Joseph Kamwendo’s last leg at Be Forward Wanderers
He has thrilled fans with his football magic in two continents, six countries and seven clubs in a richly satisfying career spanning 15 years, reaping countless silverware and a breathtaking 105 caps.
And still counting.
Be Forward Wanderers’ midfield showman Joseph Kamwendo is not your everyday Malawian footballer.
Even if blind folded and playing with one leg only, the first-ever foreigner to win Zimbabwe Soccer Star of the Year 2005, should be good enough to walk in and out of any top TNM Super League team.
And with due respect, newly-promoted Masters Security FC do not yet belong to the bracket of top domestic teams. After all, they are yet to even kick the ball in the elite league.
So any talk that Kamwendo, who resigned last week, was on his way to sign for Masters should sound like master fiction published on Fools Day.
But wait a moment. Kamwendo has ruled out a move to any Lilongwe giant but to a small team. And the conclusion is that such a team is Masters.
“I want all Wanderers’ supporters to understand me because I will remain a Wanderers’ player. I will play for a small club in Lilongwe. Soon, I will reveal the team I will play for,” he insisted.
Strange things happen in football.
Imagine you go to Kamuzu Stadium one afternoon and you suddenly realise that Kamwendo is playing for Masters.
Is this real? What is he doing there? You ask yourself.
Strange things happen in football. Months ago, few would have imagined Lucky Malata swapping Silver Strikers’ sky blue jersey for the orange of Wanderers.
Loyalty means nothing in football. Money talks, hence Kamwendo’s case cannot be dismissed completely.
Either Kamwendo is using his fancy boardroom dribbles to earn a pay rise at the Lali Lubani Road or indeed Masters have opened a blank cheque for him.
If Masters were not smart enough to sign Hygiene Mwandepeka from Karonga United then landing the former Flames’ captain should be a big transfer coup.
Kamwendo’s threats to leave Wanderers should not be surprising for this is the off-season break and the domestic transfer window is open.
The off-season break is the most tempting for local football as players’ earnings shrink due to lack of game bonuses.
Some players survive on loan sharks while others even make ends meet through social football earnings.
During this break, players only survive on monthly upkeeps which are peanuts.
However, if Kamwendo is determined to switch teams then the move might not be about advancing his career but his pockets.
“He is a big stage player who thrives on the pressure of playing for a big crowd,” observed an insider at Wanderers.
“He is so influential at Wanderers and I doubt if that would be the case at Masters. They would treat him just like any other player.”
From blowing his top for being made to fly to Japan when teams there were on break to accusing Wanderers of breaching his contract then that his mother is ill in Mchinji District, Kamwendo has given irreconcilable versions of why he is leaving the Lali Lubani Road.
The version of the ill mother is not a subject for debate. It touches on an emotional chord. A conversational stopper.
Even Wanderers’ General Secretary, Mike Butao, was in a letter dated February 2 2017 not prepared to delve into the illness matter.
“I wish to advise you that you have a running contract with Be Forward Wanderers and Be Forward Wanderers have no intention of releasing you as you are still part of our plans,” Butao said when reacting to Kamwendo’s shock resignation.
“On another note we are sorry to hear about your mom’s illness from the media. We wish her well and offer our full support.”
The midfielder touched on the breach of contract aspect in passing, but he has been consistent on the aspect of the mother.
One can argue that instead of relocating to Lilongwe, Kamwendo can as well take the mother to Blantyre where there are better hospitals.
However, there is a threat – that points to the money theory.
If Kamwendo had signed for a club in Japan that could have meant earning signing on – fees and escaping the punishing off-season break in Malawi.
Sources suggest that Kamwendo and Peter Wadabwa also made some demands in Japan and Be Forward Limited were not amused. It might all be about money.
Money talks. Either the cash from the car dealers, Be Forward Limited, or from the security experts of Lilongwe, might talk louder.
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