Southern Zone Basketball League (Sozobal) character-building exercise has impressed its corporate partners that have promised to come up with improved sponsorship packages next season.
National Bank of Malawi (NBM) head of strategy marketing and corporate affairs Wilkins Mijiga and United General Insurance (UGI) manager McDonald Chibwe, whose companies bankroll Mo626 College Basketball Championship and Sozobal Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, respectively, made the commitment during Sozobal inaugural award gala at College of Medicine (CoM) Sports Complex in Blantyre on Saturday.
Sozobal has intensified the character-building exercise, which included the introduction of the awards gala, in a bid to relive the glorious days when almost every top company longed to have long-term partnership with the sport.
“Basketball represents a value of perfection but Sozobal lost that value some years back due to, among other things, lack of innovative initiatives. But today, we have seen that Sozobal is on the right track to relive the past glory as observed tonight when they organised this wonderful ceremony with just minimal support,” Mijiga said.
“If they can be trusted with little support, they can move mountains if given enough resources. Every corporate partner would want to be associated with civilised people and Sozobal is no exception. It is for such reasons that NBM would like to return to basketball sponsorship bigger and better next season.”
On his part, Chibwe said they were impressed with Sozobal’s seriousness in developing the sport and how they handled the K3.5 million UGI Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in 2017.
According to Sozobal chairperson Stabene Malange-Majamanda, they believe that the corporate world would start trusting them if they conducted themselves in a professional manner.
During the awards ceremony, which was spiced up by performances from musicians Phyzix and Barry One, Magang’a, Cobbe Barracks, Crazy Warriors and Mystix were crowned champions in first division, second division, ladies and wheelchair categories, respectively.
In individual awards, Magang’a coach and player Hope Chisamanga won the Bob K accolade, which recognises one’s dedication to youth development. Susan Banda and Zito Phillips were named lifetime achievers while Innocent Mbale of Crazy Warriors, Tamandani Mazulu of Mystix and CDH’s Sungani Mkandawire emerged as most valuable players (MVPs) in division one, ladies’ and social basketball sections, correspondingly. n