Zuma launches Nkandla chess challenge

2009-12-23 10:33

Hours after paying tribute to former health minister Manto

Tshabalala-Msimang in Pretoria yesterday, president Jacob Zuma dashed to rural

Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal to attend a chess tournament.

The inaugural chess tournament at Zuma’s home village was organised

at the request of Zuma, who felt the youth needed to be taught about patience

and strategic thinking, the presidency said in a statement.

“President Zuma, an ardent chess player... called on young people

to take up the sport of chess as it contributes to the development of strategic

thinking which is an important element of life for school going children.

“He said chess was a most exciting sport even though it did not

rank in the same level of popularity as soccer and rugby,” said presidential

spokesman Vincent Magwenya.

He said Zuma wished for the board game to be rolled out in other

parts of rural KwaZulu-Natal as it required minimal infrastructure.

“This, the president believes, will contribute in shaping young

people to future thinkers that will lead the country in different disciplines,”

he said.

Addressing the 60 young people from Nkandla schools and surrounding

areas, Zuma also called on the private sector to assist with corporate

sponsorship in support for rural development.

Kwazulu-Natal chess president Sandile Xulu, one of the tournament

organisers, said chess gave “young people the opportunity to compete, regardless

of race or social standing“.

“It provides a field of ideas, concepts and strategy for young

growing minds,” he said.

The tournament, which was also open to general members of the

public, was held at the Nkandla community hall from 2pm.

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