Tribute to Jack Chamangwana


Jack Chamangwan a (popularly known as Africa), who died in Blantyre on Sunday, is the second Flames’ most capped player with 133 appearances.

Amazingly, he started in all the matches and was never a substitute. He made his debut in a friendly match against Kenya on July 10 1975 in Lilongwe as an 18-year-old.

The Flames won this game 3-1 with legend Kinnah Phiri getting a brace while Isaac Muhura (deceased) scored the other goal. On that day, under Brazilian coach Wander Moreira, the Flames lined up as follows:


Frank Mlotcha,Steven Phiri, Bosco Munthali, Robert Banda, Chamangwana, Montfort Pemba, Spy Msiska, Kinnah, Yasin Osman, Patrick Chikafa and Isaac Muhura.

Jack was eventually substituted and replace by Elvin Mwafulirwa. That same year, Jack travelled with the team to Zambia as Malawi made its debut appearance at the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup (ECASCC).

The Flames reached the final and lost 2-1 on post-match penalties to Kenya after drawing 2-2 in extra-time. Jack featured for the Flames in seven games that year (1975).


In the next two years, Jack played in all the 28 games that took place and even scored his first-ever goal in a 2-0 win over Botswana in a friendly in Gaborone in 1977.

He also played in all the matches played in 1980 (13) and 1982 (7). On October 3 1982, in an Africa Cup of Nations Afcon qualifier against Zimbabwe in Harare, Jack made his 100th appearance as Malawi won 2-0.

Two years later, in Malawi’s first-ever appearance at the Afcon finals in Bouake, Ivory Coast on April 8 1984, Jack overtook Kinnah as the most capped player after featuring in a two-all draw against Nigeria.

This was his 118th match and his record as Flames’ most capped player lasted for seven years before being broken by Young Chimodzi in 1991.

Jack played under seven coaches during his 11 years with the Flames starting with Brazilian Moreira, followed by caretaker for one game Hydri Kondwani, Englishmen George Curtis and Ted Powell.

This was then followed by two Malawians, caretaker Alex Masanjala and Henry Moyo (deceased) while his last coach was Danny McLennan from Scotland.

Jack is the only player to have appeared in four final matches beginning with the ECASCC final in Lusaka in 1975 which Malawi lost to Kenya then the 1978 final which Malawi won after beating Zambia 3-2.

He was also part of the squad that retained the ECASCC in 1979 beating Kenya 3-2 with goals from Barnet Gondwe, Stock Dandize and Collins Thewe.

In 1984, Jack appeared in his fourth ECASCC Final in Kampala, Uganda, but ended up with silver medal as Malawi lost 3-0 to Zambia.

Jack played his last match for the Flames on April 16 1985 in Maputo against Mozambique in an Afcon second leg qualifier which ended one-all on aggregate and Malawi lost 6-5 on penalties. This how the Flames lined up on Jack’s last match:

John Dzimbiri, Harry Waya, Reuben Malola, Thewe, Jack, Chimodzi, Lawrence Waya, Jonathan Billie, Frank Sinalo, Peterkins Kayira and Clifton Msiya. Dickson Mbetewa and Holman Malunga came on as subs for Malola and Jack.

In 1986, Jack left for South Africa where he played for giants Kaizer Chiefs. He coached Chiefs in 1988 before being replaced by Jeff Butler whom he replaced again in 1989. He also coached Young Africans of Tanzania in 2006.

Jack was the Flames’ coach in 1998 for 13 games with a run of one win, six draws and six loses. He then served as Football Association of Malawi (Fam) technical director between 2009 and 2013. He was part of the Flames technical team at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Angola.

Jack and then assistant coach Chimodzi are the only ones who went to Afcon twice as players in 1984 and officials in 2010.

Between 2014 and 2015, Jack served as the Flames assistant coach under Chimodzi. He was until his death working as Be Forward Wanderers Technical Director since 2016

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