Netball family, NAM mourn coach Saenda

Griffin Saenda

Tributes keep flowing following the death of former Malawi national netball team coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda.

Saenda died on Thursday morning at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre after he was rushed there last Thursday when he collapsed at his home at Chimwankhunda township.

Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary, Carol Bapu said they are saddened by the death of the  former netball mentor, who also coached Kukoma Diamonds and Tigresses teams.

“There is no proper word we can use to describe the death of Saenda for he was a father and an icon in the development of netball in the country. We cannot talk of the success of the sport in the country without mentioning his name. We are grieving,” she said.

The sad news came hours before the Malawi queens face South Africa in the first netball test series.

Samuel Kanyenda, who worked with Saenda as his assistant at the nation’s netball team described the coach’s death as a blow. “Very sad news.

Not a good way to start the day! May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Saenda (in red cap) captured at Blantyre Youth Centre - photos courtesy of Arkangel Tembo 

Saenda has been at the helm of the Queens team taking it to the Fast Five tournaments, apart from the netball world cup championships and Africa Challenge Cups.

Meanwhile, NAM is yet to release the burial programme for the late coach, but have confirmed vigil is taking place at his home.