Malawi draughts squad is today expected to travel by road to Lusaka, Zambia to participate in the inaugural African Draughts-64 Championships between tomorrow and Wednesday next week.
The six-player squad comprises national champion Enock Makoka-Banda, Madalitso Thom-Juma, Jalasi Matiyasi, Zalimba Chingoni, Moses Winesi and Nelson Nguluwe led by Association of Draughts in Malawi (Adma) general secretary Suzgo Nkhoma.
The country’s ambassadors needed K800 000 for the trip, but they have managed to raise K661 000, which Nkhoma said would be enough once they rework their budget. Government through Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has contributed K600 000.
Jabroma Studios, Henry Fwataki John Ngwenya and Themba Sambo have also assisted the team.
“We are happy that the trip is finally on,” Nkhoma said. “We will leave for the contest on Friday morning and we are very thankful to MNCS and some individuals for the financial support.”
The Nation caught up with the squad on Wednesday during their training camp at MNCS in Blantyre where they fine-tuned for the competition.
“We are well prepared for the international event and we promise to bring home medals,” said Makoka-Banda, who earned the ‘master’ title at the 2015 World Draughts Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Malawi secured rights to host the 2016 African Draughts Championships following the outstanding performance of the country’s sole representative Makoka-Banda at the 2015 World Championships, where he emerged as the best African player.
However, the rights were given to Zambia after Adma failed to raise K4 million for hosting the event. n