leading private radio stations.
Kondesi had initially failed to pay the K50, 000 ($358) fine Mulanje Second Grade Magistrate Lameck Mkwapatira handed him last Friday. He said the thought of going to jail for his creativity scared him.