President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Thursday led thousands of Malawians in paying last respects to departed football legend Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana.
Chamangwana, who was a soccer administrator, breathed his last at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre after succumbing to diabetic complications on Sunday evening.
Dressed in a black three piece suit and a white shirt, Mutharika arrived at the fallen legend’s home in Magalasi, Blantyre at 10 o’clock in the morning.
Accompanied by Vice President, Saulosi Chilima, the Head of State consoled the bereaved family members before proceeding to view the body of Chamangwana which lied in state.
Mutharika also took some time off to attend a brief service at the residence where eulogies were made before condoling the family with K500, 000 on top of the initial K1 million earlier provided by the First Couple.
Speaking on behalf of the bereaved family Samuel Kaphuka said Chamangwana, who rose to fame in football in the 1980s, was an icon for both the family and the nation.
“Jack has served all the presidents Malawi has had. He made sure his talent was utilised both at club and at national level. This was demonstrated when he helped the national team win the East and Central Africa Challenge Cup in 1978. Death has robbed us of an icon,” Kaphuka said.
Kaphuka, however, asked government to prioritize both current and retired football players’ welfare, among others, through the establishment of a medical scheme.
Malawi National Council of Sports Board Chairperson, James Chuma appealed to current football players to emulate the life of Chamangwana, who, in his hey days demonstrated discipline and commitment to the sport.
Chuma disclosed that in liaison with the ministry of sports, the council is working on a piece of legislation
that would, among other things, see the promotion of welfare of athletes in the country.
Delivering a condolence message on behalf of Mutharika at Kamuzu Upper Stadium where
Chamangwana’s remains were taken for viewing, Minister of Labor, Youth, Sports and Manpower
Development, Francis Kasaila said the fallen legend would remain in the country’s football history books
due to his enormous contribution.
Chamangwana died at the age of 61 and made 133 appearances in the national team. He is
survived by a wife and children….Malawi News Agency