2024-06-13

A Glimpse into the Funnello Munthali U-14 League Finals

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By Pickford Kamanga – NRYF Gs

On a sunny Saturday, the 14th of January, 2024, I found myself immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of the 2023 FUNNELLO MUNTHALI U-14 League Finals at Hara Primary School in Chilumba, Karonga. Little did I know that this day would unfold as a unique journey through time, intertwining the present and the rich football history of Malawi.

NRFA Gs Masiya Nyasulu as Robert Mziza looks on

As the U-14 talents showcased their skills on the field, I had an opportunity of meeting one of Malawi’s football legend– Malangalanga Munthali, the vice-captain of the Malawi national team that triumphantly brought home a trophy from Kenya under the guidance of head coach Wonder Molera (sp). This seasoned football veteran shared not only his wisdom but also anecdotes from the past, taking me back to a historical era.

Chilumba, it seems, was a breeding ground for football greatness. Malangalanga Munthali, Kinnah Phiri, Spy Msiska, Funnello Munthali, and Frank Mutawali were not just names; they were products of this very locality. The legacy they created extended beyond their individual accomplishments, forming a tapestry of football excellence that stood the test of time.

Kamanga pose with Munthali

Remarkably, the connection ran deeper than shared victories on the field. Malangalanga Munthali and Kinnah Phiri, two pillars of Malawi’s football history, were once schoolmates at Chaminade Secondary School. Their journey to the national team began with the Coca Cola schools competition, a pathway that identified their exceptional talents at a young age.

As I absorbed the unfolding events on the pitch, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of history and the significance of this moment. Chilumba wasn’t just witnessing a youth league; it was preserving a legacy, nurturing the potential future stars who might carry the torch forward.

The FUNNELLO MUNTHALI U-14 League Finals, in its essence, was more than a competition; it was a bridge between generations, a celebration of local talent, and a reminder that the roots of greatness run deep in the soil of Chilumba. The very ground where young talents showcased their skills was the same ground that once molded legends, and as Malangalanga Munthali cheered on the aspiring stars, it felt like a passing of the torch, ensuring that the flame of football excellence would continue to burn brightly in Chilumba.

Pickford Kamanga in yellow and black trouser greets the team

Photos depicting Malangalanga Munthali receiving a ball from Mr Masiya Nyasulu as an honour, GS-NRFA, then a group photo depicting Tiyenkhu Chavura -NYFA Chairperson, Masiya Nyasulu , Robert Mzinza FAM Regional Coordinator north, Mwayi Mavado Kumwenda vice GS -NRYFC and yours truly Pickford Kamanga. Meiru Greens U-14 Team- The champions.

Part of the guests who attended the event pose with Munthali

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