Minister of Sports and Culture Grace ‘Obama’ Chiumia has earned praise from sports officials for her commitment and dedication towards work.
This follows her constant engagement with sports administrators and presence in most sports functions.
A couple of weeks ago, Chiumia, who is the first ever female Sports Minister in Malawi presided over two separate sports functions taking place in Salima and Lilongwe on the same day.
She presided over the launch of Airtel Money Netball competition in Salima, which went from morning to late afternoon hours before gracing the prize presentation for Chipiku Central Region Football League (CRCL) at Police Headquarters’ Officers Mess later in the evening.
Fam and CRFA officials were surprised to see the Minister walking into the hall after hearing she was presiding over another sports function in Salima a few hours before.
CRFA general secretary Benard Chiwiriwiri Harawa did not mince words in applauding the Minister for honouring the invitation to the ceremony, which was sent to the Minister’s office barely a day before.
“As a league, we are very thankful to the Minister for honouring our invitation at a very short notice. When we heard that the Minister was presiding over another sports function in Salima, we thought she would delegate someone to this function but we were surprised to see her walking into this hall.
“This shows her commitment towards the development of sports in the country,” Harawa said.
Fam vice president James Mwenda also showered praise on the Minister, describing her as one of the most dedicated Sports Ministers during the multiparty era.
“Some people had doubts when the President appointed a lady Minister for the first time but the work of her hands had proved the doubting Thomasses wrong. It’s just unfortunate that she is serving the Ministry at a time the country is going through economic hardships,” said Mwenda in a separate interview with Nyasa Times.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) general secretary Carol Bapu shared the football officials’ sentiments, saying her association had always enjoyed working with the lady Minister.
“We have had a very good working relationship with the Minister. We still have fresh memories on how she helped resolve the stand-off between our association and Mwawi Kumwenda, who is now the International World Games Association athlete of the year.
If Mwayi did not participate at the World Netball Championship, where she was voted best player of the tournament, we could not have been celebrating her achievement,” said Bapu.
Several other sports administrators have also lavished praise on Chiumia for her continued engagement with sports administrators.
“Her presence alone during sports functions is crucial because sponsors get encouraged that government is behind them and it’s not easy for the sponsors to withdraw their sponsorship. I have seen the Minister even presiding over functions involving minority sporting disciplines,” said one observer, who was speaking off-the-record.
True to the observation, Chipiku Stores announced an increase in the sponsorship of the league from K7.5 million to K9 million in the presence of the Minister.
Chipiku Stores also presented a medal to the Minister for her dedication and commitment towards sports development.
Presenting the medal, Chipiku Stores operations manager Shieke Ahmed observed the Minister was also present during last year’s Chipiku League presentation, a development he said encouraged the company to do more.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :