Malawi President Joyce Banda on Wednesday morning hosted Malawiâ€™s celebrated light heavyweight boxer Isaac â€˜Golden Boyâ€™ Chilemba at the Mtunthama State Lodge in Lilongwe.
Chilemba, who is based in South Africa, arrived in the country Tuesday evening to pay his last respects to late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
In an interview after the audience with the President, Chilemba said the meeting was an impromptu one.
“I arrived yesterday [Tuesday] from South Africa to pay my last respects to the late president. But while here, I phoned the President to seek an audience with her and she readily agreed,” said Chilemba.
Unfortunately, Chilemba arrived late for body viewing at Parliament Building.
“I arrived late, but since there will be another ceremony in Blantyre at the weekend, I will certainly have the opportunity to pay my respects. I have fond memories of my audience with him. He was a good guy. He (Mutharika) said a lot of inspiring words to me, which I will always treasure,” he said.
On the meeting with President Banda, Chilemba said it was mainly about the state of boxing in the country and how the situation can be improved. He also said they discussed his career.
Chilemba said he has always been in touch with President Banda.
“I was fortunate to have met her (the President) at such a short notice, because I was always in touch with her when she was serving as vice-president. Prior to every fight I had, she could call me and wish me well. So, when I called her that I was in the country, she readily agreed to meet me,” said Chilemba.
Chilemba, who was in the company of the Malawi Boxing Association of Malawi (Maba) vice-president Henry Sakala had a 30-minute meeting with the President.
He also had a 20-minute private audience with the President in which he talked about his personal career.
“She is a sports-oriented President and she shares our vision of taking boxing in the country to another level. She has also donated K2 million (about $12 000) to Maba. That shows she is committed [to improving sports in the country],” said Chilemba.
Sakala expressed gratitude to the state President for the donation.
“It is a timely donation considering that we were experiencing financial hitches to send our boxers to take part in the continental qualification games for the 2012 London Olympics,” said Sakala.