Tasked by the Crew, I speak without fear or favour. I am a Bullets – I mean, a Big Bullets fan. But, mind you, it’s not that the Hanging Out Crew is a ‘Big Bullets’ lot or parrot, no. It is only Yours Truly that openly declares his true colour: red.
I wear red under whatever, and I am red inside me. But I had to get a special clearance from the Crew to speak my mind in this sort of Public Lecture. The bulk of the Crew, for your information, is ‘Blue’, but that does not make us enemies or aliens to each other, we are one.
For starters, I am a villager from Rubeni Village, Traditional Authority Kambwiri, in the hot lakeshore district of Salima. To be precise, I am indeed a villager and farmer, owning some piece of land others can call farm, courtesy of my deceased mom, Lisungu. At this place, ancestors’ ambitions meet new ideas, and I will always remain a villager from this place.
Being a villager, a true son of rural Salima, I am patriotic, that is; I support ‘very national’ things and issues. In this case, Bullets FC – being ‘timu ya fuko’. This supporting of the team that dons red and white colours started way back, when I was young and handsome; somewhere in the very early 70s.
This was the time I started sipping some glass-full of the opaque intoxicating stuff called Chibuku, courtesy of me and my late sister Ephrida’s ‘mphulupulu’. When one of us would sneak into the restricted boundaries of our father’s pub, to pinch a packet or two without being noticed. Our mother was a Wanderers – then Yamaha Wanderers – fan but ‘the Big Yard Joseph [Kamnonyere]’, our father, never disclosed the team he supported.
But we knew secretly that he had some sympathy for ‘Bata Bullets’. Mind you, my falling in love with that team does not emanate from him, but it was a common factor of my childhood friends at Ngumbe Primary School, Chileka, in Blantyre.
You may wonder why I should be bothering you with all this ‘nonsense’. Wait a moment; I want you to know the true me, before pushing the case at hand.
I am shocked, and shocked to the horizon, that some person in his senses could take a stone, or whatever, to break windows or bash a rival team’s bus, in the name of our beloved ‘Big Bullets team’!
Why should you, my fellow supporters, sink so low that they could behave in this barbaric manner? Are the goals that made us win not enough to celebrate wisely?
Look at the way some of our supporters have been arrested – are they not going to make their families suffer? Could those involved not avoid falling into the trap of emotions?
I think football is about entertainment and satisfaction; it is not about fighting and violence. Why dent the image of our team through such shameful acts?
I condemn those involved in smashing the ‘Basi Ipite’ Wanderers prestigious bus without reservation. Or did you do that because you are so angry that our team did not grab the said bus? Useless!
That said, there is a BUT. And this is a big BUT! If indeed it is true that someone picked [captured] a Bullets’ fan as they were celebrating the victory, and forced him into the bus to start beating him, or indeed first threw a bottle at him, then it is wrong. We hear stories that some Wanderers players and officials were in that act and beat the supporter, which was wrong. I am not saying the Bullets supporters were right to ‘reciprocate’ the violent acts, no! You don’t cure a disease with another disease.
Those that beat up the said supporter must equally be arrested, that was a crime, just like the smashing of the bus. No one should be spared, anyone who did wrong must face the music and that would help bring sanity to our football landscape.
And Football Association of Malawi, please, don’t take sides. Handle this issue in a sober way; don’t wear the hat of partisan supporters in handling such matters!
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