Harare – More than US$100,000 has been earmarked to set in motion a five-year plan to fully equip the envisaged Southern Africa sports museum, and curators are already working on the narrative aspects of the facility.
The museum will be housed in Zimbabwe, though complementary thematic mobile exhibitions will be spread around SADC so that the region’s 177 million people all have a measure of access to it.
Prose, 3-D, pictorial and artistic displays will sit side-by-side with sporting memorabilia, explained Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 chief executive officer, Stanley Mutoya, last week.
"The AUSC Region 5 is only a vector meant to facilitate the benefits for the ultimate users and primary beneficiaries. (The people of SADC) will benefit from a rich legacy of their own story and preservation of their own sporting heritage.
“There are benefits that pertain to economic transformation especially given there will be vast benefits in terms of sports tourism. The museum will also provide province to the region as a global player and with that open opportunities for investment in the region through sport and sport-related businesses. The scope of opportunities for member countries is also wide as they will get the much needed visibility at a regional level through exhibitions and visibility of their sports brands."
Mutoya said the state-of-the-art museum would tell the story of sport in Southern Africa.
"The museum will contain information on the achievements and developments in sport in the region. It will tell the story of the role of sport in the African renaissance and the part that sport played in this region towards emancipation of our countries. It will also tell the excellent achievements of our athletes and organisations and it will tell the story of the contribution of sport towards economic development of our region.
"Let us preserve our rich sporting culture. Let us tell our story in the way we know how. Preservation of our own heritage cannot be left in the hands of third parties. This project deserves our support and collaboration."
Zimbabwe’s Deputy Sports Minister, Tino Machakaire, said the museum was a game-changer.
"It's an absolute masterstroke; this is the way to go. As a region we should cherish and celebrate our athletes as well as our own achievements in our own unique way.
"The sporting landscape in the region will never be the same again. It's the ultimate way of celebrating our sporting dignity and prestige," he said.