It was exciting to see the Malawi National Football team (the Flames) beat Chad 2-0 in the African Cup of nations qualifying game at Kamuzu Stadium last Saturday.
It was particularly exciting because as a country, we really needed this win in order to progress to the next round of this competition. Unfortunately, it was not going to be easy for the Flames to win this game because of the amount of pressure that the team and the coaching panel were subjected to.
We will first start by saluting the Flames â€“ the players, the coaching panel and indeed FAM management for achieving this major feat. Most of the spoken voices on this matter are very negative and pessimistic. A lot of the people that are positive about these developments either are quiet or have no platform. But just in case the flames think that the nation is up against the team, the coaching panel or any other people involved, we from the success fraternity want to assure the flames that we are very proud of their achievements. By any measure, to draw in an away game in Kenya, and to draw against one of the leading teams in Africa by name of Nigeria even if at home, are no small measures at all. And certainly, to win with a margin of two goals to zero against Chad is an obvious achievement.
The flames have been subjected to a lot of pressure. In some cases, some of the pressure has been blown out of proportion and at other times even so ill-timed that it was becoming a little unpatriotic. Case in point: given the resources and exposure that our team has, it makes no sense for anyone to condemn the Flames for drawing one goal each with Nigeria. This was just one week before another crucial game and yet critical voices never took a break to give the team some positive energy, some encouragement or the benefit of doubt. Some negative voices continued to condemn the team against Chad before the game was even played and continued to condemn them despite the win against Chad.
We in the success fraternity want to look at this as we do with all other achievements â€“ maintaining a positive view. Some people have even gone to dangerous levels of criticism by claiming that Malawiâ€™s qualification for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations after 26 year draught was by mere luck or a miracle. Anyone who has competed at high levels on the international platform in any field would know very well that achieving a feat like that at that level can never be by pure luck or accident. Major athletes get big medals after winning by fractions of seconds and no one says that they win those medals because of luck or accident.
And so, for the Flames to have triumphed last Saturday against Chad, despite all the disproportionate condemnation, we in the Rise and Shine fraternity say â€“ BIG congratulations to the Flames! We would like also, to, as we always do with special moments, draw a big success lesson from this observation. The Flames have excelled and achieved their objective in the game against Chad despite immense negative pressure. How did they achieve this?
The flames maintained the position that they would be focussing on the next game and that their minds were focussed on winning the game against Chad. That was the philosophy and mood in the Flames camp when pressure was at maximum levels. In our careers, we too find ourselves in situations like the one of the Flames, where we are trying to succeed but we are expected to successfully carry out our tasks and yet we are disturbed by so many distractions. The only way to excel in that situation is to simply focus on your tasks, as the Flames have done. Thank you Flames for the big lesson to us in the Rise and Shine fraternity!