The fascinating tale of Limbikani ‘Pupa’ Mzava

Eight years ago, Limbikani Mzava was just another 10-year-old kid from the slums of Bangwe, who had great passion for football.

He was one of those boys who after school would rush back home, have a quick meal and then—still donning his ragged khaki school uniform—he would dart to a Bangwe ground, popularly known as ‘Pa-desert’ to play the game that was dearest to his heart. He would head back home at dusk in the colour of mad…atatuwa kuti mbuu!

During weekends, Limbikani would team up with friends from the ‘ghetto’ and walk all the way to Kamuzu Stadium to act as ball boys so as to have free access to watch Super League games.

But for poor Limbikani there were times when he would arrive at the stadium too late to be considered for the task and, eventually, in the absence of money to pay at the gate, Limbikani and friends would have the challenge of beating tight security at the gates.

Of course, boys will always be boys. They would end up watching the games.

To them, all that was part of the fun; and it provided them with so much satisfaction.

Such was Mzava’s passion for football and such was his talent that even when Manchester United and England trio of Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville and David James visited the country on an HIV and Aids awareness camspaign tour, he was one of those that were chosen to showcase their talents at the stadium.

Eight years down the line, Limbikani is on the verge of signing for one of the biggest teams in the Middle East—Hapoel Tel Aviv—that also plays in the elite Uefa Champions League and the Europa Cup.

Such is Mzava’s fascinating tale that he is now on course to play in the Europa tournament with the same Ferdinand he entertained at Kamuzu Stadium.

Limbikani—who is fondly called ‘Pupa’ by friends—was a mere ball boy who used to walk to the stadium in a tattered khaki school uniform shorts while munching zigumu, but is now on the verge of playing in the Uefa Champions League, oh boy!

Now, he can afford to support his entire family and even sponsor BCA Stars he once played for—quite fascinating isn’t it?

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