“My enduring image of that woman was her daring act in 1997 when she braved flying bullets and teargas to dress a wound of a Wanderers fan, the late Joe Kadaulo, who had been shot by a police officer in the wake of the mayhem that ensued during a Super League match between [Mighty] Wanderers and the now defunct Escom United at MDC Stadium in ChilomoniTonship, Blantyre.”
This was former Nomads defender Ojukwu ‘Abusa’ Malunga’s tribute to one of the renowned staunch female football supporters Alice NamilanziMalunga who will be laid to rest at KatimbaCemetry in Kanjedza Township, Blantyre this afternoon.
Malunga, 61, died in Atlanta, United States, on April 6 and her body arrived yesterday through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
Ojukwu (not related to the deceased) said on that fateful afternoon, Malunga rushed to the fan, who lied helplessly in a pool of blood, in a bid to save his life.
“But, unfortunately, he died at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on the way to the theatre. That is how I will remember that woman.
“She was not only passionate about the game and Wanderers in particular. Apart from MayiSoko, a Bullets fan, I am yet to see a female supporter who is as ardent as her.
“I remember when we had no sponsorship, she offered to prepare pre-match meals for the team and would contribute towards players’ welfare,” he said.
On his part, the Nomads general secretary Mike Butao said: “We are saddened by the death of our mother. There are some people that can never be separated from the history of the club and Mrs. Malunga was an immense influence on this club.
“We grieve with the entire Malunga clan because they have all contributed to the history and success of Wanderers. We have all lost a mother figure and may her soul rest in ertenal peace.”
Such was her charm that even Nyasa Big Bullets legend Chance ‘Vinny’ Gondwe said he remembers Malunga for her carefree attitude.
“She added flavour to the game. Whenever the Blantyre derby came up, we looked forward to those rivalry taunts from her. She was an exceptional fan,” he said.
The deceased’s son Leonard is a former Wanderers and national team player so too were his brother-in-laws—William, the late Holman and Kennedy.
Another brother-in-law, the late John Green and nephew Yona were long-time chairpersons for the Nomads’ supporters committee.
In an interview yesterday, Yona said before burial there will be a church service this morning at Kanjedza Assemblies of God.
The deceased is survived by a husband, children and grand children. She had been residing in the US since the late 1990s.