By Ronald Mpaso:
That long-awaited moment is finally here and Bullets supporters have every reason to walk tall in town as their team will be the centre of attraction at a glittering award ceremony where league sponsor TNM will be rewarding top performers for the 2018 season.
Blantyre’s Crossroads Hotel, the venue of the event that will officially mark the end of the 2018 season, will temporarily be painted red and white as members of the Bullets family celebrate their crowning.
Bullets, who will get K15 million for lifting the title, kick-started their celebrations on a charitable note at Mulanje District Hospital where they were joined by sponsors TNM Plc in donating medical equipment worth K3.5 million yesterday.
Mulanje was Bullets’ temporary home for the better part of the first round as they awaited the re-opening of Kamuzu Stadium.
TNM Plc Head of Marketing Division Sobhuza Ngwenya said a colourful ceremony awaits the champions and other prize winners.
“TNM has put together a glittering ceremony to honour the 2018 champions and other prize winners. The moment that all soccer fans and stakeholders have been waiting for is here, and we at TNM Plc are ready to make it historic and memorable,” he said.
Ngwenya, whose company has been sponsoring the league continuously for 12 years, said patrons to the ceremony will be entertained by the Salama Africa Dance crew comprising Congolese dancers based at Dzaleka Refugee camp.
“Apart from the colourful dancers, we are expecting the Minister of Sports, the newly elected Fifa Council member and Fam [Football Association of Malawi] President Walter Nyamirandu to grace the occasion. Club owners, Sulom [Super League of Malawi] officials and other football dignitaries will also be there,” he said.
Ngwenya said apart from crowning the champions, there will also awards for the best goalkeeper, top goal scorer, best midfielder, best defender, most improved player, best referee, player of the season, and best assistant first and second referee.
Other awards include best technical panel, best team management, most improved club, Fair Play team, most disciplined supporters, leading team first round and predictor of the season drawn from TNM’s Zampira SMS promotion.
“The awards categories have been widened to reflect depth and growth of the league in recent years. The widening of categories and prizes underscores TNM’s commitment to Malawi football as the long-term sponsor,” he said.
Sulom General Secretary Williams Banda said attendance is strictly by invitation to ensure that there is order at the event.
In a season that saw arch rivals Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers fighting for the crown with wide-margin wins at Kamuzu Stadium, it was the People’s Team that went for glory to bag 71 points.
Wanderers came second, with Silver Strikers finishing third.
TNM has made some changes to the awards gala by separating the media awards component from the clubs awards event.
The media awards are being judged by an independent panel coordinated by TNM’s media agency, FD Communications Ltd. The awards will be presented in a few weeks’ time.