President Lazarus Chakwera has said time has come for the nation to rediscover winning mentality in all sporting disciplines.
Chakwera made the remarks when he hosted VVIP Kuipatsa Moto Flames Fundraising Dinner at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Saturday.
However, Chakwera admitted that reclaiming the winning attitude would not be easy since most Malawians have the tendency of speaking negatively against compatriots.
“Winning is not just an achievement;. it is a state of mind. And when a whole nation has that winning mindset, that national mindset becomes more empowering than politics, more enriching than banking and more intimidating than thunder,” Chakwera said.
“But make no mistake: reclaiming that winning mindset will not happen by wishful thinking, nor will it be easy,” she added.
Chakwera said he was committed to supporting all sporting disciplines including football.
“I know that there are other sports teams in Malawi that are winning great contests and I am committed to supporting them all,” Chakwera said.
“But I decided to set aside this evening [last Saturday] to support our national football team because it is this team that carries the hearts of most Malawians, and it is this team towards which many of us Malawians need our winning mindset restored,” the President added.
Chakwera added that the Flames were known for their winning habit, having won the Cecafa Cup three times in 1978, 1979 and 1988.
He said, in those day, even when the team did not win the trophy, it was able to win silver or bronze medals.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has unveiled a Flames kit which has been designed in a special way.
Sleek and modern, the Flames Heritage jersey is inspired by Malawian tradition art.
The jersey’s pattern is drawn from traditional house painting as well as patterns found on African fabrics, a true celebration of Malawian culture.
A beautifully crafted piece of art adorning the traditional Flames colours of red, green and black, the jersey is called ‘I am a Flame Heritage Edition.
Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama said, despite the poor showing in the just ended World Cup qualifiers, he was optimistic that the team would do well.
“The team showed great character by qualifying for Afcon finals. It was not easy for the players and the technical panel. We are hopeful that the team will perform beyond expectations,” he said.
During the World Cup qualifiers, the Flames finished bottom after winning a match and losing five games.
Taking his turn, Flames vice captain John Banda appealed to the corporate world to support the team.
“We defied all odds to qualify for the Afcon finals despite lack of resources,” Banda said.
Flames legends Kinnah Phiri and Young Chimodzi Senior attended the event.
The event was spiced by music from Lulu and Lawi.