Yesterday, local press reported that Junior Flames will miss services of Portugal based young talented talisman Abel Mwakilama because his club Sporting Clube de Esmoriz failed to clear him to join his fellow under 20 players in Swaziland for 2019 Afcon Qualifying second leg encounter. After reading the news, I thought to myself that this is not a big issue, Mwakilama will be with the Junior in other games. Just as i thought on how to end the Friday, I received a text on WhatsApp from a very good friend which read, “Boss, is it true that Abel Mwakilama is no more?”. I stared at the message two or more times. I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. Before answering him, i went to gallery of my phone where a screenshot of the news that Abel hasn’t been cleared by his club was stored. I regarded the demise as a mere rumor and continued with my business. At around 8:30pm, I was shocked to learn that the news about Abel’s demise was real. I carried my phone and called the friend who first broke the sad news to me to confirm that Abel has indeed died.
For decades now, performance of Senior Flames has been a disappointment to a lot of people if not everyone who supports the misfiring team. Many soccer addicts in the country were hopeful that in near future, Senior Flames will start bringing home results because for the first time, Football Association of Malawi seemed to have taken a promising step in development of youth football. Malawi under 17 and under 20 are now darlings of sports fans in the country because their consistency is far much promising than the senior Flames. The transition of the players from under 17 to under 20, and then the senior team means that we should expect happy moments in future as far as Football is concerned in the country.
Among the players who were eye-marked to bring back the Flames’s lost glory are Mike Mkwate, Haji Wali, Francisco Madinga and Abel Mwakilama just to mention some. At this when we are celebrating on the improvements FAM has taken in the football development, it is so shocking to be losing the young talented souls.
The demise of Abel Mwakilama is not only a loss to the Mwakilama family, rather it is a huge loss to the whole nation. Mwakilama who helped Chitipa United to qualify for Tnm Super League 2017 season with more than 30 goals to his name in Simama Premier League was a man who knew what to do with the ball in the field of play. Dangerous when approach opponent’s goal, Abel carried hopes of many Malawians that he will bring back Flames’ lost glory.
His skills earned him a call-up to the under 20 squad which traveled to South Africa last year for Cosafa Championship. He proved to his bosses that he deserves a place in the squad having impressed the coaching panel of Malawi Under 20. Abel who used to say that he wishes to reached the level Cristiano Ronaldo in his career found an opportunity to ply his trade in CR7’s home country Portugal with Fourth-tier league side Sporting Clube de Esmoriz. Every sports fan in the country was happy with this good news because it meant a step further in his career which would directly improve Flames’ performance one day. Abel scored 7 goals in 5 games for Clube de Esmoriz
Little did we know that the game against Swaziland on Bingu National Stadium was his last for the Junior Flames. Abel received all best wishes when he traveled back to Portugal with a promise to meet each other during the return leg slated for 22nd April. Little did we know that Cerebral Malaria was plotting something evil on the boy who had great dreams in Football.
Abel, we don’t know what else to say. You death is a great loss to us. We never thought that you would depart from us in the way you have done with so many games waiting for your skills. How will the Junior Flames play the Swaziland game in your absence? How will they concentrate on the game when they know you have left for good?
Gone but you shall always be remembered.
Until we meet again, REST IN ETERNAL PEACE ABEL MWAKILAMA!