* It attracted the attention of several pedestrians, who stopped by to marvel the parade
* While those most free followed it up to the Kamuzu Stadium where they were treated to some more performances
*People danced to MDF brass band music and after the ceremony, there was lots of enthusiasm as they posed for pictures with the MDF soldiers, which is a rare opportunity
By Duncan Mlanjira
A parade led by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) brass band; colourful girl cheerleaders; a masked mascot (dressed in traditional Makanja Gule Wankulu regalia); members of MultiChoice Malawi staff and many football enthusiasts — all dressed up in DStv and GOtv-branded T-shirts — added some razzmatazz along the streets of Blantyre as hype towards the Qatar 2022 World Cup that kicks off this Sunday, November 20-December.
The parade on Monday, October 14 — that also had motorcyclists and a lorry equipped with a music system — started of at former premises of People’s Metro in central business district (CBD) of Blantyre past the Clock Tower and along Masauko Chipembere Highway — all the way to the main entrance of Kamuzu Stadium.
It attracted the attention of several pedestrians, who stopped by to marvel the parade while those most free followed it up to the stadium where they were treated to some more performances by the MDF brass band, the cheerleaders and the modern-day Makanja.
People danced to the music played by the brass band and after the ceremony, there was lots of enthusiasm as they posed for pictures with the MDF soldiers, which is a rare opportunity.
MultiChoice Malawi Managing Director, Emma Gichonge said the activity was to hype up the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup to encourage customers to be current with their subscription in order not to Miss all the 64 matches — both on DStv and GOtv platforms.
She also encouraged to visit Sankha Wekha kiosks or their offices to purchase the DStv and GOtv decoders while asking existing clients to use their digital platforms to renew their subscriptions.
There is also something special for the Qatar FIFA World Cup, which is the rebranding of SuperSport channels to give the best coverage of the greatest sports tournament in history.
SuperSport Football Plus will become FIFA World Cup Central; SuperSport Premier League will be FIFA World Cup Africa; SuperSport La Liga will be FIFA World Cup Select 1; SuperSport Variety 1 will be FIFA World Cup Select 2 and SuperSport Football will be FIFA World Cup Fan Zone.
In addition, SuperSport Blitz will provide match reports, previews, breaking news and interviews from Qatar 2022 as part of its usual role of being your one-stop shop to get the latest and greatest sporting information from around the world.
Aside from all the on-pitch action, SuperSport will also keep fans entertained and informed with the following magazine shows:
* ‘Marhaba Qatar’ – Every Sunday morning and all six non-match days, starts 30 October
* ‘Masterplan’ – Deep analysis show, every Sunday at 10:00 (first show) and 14:00 (after group stage)
* ‘Super Saturday’ – Includes live crossing and features from Qatar
* ‘World Cup Insights’ – Conversations with top guests in Doha.
Meanwhile, GOtv subscribers stand a chance of winning a live goat, decoders and free GOtv Supa subscription in MultiChoice’s Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.) — which is a customer facing competition that is running on the GOtv Malawi Facebook page.
The campaign was rolled out on November 1 till December 18 with the objective of driving customer engagement and user generated content in order to win prizes.
MulitiChoice Malawi has since erected 5 billboards in each of Blantyre, Lilongwe or Mzuzu cities painted as murals at which GOtv customers can pose at and post the pictures on Facebook with the official campaign hashtag #GOtvCollectGOATs and tag GOtv Malawi.
Customers must have public Facebook accounts and must be active GOtv subscribers only in order to qualify for the competition.
Greatest of All Time (GOAT) is a term used to describe the ultimate incarnation of anything and the beautiful game of football is rate highly in the 100 Greatest of All Time events.
Winners of the MultiChoice GOAT campaign shall be selected at random using a lottery draw and shall be announced on the GOtv Malawi Facebook page as well as contacted directly — to be received within 30 days after contact has been made.
Also as part of the Qatar FIFA World Cup is the Blue Chair campaign, an opportunity for fans to follow live match analysis and updates — dubbed #HereForEveryFan.
The blue chairs, with DStv logo were placed in several strategic places such as barbershops, salons, on buses which has a QR Code that will lead fans to some amazing football-related content and so much more on DStv SuperSport channels.
The touch of blue across the continent is all in the name of creating the ‘greatest stadium’ on TV and offers viwers to gain access to what SuperSport has to offer in sporting action, ahead and during the World Cup.
Each Blue Chair contains a QR code that when scanned directs individuals to the DStv World Cup landing page and everyone — MultiChoice customer and non-customers — can participate in the campaign using QR code scanner-enabled phones.
The 22nd edition of FIFA World Cup will be the first ever to be held in the Arab world and the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament South Korea and Japan.
In addition, the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, this World Cup will be held from late-November to mid-December, making it the first tournament not to be held in May, June, or July and to take place in the northern autumn — and it will be played in a reduced timeframe of around 29 days.
The first match will be between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador. France are the reigning World Cup champions.
This will be Qatar’s first FIFA World Cup appearance, who are 50th on the FIFA rankings.
Their first international was on March 27, 1970 in their 0-1 loss against Bahrain and their biggest win is 15-0 against Bhutan in 2015 while their biggest loss was 0-9 against Kuwait in 1973.
Ecuador, ranked 44, joined FIFA in 1926 and this is their 4th appearance — the first in 2002 and their best result being the Round of 16 in 2006.
Their first international was a 1-1 draw with Bolivia on August 8, 1938) and their biggest win was 6-0 against Peru on June 22, 1975 while the biggest defeat as 12-0 against Argentina on January 22, 1942.
African champions Senegal have been drawn in Group A with Qatar, Ecuador and Netherlands; Tunisia in Group D with France, Australia and Denmark; Morocco in Group F with Belgium, Canada and Croatia; Cameroon in Group G with Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland while Ghana are in Group H alongside Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea.
Group B has England, Iran, USA and Wales; Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland and Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany and Japan.