South Africa-based preacher and businessman, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri is in talks with Malawian chess administrators to sponsor biggest ever chess tournament in Malawi to be called ‘Major One Chess Open’ at the tune of MK10 million to start in April next year.
This was disclosed by treasurer for Central Region Chess League Hope Mazozo, who is currently in South Africa for more talks over the sponsorship talks as he has close links with Bushiri and the April date has been set so that Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) can do all the preparations for a tournament of that magnitude.
Mazozo, who is Malawi national team player, said Prophet Bushiri is an ardent and a strong chess player and during their sponsorship talks they played a game in which Bushiri won.
“He started playing chess when he was as young as five years old. He believes the game helps in critical thinking. For that reason he is willing to promote the game in Malawi through a major tournament and a schools’ league,” Mazozo said.
“And he has passion for chess and when he learnt how the game is loved in Malawi, he got inspired to help develop it. He indicated that he is impressed that Chessam has a schools training programme.
“For the school league it will start with the new calender season for schools. And as for the annual ‘Major One Chess Open’ tournament, it starts next year in April.
“The first funding will be K10 million with a possibility of expansion depending on how things will be handled. He loves the game because it helps people to be creative.
“Chess is a speed game. A chess player will eventually develop fast thinking abilities which can be applied in every area of life. It’s also a good way to spend free time in a productive manner which consequently protects people especially the youth from harmful ways and habits,” Mazozo said.
Despite his evangelical work, Bushiri is also a philanthropist as he has helped underprivileged people by donating maize flour and cash to thousands of them.
If this pans out well it will be a huge relief to Chessam, which is about to lose its biggest partner, Mdina Engineering, which was sponsoring the Mdina Malawi Open and its final tournament will be held next year in which the winner shall receive MK1 million.
Chess is gaining so much ground and just last month, Malawi was represent at the 2018 world Chess Olympiad that saw Malawi achieve the FIDE Master title in Joseph Mwale and also through George Mwale and Ellen Mpinganjira also achieved the Candidate Master and Woman Candidate Master titles respectively.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :