Understanding Chilima through basketball: Malawi VP trains, to captain Civo Bucks in tournament

Vice-President Saulos Chilima on Monday afternoon appeared  at the Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) in a suprise move to join a training session for the Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) fundraising tournament and  demonstrated an easy knowledge of the game.

Chilima (L)dribbles past opponents with he ball during training

The Cezobal tournament is slated for this Saturday at Civo Court in Lilongwe.

In a surpise appearance, Chilima  who came at the court without fun-fare sporting a black Puma hoodie, a pair of black slacks complete with a matching Puma cap  quietly changed to a Lakers’ Kobe Bryant jersey, a short and a pair of snickers and took to the court for warm up before taking part in a training game that lasted over an hour.

While playing the basketball and interacting with other players,  Chilima sounded like someone who not only watches the sport, but spends time keeping fit and practicing how to weave against opponents. He sounded, in other words, like a fan.

He also showed how he can “exercise” the the power of team player with youthful vigor.

But he was restricted to reform the game into new style of play  as he struggled to covert baskets.

At least on the basketball court  Chilima had his  space  and voice as he was overheard urging his team-mates with screams of “tiyeni nawoni amenewa guys atheka! [come on guys, let’s take them on, they are tired!]

Chilima described his basketball training as “great fun.”

It was a form of exercise, a prominent part of his public persona, and a way to promote policy goals – help the youth to be active and productive in life.

Chilima is expected to captain Civo Bucks during the tournament that has been organised to raise funds for the construction of a new basketball court at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.

And his association with basketball carries important meaning.

Commenting on Facebook,  Gift Phoya said Chilima was “pretty awesome point guard during his playing days.”

Cezobal general secretary Peter Gomani told a reporters that they are expecting to rake in K18 million from the event after nine teams confirmed their participation at a K2 million fee.


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