Matsika partners rugby stars
ZIMBABWE rugby’s appeal to the corporate world continues, with one of the emerging vehicle dealerships in Harare this week appointing former Sables and Cheetahs internationals Jacques Leitao and Daniel Hondo their Mazda brand ambassadors.
FaraMatsi Motors, a company led by Harare business executive Farai Matsika, believe their growth in the motor vehicle sales and dealership industry should tally with the development of the sport.
On Thursday FaraMatsi Motors executives joined Leitao and Hondo in showcasing their Mazda BT-50 range of trucks with the pair expressing humility at being selected to be part of the company’s project to partner with sport in the country.
The company’s Lifestyle Consultant Gerald Sibanda, who just like Leitao and Hondo starred for both the Sables and the Cheetahs before retiring early this year, paid tribute to former Croco Motors chief executive Matsika for the initiative.
Matsika was instrumental in Croco’s involvement with Zimbabwe Cricket and the Warriors and this week his company moved into rugby amid strong indications that some deals could also be thrashed with the country’s flagship sport – football.
“As a company, from our background with Farai Matsika having been CEO of Croco and sponsoring sport and having played rugby in and out of Zimbabwe myself, I know what players need and our ambition is to sponsor Zimbabwean sport and that is why we have started Danny and Jacques.
“We believe a vehicle of this magnitude fits into the lifestyle of our top sports personalities and definitely going forward we are looking into sales and sponsorship.
“For now we have targeted rugby guys but we are looking to benefit more disciplines in our sponsorship campaigns,’’ Sibanda.
FaraMatsi Dealer principal Anna Matamisa said although her company was just three months old, they had begun making inroads in the market through the government, individuals, companies and sports associations.
“We have a full range of SUVs, sedans, pick-ups but we are the first port of call for Mazda in Zimbabwe and we have more deliverables which are more than just motion.
“Farai used to sponsor national cricket and football teams and remember he also used to have a car for Sunday Chidzambwa in his capacity as Warriors coach,’’ Matamisa said.
Leitao, a long-serving Cheetahs captain who featured for the national team at the Sevens World Cup in 2013, spoke highly of the pick-up trucks after sampling both the manual and the automatic transmission versions of the Mazda BT-50.
“I know a lot of trucks but this vehicle was exciting in that it has more power and the auto makes it more comfortable. It has a very sporty feel when you drive it.
“The practicality of a truck is always something else and these are modern and sporty vehicles,’’ Leitao said.
Hondo, whose brother Douglas featured for Zimbabwe’s Chevrons, also said it was important for sportspersons in this country to drive in top-of-therange vehicles.
“It is very comfortable, balanced enough and has a lot of leg room. You wouldn’t think you are driving a truck the way it takes off and it is one I would definitely recommend to anyone to drive in and out of town,’’ Hondo said.
Meanwhil,e four South African referees, Quinton Immelman, Cwengile Jadezweni, Rasta Rasivhenge and Egon Seconds, have been nominated to take charge of the forthcoming Africa Gold Cup matches, which are being used as the continent’s qualifiers for the 2019 Rugby world Cup in Japan.
Africa Gold Cup Test Appointments for SA referees:
Cwengile 16 June Jadezweni —Namibia v Uganda—Windhoek—
Quinton 16 June—Zimbabwe Immelman v Morocco—Harare—
Quinton 23 June—Namibia Immelman v Tunisia—Windhoek—
7 July—Kenya v Uganda—Nairobi—Quinton Immelman
4 August—Zimbabwe v Namibia—Harare— Egon Seconds
4 August—Uganda v Tunisia—Kampala (Entebbe)—Cwengile Jadezweni
11 August—Uganda v Morocco—Kampala (Entebbe)—Rasta Rasivhenge
Rasta 18 August—Namibia Rasivhenge v Kenya—Windhoek—
(Entebbe)—Egon 18 August—Uganda Seconds v Zimbabwe—Kampala
SMART PARTNERSHIP . . . FaraMatsi executives (Gerald Sibanda and Anna Matamisa (centre) parade their Mazda BT-50 trucks with Daniel Hondo (left) and Jacques Leitao at Harare Sports Club