Zambia: Ngonis Batter Bembas to Win Nc'wala Golf Tourney

THE Ngoni summoned all the mighty that could come from Eastern Province including asking Chief Mpezeni to let the rains batter Chainama Golf Club before winning the inaugural Nc'wala Golf tournament in Lusaka on Sunday.

And Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba, through his company GBM Milling, donated K50 million towards the successful hosting of the Nc'wala Traditional ceremony set for early next year and whose budget is around K600 million.

Peppered by statistics on how much the golfers have heavily lost to the Bemba in other traditional golf tournaments played across the country, the Ngoni were in boisterous form and helped on by the rains, the flattened their tribal cousins to win the event.

"We know all the monkey tricks the Bemba have been using all along. So we worked hard to block those tricks and when they looked like playing well, we asked our great Chief Mpezeni to send the rains, none of their monkey tricks could work anymore," Noel Nkhoma, who is the Nc'wala Ceremony national organising chairperson, said.

And Mwamba, who graced the prize giving ceremony, soothed the sorrows of the vanquished Bemba colleagues that a well-documented war stated that the Bembas defeated the Ngonis in the 1800s.

After seeing the Ngonis overwhelm them by picking up almost all the silverware on display, the Bembas sought solace in history that has seen the Ngonis win only three times in the 40-year-old annual Ngonis versus Bembas golf tournament held in Ndola on New-year's eve.

As if that was not enough, in the much younger 10-year old similar tournament held at Chainama Golf Club, the Ngonis were yet to win a single tournament.

But statistics from the Nc'wala Golf tournament told another story as the Ngonis swept clean individual prizes with the Bembas taking just three from the top on offer where Daniel Njobvu was the winner after carding 39 points.

Finishing in second position was Enock Zimba, who was winner of a four-way count back on 38 points, relegating Maxson Simbale into third place with Veronica Mpheneka taking the fourth placed prize and finished as the best-placed lady golfer.

In the other individual prizes, the nearest to the pin shot was taken by Joseph Mwale while ladies' longest drive prize was taken by another easterner in the form of Lona Mwenda while the men category went to Godfrey Mulenga, a Bemba.

In the team event, the winners' prize went to Team-Easy Concept who carded 114 points, a runaway score from second placed Zambia Army on 102 points while Euro-Africa Team finished third with 98 points.

The Bembas comfort in the team event is that two of the three teams that visited the podium comprised of the tribesmen though the loudest cheer was for the Ngonis, whose only team on the podium was Easy Concept.

Easy Concept had Enock Zimba, Kennedy Wemba, Clive Zulu and Daniel Njobvu.

The Defence Minister, whose company GBM Milling donated K50 million, said the Government attached great importance to sport and also traditional affairs as evidenced by President Michael Sata's interaction with various chiefs.

A cheerful Mwamba asked Nkhoma how much he wanted him to contribute towards the ceremony and when K50 million was mentioned, the minister jokingly said his company would oblige since he feared a bigger amount would be proposed like K300 million.

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