Let the Games begin!

Malawi

The 2022 African Union Sports Councils Region Five games threw off in front of an enthusiastic crowd with pomp and fanfare at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Firday night.

It all started with teams from each of the participating countries marching majestically into the stadium, to show that they were ready to represent their nations.

Angola at Region 5
Angola at Region 5 

Hosts Malawi were the last ones to file out and they were greeted by defeaning applause from the crowd. Decked in red Malawi Sports traditional dresses for the girls and short-sleeved shirts and pairs of trousers for the boys, the under-20s showed they are determined to fight for their country.

Speeches and performance  by some of Malawi's reknowned artists then followed and Malawi"s president Lazarus Chakwera was beaming with pride that his country had managed to pull this off.

Chakwera and his Mozambican counterpart Felipe Nyusi
Chakwera and his Mozambican counterpart Felipe Nyusi 

“There is no investment in young people that is a waste of time. That is why I directed my Minister of Youth and Sports, to ignore the noise and focus on serving the young people of our country and  region who have gathered today, and I want to thank him for staying in course,” the President said.

Eli Njuchi
Eli Njuchi performs during the games.

The games have attracted over 2,000 athletes administrators and coaches from Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The athletes will compete in 11 sporting codes.

As the fireworks exploded into the night sky just after 8pm, it was a signal. Let the games begin!

Malawi vs Botswana
Malawi takes on Botswana

Begin they did, as Malawi's Under-17s took on Botswana in a game that ended 2-2.