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Lucius at TNM’s Malawi Open Championship in Lilongwe

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TNM Malawi Open Championship, launched full of the high hopes that it would, this year, bring people from far and wide to the greens of Lilongwe Golf Club, ended up bringing more than hopes and golf.

Lucius Banda was brought into the picture to show that hopes, golf and music can mingle, which was a surprise package to those who took part in the open championship from Friday to yesterday.

If the TNM Malawi Open Championship were a book, the idea to incorporate the Soldier— as Lucius is known in the music circles— would have been described as a hastily written story because Lucius came as a surprise package.

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But, then, the hastily written story sailed with a fair wind, for Lucius sailed straight into golfers’ favour, thanks to a performance that left little to chance. Which was good because, even though the Balaka-based artist came as a surprise package, he came to the venue heavily laden with the cargo of patrons’ expectations.

As days for holding the open championship approached, it dawned on event organisers that they had to celebrate more than golf; there was a partnership to celebrate, too.

“As part of celebrating our partnership with Golf Union of Malawi (GUoM) and golfers, Malawi’s integrated mobile service and ICT [Information, Communication and Technology] provider surprised the golfers at this year’s Malawi Open tournament by bringing renowned artist Soldier Lucius Banda to perform.

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“TNM is celebrating 11 years of partnership with the Golf Union of Malawi through sponsorship of the largest golf tournament in Malawi, Malawi Open Championship,” said Limbani Nsapato, Manager for Public Relations and Sponsorships at TNM.

The Malawi Open is an elite golf tournament organised by GUoM with sponsorship from TNM. In fact, it is arguably the largest golf tournament in the country.

Lucius performed on Saturday night from 6pm to 10pm before the final day and prize presentation yesterday, when golfers drawn from all parts of the country had to show their dancing skills apart from teeing off on the green grass.

Nsapato said the 11-year sponsorship of Malawi Open Golf Tournament underscores the commitment of the telecoms operator to golf in Malawi.

“TNM, which has been sponsoring the Malawi Open since 2007 and remains committed [to sponsoring the event], decided to celebrate our partnership with Golf Union of Malawi in style by bringing a musical element through Lucius Banda and Zembani Band’s performance,” Nsapato said.

Nsapato said this also created an opportunity for the company to interact with its customers on different products and services.

The 2018 tournament was held under the auspices of TNM@Home, which offers home connectivity solutions to customers.

Soldier shared the stage with Nepman, Sam Smack and Prince Friday.

Lucius had surprises in his bag as, apart from availing himself to the event, he asked golfers to choose songs from any of his albums.

He, in fact, said he felt honoured because it was “the first time to perform at a golf event” and hoped for more similar share the meal that is music with the golfing community.

One of the golfers, Justice Ken Manda, applauded Lucius’ performance, saying the club felt honoured to host an artist of Soldier’s stature.

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