THE Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) this week unveiled its plans to host a sports extravaganza that includes a soccer tournament and a half-marathon race as part of social corporate initiative (CSI) through the Mantšonyane Project in Thaba-Tseka.
The Mantšonyane Project was started by the company owned by business mogul Sam Matekane, which commenced in 2013 with the building of a primary and high schools, a church and a sports facility.
MGC Head of corporate communications and marketing ‘Mamotake Matekane told a media briefing this week that the schools will now be opened.
“I think everyone is aware that MGC has been building a big school in Mantšonyana and we feel that this is the right time for the school to be opened,” Matekane said.
“So, towards the opening of the schools, there are initiatives that we feel can make the occasion even bigger for the whole country to partake in the celebrations.
“It is important for us to involve everyone. We started by building a church in 2005 and after that, we realised that there are other needs in Mantšonyane.
“Ntate Matekane was born in Mantšonyane and he wants to give back to the community that made him who he is today. All he has achieved is through the nurturing he went through in that place and it is very important for him to give back to the community.”
Matekane said her company has big plans over the Mantšonyane project and is only half way through the ultimate plans.
“The schools are just the beginning. We are about to create something great.
“The official opening of the school will be on 15 April 2019. The school does not only answer to the needs of that community through academically empowering the children but it also creates employment for the villagers of Mantšonyane.”
She said although Mr Matekane has always given back to his community, he is also passionate about sports which is the reason for which MGC has invested in the sports extravaganza.
Matekane stated that leading to the opening of the schools in Mantšonyane, the company will hold a soccer tournament and a half-marathon race.
Speaking at the same event, Lesotho Sports and recreation Commission Secretary General Mofihli Makoele said MGC has handed them a huge sponsorship to bankroll their half-marathon race that is held in Mantšonyane annually.
“We visited MGC over sponsoring our race that we have been staging in Mantšonyane, where the commission was forking out M54 000 to sponsor for athletes of five and 21.1km races and also give to other categories for veterans, masters and grand masters, who also get prizes.
“MGC initially increased the prizes with another M54 000 to make it 108 0000 and now they have doubled it doubled it M216 000. So, for this year’s event, we are expecting our runners to get twice as they used to get in all categories in previous years,” Makoele said.
For his part, veteran football administrator Baba Malephane, who is working as a consultant for MGC for the Mantšonyane project, told the briefing that the four teams that will take part in the soccer tournament are Bantu, Matlama, Lioli and Kick4Life.
He said that the soccer tournament will start on 16 March at Setsoto Stadium with the winners of the semi-finals set to form part of the celebrations scheduled for Mantšonyane on 15 April.
Bantu were drawn against bitter rivals Lioli while Matlama will take on Kick4Life.
They will be joined by Mantšonyane United from the lower divisions in Thaba-Tseka and another team to come out of the play-offs made of five teams.
The four teams that will head to the big celebrations in Mantšonyane will each pocket M100 000 as an appearance fee while MGC will also cater for their transportation, accommodation and other logistics.
The four Premier League clubs that will also play in the semi-finals at Setsoto Stadium will also share gate takings collected on the day.