Mazingisa excited to embrace fresh ideas at football summit
SOUTH African football administrator, Senzo Mazingisa Mbatha is one of the few individuals who have used their 2010 Fifa World Cup experience to boost capacity on the continent. Mbatha is the chief executive of Tanzanian giants Simba SC and will be one of the speakers at the World Football Summit (WFS) Africa in Durban from March 17-18 March at the ICC. WFS Africa spoke to him.
Q. Tell us a bit about your journey which has taken you to Simba SC in Tanzania.
A. It is a typical football journey. I have been serving the football industry for over 20 years now, and the experience gained through my different assignments at different footballing organisations has made this move possible. I got contacted and advised that there’s a position of the CEO advertised by the East African Giants Simba SC of Tanzania last year.
I applied for the job, went through all the processes, and as they say, the rest is history.
Q. What is your take on the game on the continent? Is it on the up or is it static?
A. It is difficult to give a fair comment on this question because the game of football has improved in some parts of the continent and has dropped in other parts.
The Southern African teams have been doing well in the last few years, exporting good talent overseas, winning Cup of Nations (Zambia), winning the CAF Champions League (Mamelodi Sundowns) etc; also taking into account how women’s football has fared in the last few years, I would say it’s also on the up.
In other parts like the Western and Central African regions, most teams in CAF competitions have somehow found the going tough. I can’t recall when last we had any of their teams in the semis of the CAF competition. Teams in North Africa continue to do well both in club and national teams competitions.
It’s also pleasing to see teams in East Africa doing fairly well.
I mean, Tanzania in this regard winning the U-20 Cecafa Cup tournament, qualifying for the CAF CHAN tournament, producing teams that went all the way to the quarter-finals in CAF club championships. That must be commended.
We have recently witnessed one of the Tanzanian stars being signed by Aston Villa. So overall I think the game is on the up in most parts of Africa. Q. What do you make of initiatives like WFS Africa? What are the outcomes you would like to see come of such initiatives?
A. These are significant initiatives. I have also attended similar initiatives in the last few months. These sort of initiatives assist you as an individual to gauge the level at which you and or your organisation are operating at versus what the industry is working at. It is also an opportunity to learn new ideas, meet new partners and embrace the existing ones.
More so we get to see how best to move our club and organisations forward. It is also encouraging to be invited to these summits to give your expert knowledge and experiences in shaping our football on the continent. I would like to thank the organisers and sponsors for such a great initiative.