Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Zambezi Omnisports to prop up sports and culture


By Benedict Tembo

IN his quest to give back to the country, a Zambian based in Canada Chasaya Sichilima has partnered with some compatriots and launched a multi-media production company providing content for radio, television and online audiences.

Based in Ndola, Zambezi Omnisport is focused on identifying and making visible the rare aspects of Zambian arts, sports, and culture to both local and international audiences.
Last year was a milestone for Zambezi Omnisport. It was one in which it etched its footprint in the grassroots sport and art sectors.

“Even though we only started formal operations in April 2023, Zambezi Omnisport was mooted in 2018 when it became apparent to the founding partners that Zambia needed a new home-grown effort to bring visibility and prominence to Zambian sports, arts and culture. This came against the backdrop of inadequate attention and investment in the three sectors,” said Mr Sichilima, who is the chairman of the board of directors.

He said this has made it difficult for Zambia to sustainably participate from the inside-out in the global conversation of sports, arts and culture.

“Moreover, this is compounded by the dependency on external donor and corporate support to promote the sectors. To the founding partners, Zambezi Omnisport has become the internal voice and vehicle for the sector’s development through grassroots engagement in key areas such as schools, colleges, lower sporting leagues, minor sports, dramatic art and community events,” Mr Sichilima said.

Last year, Zambezi Omnisport provided technical, logistical and marerial support to the Zambia School Sports Association (ZASSA) athletics and chess tournaments at Ndola’s Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.

Zambezi Omnisport streamed and broadcast the event to online audiences worldwide with HD quality and robust internet.

It also formalised and quantified the local traditional game “Eagle” or Zam-Eagle.
After exhibition at the ZASSA athletics and chess games in April last year, the acclaimed Zam-Eagle is now part of the school’s sports curriculum.

Zam Eagle was part of the competitive games for which points were awarded at the ZASSA ball in Livingstone in August last year .

Zambezi Omnisport provided technical support and filmed the ball games.
It also broadcast and streamed the Copperbelt FAZ GSB Cup for which it received positive feedback from FAZ Copperbelt and cup sponsors.

Mr Sichilima says Zambezi Omnisport also sponsored and provided technical expertise to the first ever Software Development Workshop called Sprintathon at the Copperbelt University in Kitwe.

In August, Zambezi Omnisport sponsored and organised a Madalas Tribute game in Ndola, which was highly appreciated by the community while in September, the company was the media and technology partner for the FAZ Copperbelt 2022 23 season awards gala and provided the event with an engaging presentation and broadcast.

A month later, Copperbelt FAZ under-18 side Ajax Chimz Academy and Zambezi Omnisports signed a partnership deal which saw the media house “Zambezi Omnisport” become the official match day kit sponsors for the academy.

In the same month, Zambezi Omnisport broadcast the 45th Combined Copperbelt Nursing Schools graduation ceremony at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Zambezi Omnisport initiated a pre- and post- game analysis show. The hat-trick coverage included the Zambia versus Ivory Coast game, the 2023 COSAFA men’s soccer championship, the Copper Queens’ maiden participation in the World Cup, the 2023 COSAFA women’s championship.

Some guests have included AFCON 2012 winner Jonas Sakuwaha, Gabriel Kaunda, the Afrisport FC founder, FAZ Copperbelt technical director Mortson Kasoma and Indeni Roses coach Benson Chambeshi.

It also covered minor sports such as the Ndola netball district championships.
Zambezi Omnisport launched first artistic offering, “Girls Alone” revolutionary talk show presenting the world from a girl’s point of view.
This includes the perspective on career, family, society, relationships, events, among others.

“Girls Alone” explores the views and experiences of the girl from close range. The programme is motivated by the fact that the view of a girl, and a woman, is often dismissed at worst and usually ignored at best in most societies, leading to a cultural structure that keeps her at a permanent disadvantage.

Through “Girls Alone” programme, Zambezi Omnisport brings its contribution to the elimination of this disadvantage by fostering the ongoing conversation and debate about gender equality in Zambia.

There is also discussion on enhancing the contribution of girls and women to the Zambian economy, given the role that they play.
“Girls Alone” is the first of the artistic and cultural Zambezi Omnisport is publishing in the next few months. Zambezi Omnisport has most recently produced engaging online sports content to critical acclaim.

2024 Outlook

Production of Zambezi Omnisport Sprintathon on a much larger scale.
“Feedback from last year was that venue at American Corner could only accommodate so many. Since were doing it for the first time, that was a deliberate decision to get an understanding of the need,” Mr Sichilima said.

He said the production of a Zam – Eagle competition is intended to increase coverage of the traditional game to everyday situations.

“It is a game that can give a break for our kids from computer games,” Mr Sichilima said.
Zambezi Omnisport also intends to escalate coverage of the men’s African Nations Cup and the women’s edition once dates are confirmed.

On his motivation behind Zambezi Omnisport, Mr Sichilima said:” It is about putting together years of involvement in arts and sports across the world, blending it with modern day technology and equipment and adding another layer and value to the Zambian sports, media, and entertainment landscape.”
At the core of this and from his personal standpoint is” Diaspora engagement with, and contribution to the motherland.”


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