Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has settled for ‘Mpira wa manja” as the Chichewa translation to be used for netball in the country.
All along, people including media have been using ‘Ntchembere mbaya’ to describe the sport in the native language which sounds demeaning as it is translated ‘sports for women with children’.
NAM president, Khungekile Matiya in statement released on Thursday said they decided to change the name considering that the sport has evolved from being played by women only to young girls and men.
“In this regard, sustaining the name the ntchembere mbaya name takes away the diversity the sport is embracing. We appeal to stakeholders, especially journalists to immediately adopt this new name. Together we can end discrimination and embrace the diversity which netball is promoting locally and globally,” reads the statement.
Just like football, the sport is played both at local and national level including schools.
Of late, Malawi has produced netball talent which is being recognised internationally following the signing of some local netballers like Mwawi Kumwenda, Joyce Mvula, Laureen Ngwira and Towera Vinkhumbo.
Of course ‘mpira wa manja' may sound basic since there are some sport codes which are also played using hands, like Volleyball, Basketball, Handball and others, but NAM has made the choice.