One thing that boys from Dedza are known for is selling kachewere (Irish potatoes) at bus stops, and they use the proceeds to charm girls.
They are also known for dancing ngoma and hunting mice (mbewa) and I am reliably informed that one of the district’s greatest sons JZU was good in that aspect as a youngster.
Recently, Dedza also produced a gem of a footballer called Robin Ngalande, who was tipped as one of the brightest football prospects to emerge from Malawi when he signed for La Liga side Atletico Madrid’s youth team in Spain. Ngalande’s skills charmed fans and some analysts even labelled him as the future Samuel Eto’o.
Unfortunately, Ngalande cannot get the feel of ‘Shibobo’ and has been reduced to blowing the noisy vuvuzelas in the stands in Mzansi.
But, perhaps, all is not lost. Last week, I had the privilege to watch Surestream Academy trials in Dedza and I was left a little out of my breath by the magical talents of a boy called Mayeso Mdazepa, who is nicknamed Makisiwelo [Maxwell]. The academy’s technical director Peter Mponda and fellow former international Sherry Msuku, who is one of the coaches, could not help but watch starry-eyed as Makisiwelo turned on the magic.
Donning a tattered khaki short, Mayeso left me bewildered with his natural skills and his sheer quality shone like a beacon. I hope the 14-year-old’s talents will be nurtured and that he, too, will have an opportunity to showcase his skills in Europe, rather than being reduced to a mice hunter or selling kachewere at bus stages.
The other fascinating thing was how Mponda was feted like a king. He brought lessons at Dedza Government Primary School to a halt as the pupils tried to get a glimpse of him. Apparently, there were even others who thought I was Joseph Kamwendo because of my dreadlocks. Who could not jump at the opportunity of being mistaken for a soccer star?
Glory be to God!Uloliwe.. Uloliwe wayidudula hi..Nang’esiza! [The train is pushing!]