Incredible. Nyasa Big Bullets have not suffered a home defeat in the TNM Super League for seven years, a record that could arguably be unmatched on the continent.
According to the top-flight records which Weekend Nation has verified with Super League of Malawi (Sulom), the last time the People’s Team lost at home was in 2013.
It is sheer testimony about the art the People’s Team has mastered in turning their home ground into an imposing fortress, especially when playing at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
Confirming the record in an interview on Thursday, Sulom fixtures secretary Patrick Chisale, said: “The last time Bullets lost at home was against Red Lions in November 2013. They lost 2-3 at Kamuzu Stadium.”
It is a feat that also underlines the Mahatma Ghandi Road outfit’s dominance of local football, especially in the league— that has seen them win a record 14 titles—seven of them on the trot.
In the past six seasons that the People’s Team has not lost at home, they have won the championship four times.
Apart from Bullets, others that have not lost at home in a season are Be Forward Wanderers (2006 and 2017), Escom United (2009), Blue Eagles (2015) and Silver Strikers (2017).
And there are also some teams that stood the heat away and never registered a loss in a season. These are Silver (2007), Escom (2009) and Wanderers (2018) while the disbanded Escom is the only side not to have lost a league match the entire season in 2009 although they did not win the title.
Bullets assistant coach and long time former captain Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda attributes the feat to the team’s fighting spirit and the influence of their fans.
He said: “Playing for a big team like Bullets, which commands a huge following, is not easy. It comes with pressure. So, as a player you have to be on your toes all the time.
“You have to try to be on top of your game all the time.
“We also owe it to the ‘Red Army’ [fans]. They play a crucial role and create an intimidating atmosphere for the visiting team.
“The statistics are unmatched and unthinkable and while I knew that we had not lost at home for quite a while, honestly I didn’t know it was that long.”
The club’s chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said over the years, the People’s Team has created a fear factor for opponents because of their players’ mental strength “and steadfast character not to lose at home under any circumstances”.
He said: “We have also managed this while not playing well at times. So, an ounce of luck and fighting spirit also come into play.
“The supporters have also helped tremendously in instilling fear in the visiting teams by cheering their team in the way others fail to do when their team is playing at home.”
The club’s main supporters committee chairperson Stone Mwamadi, who is also a director responsible for supporters, said the feat is down to the team’s never-say-die spirit which enables them to rise from the ashes and make them such a dangerous force when the odds are heavily stacked against them.
“Over and above that, the team is driven by mapale [fans] who always give the team a big push and they make a big difference,” he said.
Renown football analyst Charles Nyirenda attributed Bullets’ vintage showing at home to a combination of factors.
He said: “Either they work very hard, that is key or at times they have had a piece of luck in close shaves.
“For example, last Saturday against Blue Eagles, they were fortunate to salvage a draw. In general terms though, we should take note that since 2013, they have hovered between first and second position. That is testimony of how they have performed.
“It’s all down to hardwork and consistency. As a result, they have been quite solid on home soil.”