The boy Gabadini Mhango, otherwise known as Gabadinho or Gaba, grew up along the lakeshore area of Chiweta in Rumphi either playing ‘chipuka’ [balls made of plastic papers] or indeed catching tasty fish such as mbinga, kabwire, mbuna and gong’o and, just like all parents, his father whose name is Society had a tough time persuading him to go to school.
Just like many kids in that age of innocence, for the fun of it, Gaba and his pals would also pinch from fishermen, sell them dummies and then dive to safety in the lake only to reappear about half a kilometre away three minutes later, leaving onlookers dumbfounded—perhaps that is where he learnt all the tricks that mesmerise us!
Now, the boy Gaba is a local football hero because he has provided a story, a beautiful one, for the future generation of our footballers that, if they keep the right focus, they can rise from Chiweta, Migowi or Santhe to shine on the big stage—that they can rise from poverty, while playing football, and scale such heights, to make it to the very top.
We have to take a bow to Gabadinho because each game he plays for Big Bullets, he is showing signs he could turn into one of the all-time greatest players to wear that red and white jersey after such revered names like Kinnah ‘Electric’ Phiri and Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya. We expect Gabadinho to deliver in every match and, as things are turning out, our hopes are not misplaced as he is duly delivering at every turn, inspiring BB all the way and leaving us with a host of memories. It has even come to a stage where when you hear that the Bullets have scored, you are pretty certain that the identity of the scorer is given — Gabadinho! Even kids as young as three years old are used to the chorus ‘Siife koma Gabadinho!”
Every team needs a big-game player for it to succeed and ‘Gaba’ is providing that for BB and, hopefully, one fine day our golden boy will provide that role for the Flames as well. Something tells me that not far from now, he will set the world stage alight. It’s nothing patriotic, this guy has the air of greatness around him and let’s relax, fasten our seat belts and enjoy the sights and sounds provided by this magician as he soars to greatness. Siine koma Gabadinho! Glory be to God! Uloliwe.. uloliwe wayidudula hi..nang’esiza! [the train is pushing!]