Four Malawians nominated for Africa Union Sports Council Awards

Four Malawian sports personalities stand a chance of winning prestigious individual awards at the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 third edition of the Regional Association of Sports Awards (RASA 2018), scheduled to take place on 26 May, 2018 at Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The four nominees are all drawn from football.

Peter (left), Sayenda Jnr( right), nominated for AUSC.

They are FIFA assistant referee Bernadette Kwimbira Nzika, Malawi Women’s National Football team captain Tabitha Chawinga, Griffin Young stars coach and owner Griffin Sayenda Jnr and his striker cum nephew, Peter Banda.

The quartet makes the list to compete against other African stars after winning an award each at the inaugural Malawi Sport Awards held in March this year.

Kwimbira who was the biggest winner after being voted Sportsperson of the year competes in a similar category along with Karabo  Sibanda (Botswana), Luvo  Manyonga,  (South  Africa), Tony  Tsabedze(Swaziland) and Samson Muripo of Zimbabwe.

Chawinga who is Malawi’s finest female footballer, currently playing in China is in line for the Sportswoman of the year award, an accolade she bagged locally.

Chawinga faces competition from  Onkemetse  Francis from  Botswana, Neheng Khatala of Lesotho, Helalia  Johannes from Namibia, South Africa’s Caster  Semenya,  Phumlile  Ndzinisa from the Kingdom  eSwatini, Mupopo  Kabange of Zambia and Zimbabwe’s Helen Costa Sinclair.

Banda who is currently on trials at South African football powerhouse Orlando Pirates will battle six others for the Sportsman of the year award.

The under 20 forward’s competitors are Ofentse  Bakwadi of  Botswana, Julius    Indongo from Namibia, South Africa’s Luvo  Manyonga, Sibusiso Matsenjwa from Kingdom eSwatini, Zambia’s Patson  Daka, and Elford Moyo of Zimbabwe.

His coach and uncle, Sayenda Jnr who is also team manager for the Flames under 20 and Trainer for the National Netball Team is in the category of Coach of the year, which he locally won in March.

Also eyeing the same gong are  Mogomotsi  Otsetswe of  Botswana, Namibia’s Nestor Tobias, Jean  Verster of South  Africa, Thabo  Vilakati from Kingdom  eSwatini, and Beston Chambeshi of  Zambia.

Reacting to his nomination, Sayenda Jnr was grateful to God for the recognition and described the nomination as a motivational factor.

“In all I do, I look up to God, who has done it all for me, so I thank him for this. It’s so delightful for a young coach like me to be considered for such an award and this will encourage me to work even harder this season.”

Despite going against some of Southern Africa’s renowned names, Sayenda remains confident of bringing the award home.

“If God is on my side, nobody can be against. Some people didn’t give me a chance to win the same award locally but I made it, so this time am not moved at all. Those other coaches on the list have done well in their respective countries to get the nomination, and I have also done my part here, so I am confident of winning it,” he said.

The four categories mentioned above are just among the ten enlisted for the awards later this month.

The  African  Union  Sport  Council  Region5  (AUSC  Region5)  is  the  sports  arm  of  the African  Union,  which  was  once  the  Organisation  of  African  Unity.  It was formed in the 1960s, and its headquarters is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The  main  aim  of  the  AUSC  is  to  use  sports  to  achieve  peace,  integration  and  unity  in Africa irrespective  of  colour,  economic status,  political, class,  or gender.

The  AUSC  is divided  Africa  into  seven  competition  zones  due  to  the  vastness  of  the continent  and  for  financial  prudence.

The main consideration was the countries’ geographical positions.  It is from this that AUSC Region was born.

Members  of  the  Region  comprise  of:  Angola,  Botswana,  Lesotho,  Malawi, Mozambique,  Namibia,  South  Africa,  Swaziland,  Zambia  and  Zimbabwe. The  AUSC  Region  5  is  the  Continent’s  most  organized  Region  and  a  trailblazer  in implementing  sports programmes  and  activities.