Flames versatile midfielder Dalitso Sailesi has dismissed attacks on his choice of Chichewa in his interview with SuperSport at the on-going Cosafa Cup in South Africa on Tuesday.
After being named man-of-the-match in the goalless draw against Mauritius, Sailesi said he opted for a Chichewa interview as he targeted his audience back home.
However, there has been scornful comments on the player’s choice, a development the player described as regretful.
Sailesi said in vernacular: “I am not worried. Let the people say what they want. Players from Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique are doing interviews in their language. But nobody is laughing at them. Why should Malawians laugh at me?”
Former Flames captain Joseph Kamwendo has also backed Sailesi, who has been outstanding at the tournament.
Kamwendo said: “Why are people attacking the young man, because of English? Let us talk about him being man-of-the-match, not because of the use of Chichewa. I am proud of the young man. Those that don’t know anything about the game will talk [about the language issue], but we see these things. Even international stars such as Ronaldo or Messi speak their mother tongue in interviews.
“What’s wrong with the only boy who has been trying to put his country on the map, doing the same. My mother Malawi, why?”
Sailesi pocketed K200 000 and a miniature.
Meanwhile, a Malawian company Yapoma Group has also given Sailesi another K100 000 for the feat.
The Flames have struggled at the Cosafa Cup where they are yet to score a goal in two matches.
They are bottom of Group A with a point from the draw against Mauritius having lost to Tanzania in the opening match.
Today, they play Angola in their last group match. n