MP Mhone joins S & S Geniuses chess tourney as sponsor

Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay Central, Raphael Mhone, has joined one of the Malawi’s great female chess players, Susan Musa Namangale together with renowned Malawian writer and newspaper columnist Stanley Onjezani Kenani, to co-sponsor a special tournament for youths to be held in Mzuzu in May.

Triumphant players during the debut tournament of the S & S Genuises held at St. Andrews International High School in February

Namangale and Kenani joined hands to first sponsor the S & S Geniuses tournament held at St. Andrews International High School in the Southern Region of Malawi in February and following its success, the duo decided to take the tournament to the Northern Region, which has been deprived of competitions at grassroots level.

Mhone said the MP has been following chess’ recent achievements and he wants to be associated with this game of strategy.

“I love sports in general and I sponsor football netball and athletics termly in my constituency,” said Mhone, a lawyer by profession with Racane Associates.

” I used to play chess whilst at Nkhata Bay Secondary School but I haven’t done so since then but I love the game for its critical thinking approach.”

He said he has partnered with S & S to sponsor the K280,000 youth chess tournament in Mzuzu in May because he has noted with concern that there hasn’t been many chess events up North and this will be the beginning of good things to come.

Mhone is chairman for CBR Tours and Travel which recently supported Chiletso Chipanga with an air ticket from Livingstone, Zambia where he had participated and won the gold medal at the Africa Amateur chess championship.

Namangale, who is Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) executive member, partnered with CBR Tours and Travel’s Managing Director Lisungu Chirwa to fly in Chiletso from Livingstone, who had travelled there by road and was expected to do the same on his return.

Namangale and CBR Tours and Travel also sponsored a cocktail party for Chiletso and Yebo Sanga, who was voted as the Malawi Sports Young Athlete of the Year organised by Malawi National Council of Sports.

Mhone, said he will encourage chess players from Nkhata Bay where he is MP to participate in the Mzuzu tournament.

After the St. Andrews tournament success, Namangale said she and Kenani were in discussion with another strategic partner to sponsor in the Northern Region.

“Chess has not been so active at grassroot level up North,” Namangale had said. “Since concentration is in the South and the Centre, the improvement should be equal in all regions of the country.

“When we announced that we will sponsor the S & Geniuses tournament, we wished more Malawians could come on board to increase the sponsorship amount and we are glad that we are in talks with another strategic partner to sponsor the tournament in the North.

“There are many schools in Malawi and to reach them all, a bigger funding is required. Our passion is to see more Malawian youths play the game and maybe produce a grandmaster. Zambia produced a Grandmaster in Amon Simutowe. Why can’t we? And, you know, top-notch grandmasters end up earning a living through the game.”

“For now, what is needed is to make the most of what we have. Sometimes grandmasters come from harsher backgrounds, where there isn’t even any sponsorship worth talking about.

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