* The year 2023 was a great year as we reached out to 23 districts and 170 centres
* We did this as a team and believing in what we do. Some of you have created clubs and are teaching chess to children
* Let’s keep pushing the pawns and unlock potential to those we reach—Namangale
By Duncan Mlanjira
Dadaz Chess Academy has a rare festive season treat for street-connected children in Lilongwe by organising for them a chess training session on Monday, the New Year’s Day.
Thus Dadaz Academy is inviting chess enthusiasts to join them in sharing joy of the festive season with the street-connected children to the session which include sharing of food that will start from 13:00-17:00hrs at Kamuzu Mausoleum in Lilongwe.
Founded by former Chess Association Malawi (CHESSAM) president, Susan Namangale, Dadaz Academy was primarily initiated with a quest to groom prodigies all over the country to promote the sport at grassroots and help Malawi become a strong chess playing nation.
Namangale maintains that chess is an important tool to build strategic leaders of tomorow and an important tool for mindset change, which is an enabler in MW2063 development blueprint.
Namangale wrote history in Malawi in 2018 when she became the first woman president of the sport and rewrote if by being the first female Africa Zone 4.5 chess federation president.
Through her connections, Dadaz Academy was appointed as an ambassador of The Gift of Chess — a global sports charity that is transforming lives through its universal language of chess.
Namangale herself was appointed Global Head of The Gift of Chess and for the past months, the Academy has distributed over 1,000 chess sets (5 set gifts) across schools and prisons — provided by the US global sports charity.
In her Christmas message, Namangale paid tribute to all Dadaz Academy volunteers for the distribution mission, saying: “The year 2023 was a great year as we reached out to 23 districts in Malawi and 170 centres.
“We did this as a team and believing in what we do. Some of you have created clubs and are teaching chess to children which is commendable and as we continue to preach chess, I would like to assure you of my support in this work.
“Let’s keep pushing the pawns and unlock potential to those we reach. In the next year, our focus should be to ensure the children we are teaching are participating in tournaments.
“Also let’s work with vulnerable people like in prisons and encourage them to play chess. I hope to receive more chess sets next year and will redistribute these to the volunteers.
“I am finishing the year with chess vibes as we had a Christmas tournament with Dadaz Academy kids. We visited Maula Prison and awarded certificates and shared gifts.”
On Boxing Day, Dadaz Academy also organised a chess tournament in Nkhotakota and from December 11-21 it held a kids holiday camp where they enjoyed chess sessions, music, football games, movies and lots of other fun.
Namangale got connected with The Gift of Chess founder, Russell Makofsky when she attended Chess for Freedom conference in Chicago, USA.
Through her experience when she visited Cook County Sheriff, USA’s second largest prison, Namangale was inspired to extend her chess in prison program in Malawi at Maula Prison to other penitentiaries and she further extended the distribution of the chess sets to several prisons in the country.
Namangale reiterates that Chess in Prison is a great tool to improve the quality of life for inmates as they prepare for liberation and also facilitated that they participate in international online chess games.