Football is a tough body-contact sport where some players can hardly observe cleanliness.
However, for former Mighty Wanderers rightback Billiat Mkwapatira, it was easy to maintain cleanliness even during crucial encounters on soggy pitches. His smartness on the pitch earned him the nickname â€˜Angeleziâ€™.
Apart from that, Mkwapatira, who played for Wanderers for 10 seasons after graduating from the youth side, made careful, but effective tackles that enabled him to complete his soccer career in 1997 without receiving a single red-card.
â€œAt first, soccer fans christened me â€˜Tsanyaâ€™ for being as strong and resistant to pressure as the tsanya tree. But after noting that I could also play a crucial game without making my jerseys dirty and rarely received yellow-cards, they nicknamed me â€˜Angeleziâ€™.
The 41-year-old sales representative at Rainbow Paints never tested the bench when Wanderers faced Big Bullets.
The husband to Mercy and father to Bright, Eliza and Martha, vividly remembers the 1997 encounter between the two teams at MDC Stadium. Before the match, Wanderers and Bullets had a point difference to lift the Super League trophy and qualify for the East and Central Africa Clubs Championships in Lesotho.
â€œMy lone goal helped Wanderers to become champions and make it to Lesotho where we lost 5-1 to Roma Rovers. During the league game, I overlapped on the right wing and put in a cross that fortunately went into the net,â€ said the Chilobwe Township resident, who is a member of the newly formed Former Football Players Association of Malawi.