Mat­sika part­ners rugby stars

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Pet­ros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Ed­i­tor

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:

Date—Fix­ture—Venue—Ref­eree

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

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