Former Sunshine Tour Commissioner Selwyn Nathan shares a lighter moment with the late Andrew Mlangeni at the Soweto Country Club. Photo: JoBurg Open/Tyrone Winfield
Former Sunshine Tour Commissioner Selwyn Nathan shares a lighter moment with the late Andrew Mlangeni at the Soweto Country Club. Photo: JoBurg Open/Tyrone Winfield

Joburg Open Pro Am to pay homage to Struggle veteran Andrew Mlangeni

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 16, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - What do Gin and Golf have in common, apart from the letter G?

This year golfers invited to play in the 2020 Joburg Open Pro Am taking place at the Randpark Golf Club on Tuesday will find out, when they are treated to a special Gin Tasting at the Pro Am Prize Giving Dinner after a gorgeous day out on the Firethorn Course.

Ask gin distiller and owner of Afro Spirits, Nino Zama who will be hosting the Gin Tasting what she thinks and she’ll tell you, it’s considered the “Sexy Drink” and the perfect after golf cocktail.

Shortly after playing in the Pro Am herself, Zama will swap her golf shorts and shoes for a cocktail outfit, to host the Gin Tasting showcasing two of her uniquely pot distilled Gins including Mamelodi Gin and Mamelodi Dry Gin.

Each year the City of Joburg invites a range of small business owners to showcase their offerings at the Public Entrance exhibition space as part of the City’s strategy to support small businesses by provide a platform for up and coming entrepreneurs to be exposed to a broader market at an international event.

This year due to Covid-19 there is no spectator attendance possible at the tournament, so the City has made an effort to provide a platform for this initiative to continue even if on a smaller scale, as is the case with Zama.

It is symbolically apt for Zama that she is the invited small business entrepreneur to showcase her unique offering at this year’s event, as thePro Am will be hosted in honour of the late Soweto veteran and anti-apartheid activist, Tata Andrew Mlangeni with whom Zama shared a close friendship. Tata Mlangeni passed away in July this year.

Usually played with two fields of players, in keeping with Covid-19 compliance regulations, this year a smaller field of only 216 professionals and amateurs playing in a three-ball will take to the greens.

“Tata Mlangeni was like a grand uncle to me. I met him a few years back when I got lost on my way to meet him for an interview while still working as a television journalist. When I finally arrived he both chastised me for not knowing how to find his place and simultaneously gave me the biggest hug and kiss to welcome me.

We discovered we had so much in common, from playing golf to our mutual love for doing charity work that caused us to become friends instantly. I am honoured to be a trustee of Tata Mlangeni’s foundation, for which we are currently rolling our 2,5 million meals to schools.

I am sure he will be smiling down at all of us at the Joburg Open Pro Am.”

@IOLSport

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