There cannot be a perfect stage for former president Bakili Muluzi to relive his glory and rhetoric days than the Kamuzu Stadium today (Saturday). He is set to grace the much talked about African Union football match.
The game offers football enthusiasts from Blantyre and the surrounding areas another international match a day after the Flames hosted the reigning African champions and traditional rivals, the Chipolopolo of Zambia, in a friendly marking the 48th Independence Anniversary Celebrations.
Dubbed â€˜The Grand Unityâ€™, the match is expected to feature 22 individuals, each representing their country, in the quest of garning support across the African citizenry to call on governments to ratify and implement several charters for a better Africa.
It is being initiated by the State of the Union (SoTU), which is a coalition of civil society groups from nine different countries in Africa under the banner â€˜Play for the Unionâ€™ campaign.
SoTU coordinator Jamillah Mwanjisi confirmed Muluziâ€™s attendance on Thursday, saying the group was pleased by his acceptance of the role.
â€œYes, he will be our main speaker during the match. We hope his being a former African leader and ambassador for peace in the region will help send the message across the serving leaderships. We loved his charisma and charm, which he is known for,â€ said Mwanjisi.
She also disclosed that the match will be free of charge as she claimed the coalition is more into advocacy and that they are just using the match as a mobilisation tool.
Former African footballer of the year awardee Patrick Mboma and Ethiopian coach John Teseme will each lead the teams also comprising Malawian nutritionist Christine Selemani.
The teams, which arrived for the match on Tuesday, had some training sessions at Chiwembe football ground on Wednesday before taking on the Blantyre-based Veterans in a strength-testing match on Thursday.
The Veterans routed the ambassadors 4-0 in a thrilling match with goals from John Phiri, Lawrence Mnenula, Thom Milanzi and Albert â€˜Kikaâ€™ Mpinganjira.
However, it was 22-year-old female Tanzanian footballer Abdu Charles Muhammed who stole the show. Popularly known as Hadhara in the football circles, Muhammed displayed some scintillating skills throughout the match, that left spectators and the Veterans alike, dazzled.
She repeated the feat when she faced the press on Thursday evening during a cocktail held at Victoria Hotel.