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Peter Banda, Tabitha Chawinga in final shortlist

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Malawi under-20 national football team influential playmaker, Peter Banda, and Malawi women’s national football team Captain, Tabitha Chawinga, are on course to win African Union Sports Council Region Five awards after they made the final shortlist.

The two were nominated for the regional accolades alongside world-renowned referee Bernadettar Kwimbira-Nzika and Griffin Youngsters owner and Coach, Griffin Saenda Junior, who was also junior Flames Team Manager last year and Malawi national netball team Fitness Trainer.

After regional members of the council voted from their respective countries, Banda and Tabitha made it into the shortlist which has three finalists.

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Banda is in the Sportsman of the Year category alongside South African athlete Luvo Manyonga and Namibian boxer Julius Indongo.

The category had eight nominees including Zambia’s under-20 goal poacher, Patson Daka.

Tabitha has made it in the Sportswoman of the Year category which also has Olympic and Commonwealth games award-winning South African athlete, Caster Semenya, and Botswana’s chess player Onkemetse Francis.

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The category had eight nominees vying for the three final slots.

This means Saenda and Kwimbira-Nzika have failed to make it after being nominated in the Coach of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year categories, respectively.

The award winners will be determined through votes cast by media panels comprising four journalists in each of the 10 Region Five member countries.

Winners will be unveiled at a presentation ceremony to be held in South Africa on Saturday.

Malawi National Council of Sports Administration Manager, Henry Mereka, congratulated Banda and Tabitha for making the final shortlist.

“This means our athletes are in the finals of the awards and will have to travel to South Africa for the ceremony. The winner will only be known at the ceremony, so, they have to be there,” Mereka said.

Region Five Projects and Marketing Manager, Siyabonga Sangweni, said the media panel’s votes are being cast electronically through an auditing firm and winners would be unveiled on the day of the ceremony.

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