Football dominates Malawi Sports Awards

Enos Chatama
  • 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.

Sportsman of the year 

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.

Martha Nyekanyeka
Nyekanyeka: I feel very proud

“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.

Kwimbira Mzika
Top ref: Kwimbira Mzika

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.

Chatama: I will not stop here

“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.


Winners pose with their awards

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
Veronica Manda-Taekwondo

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
Tabitha Chawinga-Football

Sports man of the year
Gabadihno Mhango-Football

Sports woman with a disability
Taonga Kamwendo

Sports man with a disability
Moses Misoya

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
Times Group

Sports Association of the year
Malawi Paralympic committee

Female veteran of the year
Martha Nyekanyeka

Male veteran of the year 
Henry Moyo

Chairman’s Award
Susan Namangale

Minister’s award
Asimenye Simwaka

Sports person of the year
Frank Gabadinho Mhango