Gaba scoops 2 awards
Malawians were of the view that Frank Gabadinho Mhango should have walked out of the 2022 CAF awards with the goal of the year award which went to Senegal’s Pape Ousmane Sakho of Tanzania's Simba FC.
On Friday night Mhango’s home country, decided they would decorate a son of the soil with as the overall sports person of the year and the sports man of the year awards during the Malawi Sports Awards held in Lilongwe.
Mhango was not the only winner from football. Malawi Scorchers women’s football team won the the team of the year award; as captain Tabitha Chawinga was named sports woman of the year, for the second time in a row; pipping other stand out athletes Asimenye Simwaka and IBF champion Ellen Simwaka.
Martha Nyekanyeka, a retired referee bagged the inaugural veteran of the year award, ahead of netball legend Mary Waya.
“I feel very proud that my efforts as a founding member of women’s football and a referee have been recognised. I would like to thank those that supported my nomination,” she said.
During her career Nyekanyeka officiated 15 international matches. She is now a FIFA referees assessor.
Retaining the referees' badge was a woman who is no stranger to awards. Benadetta Kwimbira Mzika pipped Easter Zimba and Mercy Kayira to the awards
There were more awards to come for football. Enos Chatama of the trailblazing Nyasa Big Bullets Reserves was named coach of the year, beating Malawi national team coach Meck Mwase.
“I’m surprised that I won, but I will not stop here, the award will encourage me to do more to unearth new players,” said Chatama.
Wrapping up the honours for football was Ascent Football Academy’s founder George Maguire who claimed the award for efforts of non-citizens. The academy itself also got an award for its role in the development of football.
Night of surprises
There were a few surprises up the sleeves of the organisers.
The chairperson’s award is kept secret and chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise said, he decided to award it to Susan Namangale, for the persistence and zeal in advancing the game of chess.
Then Richard Chimwendo Banda announced that he would be giving out the Sports Minister’s award pegged at K2 million to Asimenye Simwaka in recognition of the Malawian records she’d broken.
Simwaka said she was not bitter that she lost out to Tabitha.
“Tabitha is my sister, we are trying to put our nation on the map. I want to promise that I will break more records and bring medals for my country,” said the football and short-distance runner.
The awards recognised athletes who performed well from 2020-2022
Full awards list:
Junior Female sportsperson
Junior male sportsperson
Sean Joseph-Boxing and Kickboxing
Sports administrator of the year
James Chiutsi- Malawi Paralympics
Non-Citizen sports personality of the year
George Maguire- Ascent Football Academy
National team of the year
The Malawi women’s national football team
Sports woman of the year
Sports man of the year
Sports woman with a disability
Sports man with a disability
Best executed sports development programme
Ascent Academy grassroot football development program
Sport district of the year
Umpire/ referee/ Judge of the year
Benadetta Kwimbira Mzika
Coach of the year
Enos Chatama-Nyasa Bullets Reserves
Media house of the year
Sports Association of the year
Malawi Paralympic committee
Female veteran of the year
Male veteran of the year
Sports person of the year
Frank Gabadinho Mhango