I spent my Christmas in Mmadinare and since 25th December 2014, Mascom has been a proud and loyal sponsor of the Annual Mmadinare Christmas Race. The race itself started twenty nine (29) years back. It was founded by a group of locals within Mmadinare in 1989. They all shared the same desire of bringing change and development to their beloved “Madcity” as well as their fellow villagers. From the time it started, the race has been growing bigger and better with each year.
Mascom has been taking part in the joyous “spirit of giving” for the past four years, making 2018 their 5th year sponsoring this great initiative. During the early hours of the 25th December 2018, Christmas Day, the village was buzzing with hype and excitement. The race was hosted by the shopping complex right along the main road of Mmadinare. People soon filled the area, some finishing touches on registration others to spectate the glorious event. Across the road opposite the shopping complex, vendors were setting up shop. They too getting ready to be a part of the experience.
I had the opportunity to talk to one of the vendors setting up. Mrs. Gaatsalelwe Kwafela said that she is a proud resident of Mmadinare. She comes from GOO Kelele ward. This was her first time to come sell her products at the race. She highlighted that the experience was a lovely one. Early as it was, customers were already passing by her kiosk to get various items she had. Among mangos, sweets and other goodies, Mrs Kwafela brought with her, home grown groundnuts and sugar beans. She said “I pride myself in producing these products from my own fields”.
While I was chatting with our driven business lady, I looked across the road to the shopping complex. There was an amazing vibe and sight to see. Runners and families had begun chanting morale songs to keep the hype and mood up! I bed Mrs Kwafela goodbye and wished her the best of luck throughout the day. When I got to the other side, the race was just on time to begin.
The morning weather favored the first runners with clear skies and a very cool breeze. The race was 2km long designed for the youngsters of Mmadinare. You could tell from the smiles on their faces and energy that they spread that they had been looking forward to this day. Within minutes the time had come and they were off on their way! Parents, friends and supporters cheered so loudly and enthusiastically! Theirs was only the beginning of what be the most memorable race of all time here in Mmadinare.
Soon after that all other races followed. They carried on one after the other. Some races had various teams coming through to strengthen their shot at the prize. While others came all by themselves, driven to leave a mark by their skills and talent. All races went on smoothly. There wasn’t any conflict prior to or post any race. This year’s biggest race to watch was the 10km race. It was supported by the 5km race and veteran race, each with men and women categories respectively. Above that, there were fun games incorporated for those who passed by. There was egg races, sack races, mhele and bucket race.
The participants of these games gave on-lookers the best entertainment. My favorite had to be the bucket race. I saw older women showing the younger women of the village flames! They ran with buckets filled with sand and no hands to support, just skill and precision. The older women flew with no trouble while buckets came toppling over from the heads of the young maidens of Mmadinare. I guess you could say that experience of many years goes a long way as the elderly flawlessly won each race.