KAMPALA. Jazz and cricket. A marriage between two complex disciplines from the sports and music world.
No wonder many scribes were left in awe as Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) unveiled Jazz Safari as the new National Men’s 50-Over Cricket League official sponsors yesterday.
The two entities put pen to paper in a five-year deal worth Shs500m with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) giving a provision for a review after three years. But how did these two meet. “We have been on the search for a partner for some time now,” UCA CEO Justine Ligyalingi told the full house of journalists that turned up at Guvnor, arguably Kampala’s Premier nightspot and Uganda’s finest nightclub.
“Jazz Safari is a big brand and the package will help us grow because it is long. Every year, we shall get Shs100m, Shs30m cash and the rest will be used for umpires, statistics and to develop the game further.”
Tshaka Mayanja, the Jazz Safari founder, said choosing cricket was a cakewalk as they sought to exercise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “Many people will be surprised but this was an easy pick,” said reggae artiste Mayanja. “We have lots of friends from the cricket fraternity and we thought we could start there. In other countries where jazz is big like South Africa, jazz concerts are held at cricket parks and are major partners.”
And Mayanja is committed to make the partnership work. “When we began promoting jazz, we were like outsiders which are the same with cricket now. Cricket has grown over the years here and a man of my reputation will work to ensure more talents are bred from the league into the national team.”
Guvnor proprietor Charlie Lubega and UCA chairman Richard Mwami attended the signing of the landmark deal.