Zomba Gymkhana Club clocks 100 years of existence

Officers of the Malawi Defence Force at the Gymkhana in Zomba

Zomba Gymkhana Club which was established in 1923 has been described as a historic monument that has stood the test of time.

Major General George Jaffu Jnr of Malawi Defence Force said on Saturday that people in Zomba have a place with rich historical background to be proud of.

On Saturday, the celebration of the club’s 100 years of existence reached its climax and was spiced by military parade, musical performance by Alleluya Band and Millennium Sound Check plus various sporting activities such as golf, tennis, pool, tennis, football match and tug of war.

Major General Jaffu Jnr who is also Chief of Staff at MDF said Zomba Gymkhana Club was also used as officers mess and sporting facility for the British colonial masters and Sir. George Smith was first patron of the club.

He added that many Nyasaland governors used to patronise Zomba Gymkhana Club such that the Queen Mother of Britain once visited the club to preside over a military event of colour

Major General Jaffu Jnr said that many Malawi Defence Force officers are still members of the club and it was ideal for him to grace the event.

“Zomba Gymkhana Club has a rich history in the country. Many colonial governors such as Sir George Smith, Sir Alfred Sharpe, Sir Glyn Jones, Sir Robert Almitage, Sir Harry Johnston used to patronise the club,” he added.

Chair of the committee that runs the club, Shelton Kanyenda, said from 1923 to 1985 the club was run by people of European origin up until Mr Stack Banda became the first Malawian to chair the club management team.

Kanyenda said it was relevant and ideal to hold the celebration marking 100 years of the club’s existence.

The club has football ground, tennis court and golf course, bar and entertainment hall.

Zomba City Deputy Mayor, Monira Bakali Chitseko said Zomba Gymkhana Club is also a tourism attraction site because many foreign tourists come to see the historical monument.

Senior Traditional Authority Mlumbe hailed the committee that manages the club for maintaining the historical site and for continuing to host golf tournaments.

Among the invited guests at the Zomba Gymkhana Club 100 years of celebration were; Professor Francis Moto, Professor Alfred Ntenje, former Army Commander General Vincent Nundwe, former Deputy Army Commander Major General Clement Kafuwa, lawyer Gustav Kaliwo and Member of Parliament for Zomba Central Bester Awali.