Well-deserved tributes and mourning marked the final burial rites of Thousands of football lovers gathered at Golgota Cemetery in Area 23 in Lilongwe on Friday to pay their last well-deserved respect to Chikondi ‘Doctor’ Banda once a household name for Big Bullets club and country.
Banda who died in the early hours of Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre was diagnosed of Malaria and Menjitis.
A cross section of football officials that included Football Association of Malawi executive members James Mwenda, Super League of Malawi general secretary Williams Banda, his former teammate and closest friend Andrew ‘Aluki’ Chikhosi, Muzipasi Mwangonde, Silver Strikers players, Bullets supporters, Mighty Wanderers supporters and Civo United supporters were all in attendance.
“It is very sad that Chikondi was also earmarked to attend the C licence course later this year. We have lost an asset and we join his family in mourning his demise and may his soul rest in peace,” said Mwenda.
Yohane Chipala, his closest friend at Nyasa United, where he was playing social football until his death said, it was on Sunday last week when his friend complained of severely headache before being taken to the hospital where doctors gave him LA before he returned home.
“On Tuesday, when he was at home things did not improve and his wife informed neighbours who booked a taxi before rushing him to the hospital where he was admitted. I talked to him with difficulties as he looked in pain,” he said.
Chipala went on to narrate that same night he was discharged but there was little improvement until the following day when his condition worsened.
“It was on Thursday around 1 early morning while at Queen Elizabeth Centre Hospital when my friend breathed his last breath after battling with headache,” said Chipala.
The bereaved family thanked Bullets for providing transport and coffin.
Chikondi started playing football way back when he was at Likuni Boys and Livumbo Community Day Secondary School where Civo United roped him before a short stint to join Big Bullets then Bata Bullets FC during the 1995/1996 season alongside his best friend Andrew Chikhosi.
Banda established himself as a household name in the Bullets midfiled where he formed a deadly attacking five that comprised of himself, Andrew Chikhosi, James Chimera Junior and Jones Nkhwazi.
He won four League titles and numerous Cups at the People Team till he left alongside his colleague Chikhosi to join Mighty Wanderers where he stayed for a short stint before returning to Bullets in 2003.
Thereafter, Chikondi joined Michiru Castles where he played for a few seasons before the team was relegated to Southern Region Football League.
On international scene, Chikondi made his debut in 1998 alongside a core of players that were promoted from the 1997 Cosafa under 20 team and played until 2001.
Many soccer fans will remember Chikondi for the Flames versus Mozambique 2-1 victory in the preminary round of the 2000 Cosafa Cup when he was chosen man of the match when Malawi qualified for the quarter finals for the first time.
He is survived with a wife and three children .—Malawi News AgencyFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :