As I hang loose at my messy tiny pad last Thursday morning, at peace with myself, suddenly there was a knock on the front door and even before I could answer, a huge frame burst in. It was Be Forward Wanderers flamboyant fan Yona Malunga. It had been quite a while since we last met and the sight of him made me feel really good.
And even before we could exchange greetings, Yona had already opened the fridge and by the time I realised he was helping himself with bananas, he had already munched almost a bunch. Then it was time to explain the purpose of his trip: “Agale ndiri ndi ukwati woyera nde ndifuna anthu adziwe [Garry, I have a wedding shortly and I wanted your help to publicise it].”
And probably as a way of flattering me, he said: “Ndimafuna muzakhale best man, koma nanga muli ndi suit yabwino ngati?…nde ndifuna wina, koma best woman nde wapezeka kale moti mutafuna ndikhoza kukulumikizani. Koma inu mukhala mu executive committee.”
And then after we were done with the wedding jazz, we switched talk to the game that is dearest to his heart—football—and he spoke about his concern over the uncertainty as regards Flames’ participation in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2018 Championship of African Nations (Chan) as well as the sponsorship of the TNM Super League.
Malunga said while the big gurus in football have the luxury of going to the lake for a boat cruise as a way of spending their honeymoon, him, and other common football lovers have no option but to watch the Flames and Super League games, therefore, the sponsorship uncertainty is giving him a headache.
He said: “Ife honeymoon yathu timafuna tidzapite kowonera mpira koma zikuchitikazi zikutidetsa nkhawa, tatilembelani zimenezi Agale kuti apilezidenti ndi anduna adziwe. FAM ndiyolira yachepa nazo.” As he left my pad, he went back to the refrigerator to finish off the two bananas that were left. Uloliwe, uloliwe wayidudula, neng’esiza hah! (Oh ys, the train is pushing). Glory be to God.