Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Francis Phiso says Joseph ‘JK’ Kamwendo’s testimonial match has taught the sports fraternity a lesson on how to woo companies into sports events.
The minister made the remarks at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday when he was the guest of honour during the testimonial match that attracted financial and material support from corporate comp Malawian Airlines and Nyasa Big Bullets sponsors, Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC).
“We have learnt a big lesson from this event. If an individual has managed to woo sponsors on his own for this game, I believe we can do better on this aspect,” said Phiso.
He added that government is happy that Kamwendo has set a good example to the up-and-coming sports personalities by playing for a long time in the national team and some leagues in the world before hanging up his boots in style and opening a new chapter with the establishment of the Joseph Kamwendo Foundation.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu Manda, who presented Kamwendo with a Flames jersey indicating the legend’s 104 caps for the national team, said the former Flames captain’s initiative should ring a bell in the minds of local football teams and players that they can take advantage of their brands to attract sponsorship.
South Africa’s Bafana Bafana former striker Sibusiso Zuma, who alongside compatriots Lucky Lekgwati, Tonic Shabalala, Lele Mbele and Flames legend Lawrence Lule Waya featured for JK Select side during the testimonial, said it felt good to be part of Kamwendo’s farewell match.
“We played together in professional football and against each other during our national team engagement. Both of us worked very hard to become what we are today and I am honoured to be part of this special event,” he said.
On his part, Kamwendo said: “I thank everyone that took part in today’s match. Without them nothing could have materialised. I am happy to bid farewell to football fans as I hang my soccer boots and launch the Joseph Kamwendo Foundation.”
The match saw JK Select triumphing 3-2 against the Flames Legends side, comprising some players that featured for the Flames during the 2010 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Angola.
The Select side scored through Kamwendo (penalty), James Chilapondwa and Moses Chavula while Legends scored through Elvis Kafoteka and Jimmy Zakazaka.