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Tanzanian minister and Yanga fan reveals strategy behind securing GSM as club sponsor

Dar es Salaam. Four years ago, the Young Africans Sports Club (Yanga) urgently needed financial support to give it vitality.

This was also precisely the time when their arch-rivals, Simba, were on form and commanding respect within and outside Tanzania.

It was at that point that a team of ardent Yanga supporters, led by Antony Mavunde, a Tanzanian minister, came up with solutions.

During a candid interview with The citizens sister post, Mwanaspoti, Mavunde revealed the intricate steps taken to secure Ghalib Said Mohammed’s (GSM) endorsement of the esteemed football club.

“I am proud to have helped ensure the stability and prosperity of Yanga,” said Mavunde, reflecting on his role in the club’s history. “It was a difficult time, but with collective determination we managed to secure the support needed to drive the club forward.”

Mavunde’s commitment to the club extended beyond his ministerial duties as he actively participated in fundraising initiatives aimed at bolstering Yanga’s financial resources. His pivotal contribution of Sh300 million during a crucial fundraising event underlined his dedication to the club’s welfare.

Following the successful fundraising campaign, Mavunde orchestrated the introduction of GSM as a sponsor of Yanga, marking a major turning point for the club. The GSM partnership injected renewed vigor into Yanga, laying the foundation for greater competitiveness both nationally and internationally.

Reflecting on the trip, Mavunde expressed gratitude to stakeholders and highlighted the collaborative efforts that underpinned Yanga’s resurgence. “It was a collective effort and I congratulate all those who contributed to our success,” Mavunde said.

As Yanga continues to pursue excellence on the football field, Antony Mavunde’s role in securing the club’s sponsorship is a testament to his unwavering dedication to the club’s legacy and his vision for its enduring success.

Transformation as a turning point

The turning point came when the Muvunde morale committee presented its progress report to then Yanga president Mzee Msola (Dr Mshindo). Among the committee’s recommendations was a fundamental change to the club’s operating framework. The goal, Mavunde says, was to prevent a repeat of the challenges of the past and ensure a more sustainable future for the club.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to the previous leaders, including Mzee Msola, and the current leaders, such as Engineer Hersi (Said) and his assistant Arafat (Haji), for their commitment to implement and refine these strategies. We are now witnessing developments promising. And once completed, we aspire to be among the leading clubs in Africa, operating under a modernized framework.

During the fundraising efforts, contributions from members and fans, while modest, proved immensely valuable, he says.

However, he said, during that time a crucial lesson was learned: deeply respect those who invest in football. “We often see Simba or Yanga competing internationally, but behind the scenes, there are people who tirelessly ensure things progress, regardless of the personal sacrifices they make,” she says.

Difficult task of convincing GSM

“Securing sponsorship from GSM was not a simple task. When we approached him, he, as a businessman, needed time to deliberate. Maulid Kitenge and I spent eight hours meticulously crafting our argument to persuade Ghallib to join forces with us “says Mavundé.

However, he says, if he (GSM) were asked today about the decisions he unwaveringly defends, sponsoring and supporting Yanga would certainly be at the forefront.

“It was a journey that demanded precision and patience. I am pleased that Ghallib is now widely regarded as a leading investor recognized for his invaluable support to Yanga. His commitment goes beyond mere profit; it is a testament to his dedication to the club. Equally encouraging is to witness the deep affection that Yanga’s fans have developed for him.”

Mavunde believes the GSM plans are extensive and if they come to fruition, Yanga will reach greater heights.

“I refrain from delving into more details; you will witness how they develop in due time. However, it is worth noting that we have expert leaders within our club, including those with roles in the CAF like Hersi. Their presence is an important asset and it is clear that the beacon of progress shines brightly for us,” he states.

The idea of ​​member stock investing, according to Mavunde, is a concept that requires extensive education. Therefore, if they decide to put up to 49 percent into ownership, it is likely to attract a significant number of members eager to invest in their beloved club.

“This is uncharted territory for our country, so it requires meticulous attention and seriousness to make it a reality, otherwise its goal may remain elusive,” he says.

According to Mavunde, it was urgent to ensure that this educational initiative reached the club’s members and fans so that they could take advantage of all the benefits of the proposal.

Without a deep understanding, he says, the effort can face obstacles.

“However, I am confident in the ability of our leaders to address this challenge effectively,” says Mavunde, who is also the Member of Parliament for Dodoma Urban.

Player registration plans

As for the transfer of players, Mavunde says, the matter falls squarely under the purview of the executive committee. However, as a member of the board of directors, he says, his role focuses on overseeing the assets and operational framework of the club. However, from his point of view, everything seems to be going well in the transfer department. Efforts to improve the team, he says, were yielding positive results, evident in the team’s continued success in competitions.

“I must also recognize the leadership of Hersi and his team, who have demonstrated a deep understanding of the needs and necessary actions of the club,” he says, adding that under Mr. Hersi’s leadership, everything seems to be lining up perfectly.

Management has been instrumental in driving the club forward during his tenure, and initiatives such as the board of directors and self-sustainability plans were particularly commendable.

“You, the press, have witnessed the progress made by this administration through several lucrative deals aimed at bolstering Yanga’s financial situation and lifting it out of past difficulties,” he says.

“In my opinion, the team so far has had an exceptional performance thanks to the quality of the squad and the coaching staff. Although we have scored many points and achieved many victories, the league is not over yet. However, having faith in the current trajectory of the team.

“Currently, Yanga displays remarkable unity with minimal discord. This solidarity fosters significant stability within the team, allowing for continuous improvement. This is a source of joy for all followers, members and even leaders, all completely committed to the team’s success.”