I cherish the time I spent with my Mozambique-based youngest sister Isabel Kanjere on her first Blantyre visit last December.
Never mind that my scanty Portuguese and her equally disjointed English, rendered our company a mere smiling and rumbling contest.
I recall Isabel describing as beautiful few Blantyre structures such as the new National Bank of Malawi headquarters and Surestream Stadium, formerly MDC Stadium.
Coming from our second home Beira where infrastructure is better, Isabel just meant it.
But I wish I had told her that barely a few months ago, the stadium was a sorry sight of ruins, wastage, negligence, looting and vandalism; Malawi football’s valley of dry bones.
Were it not for my shallow Portuguese, I could have told Isabel how the sight of the stadium crumbling on its knees, traumatised me for I owe my football insight through watching the now defunct MDC United in the early 1990s.
I wish I told her that this was once home to a bouncer called Rambo. Home to Patrick ‘Pompido’ Chimlambe, James Chimphepo, Hadji Bwanali, Dan Dzinkambani, Lovemore Fazili, Gerald Phiri Snr, Chilango Ndalama, Kingsley and Brian Maulidi, late Schubert Kuwali, late Dave Banda and Moses Kalua.
It is a pity that the stadium on which Belgian Wolfgang Ulbrich put all his heart and soul was plundered to a lifeless structure.
That Malawi football neglected the facility that could host international games, that we cannot revamp BAT and Escom Ground, let alone put the Kamuzu Stadium in shape, explains why the game is refusing to grow.
All we know is loot and plunder.
We want Malawi to be a top football nation yet we have erected buildings on community grounds where our kids used to learn football.
That is why the coming in of UK football academy investors through Surestream Company is good news.
They have brought this hope we call Surestream Academy and Surestream Stadium to, for free, offer talented children, irrespective of their class and background, a window to reach out for their football dreams.
Now with life back at the Chilomoni stadium, did I hear someone say they want domestic clubs and their recklessly irresponsible fans to be using it? We must be ashamed.
Let the facility be for children, only then maybe one day it shall produce our own Demba Bas. Then, maybe, our Flames will rise again from the ashes of MDC Stadium.