Queens ready to conquer in Uganda


MALAWI National Netball Team’s campaign to win the 2017 African Netball Championship gets underway in Kampala, Uganda, with a match against Zimbabwe today. The continental tournament threw off yesterday with hosts Uganda taking on Botswana.

The Queens arrived in the East African country on Monday ahead of the event which also serves as a qualifying tournament for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast City, Australia.

The Malawians will surely have no excuse if results do not go their way at the championship as they have been in camp for over month. The team is playing for the first time after winning bronze at last year’s Fast Five Netball World Series in Australia.


It will be interesting to see whether the team has lost touch after remaining dormant for close to ten months. But Coach Griffin Saenda must have noted signs of rust in the team as it went down 51-39 in a friendly match played in the course of the week.

He certainly has to devise a better strategy against the Zimbabweans if the Queens are to start the tournament on a bright note. England-based Joyce Mvula, who plays for Manchester Thunders, will be Malawi’s cornerstone in the absence of six regulars.

Captain Caroline Mtukule Ngwira, Sindi Simtowe Msowoya, Grace Mhango Mwafulirwa and Mwawi Kumwenda would surely have made a big difference had they made it to the tournament but their absence should be a chance for others to prove that they can be counted on.


Saenda maintained the promise he made before departure that he has a team that will bring home the trophy. He said the team has all the chances to triumph at the continental showpiece, saying the only threat to their success are hosts Uganda.

“The absence of our big names will not affect us much. We are taking it as an opportunity to try new faces that have had no chance to play. We need to groom more players who can step in when called upon at any time. Otherwise we are capable of beating every team that comes ourway at the tournament,” Saenda said.

Stand-in captain, Joana Kachilika, is also hopeful of a positive result. “We prepared well so that we should not just participate, but compete and win,” she said.

The squad has maintained the bulk of its seasoned campaigners like Martha Dambo (Thunder Queens ) , Beatrice Mpinganjira (Tigresses), Jessie Mazengera Sanudi (Kukoma Diamonds), Thandie Galeta (Thunder Queens) and Bridget Kumwenda (Kukoma Diamonds).

Also making the squad are Wezzie Mzemba (Kukoma Diamonds), Colleta Mwalilino (Civo), Julie Sambo (Blue Eagles Sisters) and Alinafe Kamwala ( Kukoma Diamonds).

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