FOOTBALL is widely regarded as a short-term career. It is for this reason that decision making is very crucial at any stage. Injuries and loss of form are inevitable in football butthey have potential to alter
promising career paths.
The transfer of Peter Banda to Tanzanian giants Simba Sports Club has drawn mixed reactions among local football fraternity.
Banda signed a three-year deal with Simba after his six month loan deal expired atMoldova National Division champions Tiraspol Sheriff. He had several offers including teams from France and Hungary but opted to return to Africa.
Simba’s arch-rivals Young African Sports (Yanga) also made a tempting offer to lure him but the Tanzania Premier League champions won the race.
However, the offer from Simba was tempting as he was offered five times what he was
getting at Sheriff.
It was a transfer that very few expected to happen so soon for one Malawi’s brightest talents. Things have happened so fast for Banda, who only played in the TNM Super League for one full season and few games in the current campaign.
An opportunity for the 20-year-old boy came when Sheriff signed him on loan from Nyasa Big Bullets. He
reunited with compatriot Charles Petro at the Moldova giants.
The number of Malawian players in Europe took a sharp increase to four after Francisco Madinga Junior
joined Dila Gori in Georgia whereas Tawonga Chimodzi settled in Cyprus.
Banda, who was playing for Griffin Young Stars in First Capital Bank Under-20 three
years ago, is now one of the reliable Flames players and played an integral part in the
team’s qualification to next year’s Afcon finals.
In his six-month stay in Europe, the youngster made history as he became the third
Malawian player to play in Uefa Champions League after Esau Kanyenda and Petro.
At his age, he needed perseverance and focus to be in Europe, especially when game time opportunities are
Weather conditions in Europe also make life difficult for some African young talents. In addition, some are
Several Malawian players altered their promising career paths after returning to Africa from Europe.
It is a fact that Joseph Kamwendo and Robin Ngalande are some of the best players Malawi has ever
Then, both Kamwendo and Ngalande had qualities to play for big teams in Europe.
Kamwendo signed for FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark from Zimbabwean giants Caps
United in 2005.
After one season in Denmark, he terminated his contract and returned to Wanderers before signing for South African giants Orlando Pirates in 2008. He also played for TP Mazembe.
For Ngalande, he was touted as Malawi’s Samuel Eto’o when playing for Atletico Madrid Academy. Madrid
spotted him while playing for Mamelodi Sundowns Academy in a tournament in Spain.
Then, several European teams including English Premier League giants Manchester City were after
him. He terminated his contract with the Laliga giants to join Bidvest Wits in South Africa. Since then, he has hopped from one club to the other.
Kamwendo believes Banda’s decision to return to Africa is tricky.
“I would have loved him to remain in Europe to advance his career. Peter is a talented player and he is a hope for the Flames. If properly nurtured, he can play for teams in English Premier League,”
“The expectations are high from Simba fans as he was playing in Europe, so it is up to
him to prove his worth.”
Former Flames defender Clement Kafwafwa says playing in Europe would have
offered him good exposure.
“I respect his decision to join Simba but in Europe there are more opportunities to be spotted by big teams. He was playing in Uefa Champions League which is a good platform,” says Kafwafwa, who played for NB Bornholm in Denmark.
Banda last played for Sheriff in the Uefa Champions League second-round match as they beat Armenian side FC Alashkert 3-1 to progress to the third round after 4-1 on
While in Moldova, the youngster scored seven goals and provided 10 assists.
Before his move to Europe, Banda was voted as TNM Super League Player of the Season in his debut season in
the top-flight league.
He also had unsuccessful trials with Belgian club Genk alongside defender Precious Sambani.
Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina says it was a good move under the
“It has to be appreciated that Peter was in Moldova for a six months loan which had expired and FC Sheriff was not showing any interest to sign him permanently or extend his loan.
“As it was, the player was returning back to his parent club Bullets. Comparing Bullets and Simba, they are miles apart and the choice of Simba is justifiable in all fronts,” he says.
“It is just unfortunate that his manager could not have negotiated a better deal with FC Sheriff as Moldova was a very good platform for Peter to break into bigger leagues unlike Tanzania which is as good as Malawi. Even South Africa could have been a better destination but Tanzania has the money.”
It remains to been seen if Banda will one day return to Europe.