Naturally, former president Bakili Muluzi is blessed with an eternal gift to entertain and when he took to the podium in his hey days, you were assured of some lighter moments. during one of his public rallies, he recalled how, as a young man growing up at his Kapoloma Village in Machinga, some boys put him in an akward position as he swam in a river preparing to go to school.
According to ‘Atcheya’, the boys took his clothes and run away for the fun of it, leaving him stranded at the river as he could not leave without his clothes until a passer-by came to his rescue and offered to get some clothes for him. ‘Atcheya’ said the two boys did not get away with the mischief.
“Mwana akandiputa masiku amenewo ndimakamutibulila pakhomo pa amake,” he said. And I cannot agree more with ‘Atcheya’ because that is exactly what our boxing icon Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba did last week when he beat Australian Blake Caparello—right in his backyard—to win the joint World Boxing Council (WBC) international and World Boxing Association (WBA) Oceania light-heavyweight title bout on a unanimous points decision.
The Australians could not help, but watch starry-eyed and in cathedral-hush silence as our ‘Golden Boy’ turned on the heat to prove that he is not over the hill. He was not the only one. A few weeks earlier, local chess player Chiletso Chipanga also did the nation proud by winning the African Amateur Chess Championship in Egypt.
It is not everytime that we celebrate a moment of brilliance by our sporting ambassadors. More often, when our athletes go beyond the borders on a tour of duty, they finish on position 76 or thereabouts but Chilemba and Chipanga proved that it is not all doom and gloom for our athletes..
On a lighter note, President Peter Mutharika once dared Chilemba for a sparring session and I guess this is the ideal time. But, Your Excellency, It’s not easy facing a boxer of Chilemba’s calibre and in the event that something happens, the First Lady will be in safe hands. I will take care of her. Uloliwe, uloliwe wayidudula neng’esiza hah! (Oh yes, the train is pushing) Glory be to God. n