South Africa’s football giants, Kaizer Chiefs, have joined the Malawi football community in mourning the death on Sunday of the country’s undisputed football legend Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana.
The death of Chamangwana proved true a proverb that misfortunes never come singly as it happened barely a day after Malawi under-20 national football team star striker, Abel Mwakilama’s burial.
Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, said Chamangwana died on Sunday evening at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre following a battle with diabetes and gout.
“We are shocked beyond description. He had gone to the hospital for treatment a few days earlier and his condition seemed to be improving. But we got the sad news later in the evening. The entire Wanderers family is in mourning for the loss,” Mkandawire said.
He said it was more painful that Chamangwana has died when Wanderers are trying to come to terms with the demise of his younger brother George last year.
Chamangwana’s fellow legend, Kinnah Phiri, described the death as a big blow to Malawi’s football.
“Jack was like a brother.
We had a lot in common. We played at the same time in the national team. We both played and coached outside the country and returned to work together in the Flames’ technical panel. I will greatly miss him,” he said.
National Football Coaches Association Chairperson, Stewart Mbolembole, was also equally shocked, saying Chamangwana was a humble person despite his achievements in football.
“Jack was never jealous of anyone. He used to offer advice to all of us—whether young or old. His advice has turned many of us into what we are today. He achieved quite a lot in the game but never bragged about it. This is a big loss to our football,” he said.
In Parliament yesterday, main opposition Malawi Congress Party President, Lazarus Chakwera, also sent condolences to the Chamangwana and Mwakilama’s families over the death of the two football personalities.
Chiefs’ owner, Kaizer Motaung, yesterday lamented the demise of the man they nicknamed Black Stone.
“Black Stone made his mark in the gold & black colours of Amakhosi [Chiefs]. We achieved many accolades during his stint with us. Who will forget Championship winning year 1989? Black Stone was there as our coach,” Motaung noted in a statement posted on Chiefs’ website.
“In March last year, we invited him to the Soweto derby. I relived the glory days with him while we enjoyed lunch together. Little did I know his visit was his goodbye. So sad. During his visit, he shared his knowledge of football and told me he watched every Chiefs’ match on DStv. I’m glad to have shared in his life and times. What a great gentleman!”
Chamangwana also coached Tanzania’s Yanga FC who also mourned the departed former mentor in Swahili, saying: Kocha wa zamani wa Yanga, Jack Chamangwana afariki dunia.”
Chamangwana’s burial ceremony is expected to take place this afternoon at Misesa Cemetery in Blantyre.
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