Some fans vandalised some of the beautiful and expensive installations at the new Bingu National Stadium last week in Lilongwe during the Luso TV Bus Ipite Bonanza between Mighty Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets.
The stadium is yet to be officially opened and the government allowed this game to be played there in order to test some of the facilities ahead of the official opening but sadly, we Malawians decided to show that we never appreciate exquisite things meant for ourselves.
Aren’t we proud that we have such a magnificent and grandiose facility for ourselves? Don’t we envy what other countries have? Don’t we wish we had such magnanimous stadia like Old Trafford, The Emirates, the Bernabeu, Stamford Bridge right here in Malawi?
When most Malawians visit other countries, they pose beside magnificent structures they encounter there just like several proud ones did when they had an opportunity to sample what Bingu National Stadium can offer.
The same architectural design of Bingu Stadium is that of one in Zambia, built by the same Chinese. The Zambians are proud of it and they intend to use it together with the other stadia they have to bid for the hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations one day.
This is the same ambition we should strive for — to one day host the prestigious Nations Cup. But in order to achieve it in the long term plan, we need to start preparing our infrastructure. At the moment we cannot even host a Cosafa Cup.
What we have as something to boast about in terms of football structure is the new stadium in Lilongwe — and we want to vandalise it even before it has been officially opened? Aren’t we ashamed of ourselves?
Even when the stadium was being built, the Chinese constructors complained how their workers were stealing building equipment. There was a picture that went viral of a Chinese chasing a worker with a stick in his hand to beat up the suspected thief and the whole country condemned that act by a foreigner.
Yet come to think of it, such corporal punishment is the same we always do ourselves to the extent of killing the suspects by burning them without even raising an eyebrow. People even post such gruesome mob justice acts and gleefully comment that the suspects deserve it.
Kamuzu Stadium is filthy. The toilets are no-go zone areas unless you are really pressed up. The terraces are demarcated in half to force fans from occupying the upper part because they pose the threat of crashing down under the huge weight of the people.
The artificial turf badly needs replacing, the perimeter fence is an eyesore, the surrounding grounds of the stadium is so strewn with rubbish from the food, juice and beer plastic containers. Its grass is usually so overgrown it’s dangerous to dare a lone walk through some parts of it.
On weekends, the surrounding grounds is thronged with food and beer vendors. The food vendors improvised their own makeshift kitchens and use firewood. The smoke that emanates from this place is so disturbing to passers up, even those who are in cars along the Masauko Chipembere Highway.
The partakers of the beer and strong spirits being sold are sometimes so rowdy that they can be a nuisance to passersby as well as when things don’t go their way after the matches.
Wouldn’t we want to have things the Kamuzu Stadium rehabilitated to something better like the Bingu Stadium? This is what the government has in plans but now that we can be so unthankful by vandalising the Bingu Stadium, do you think the government would hasten to carry out rehabilitation works at Kamuzu Stadium?
One of the facility tests that government was talking about was to see how the fans would utilise the infrastructure and rectify on the shortfalls. It was not to replace broken toilet mirrors, pipes, cisterns and other equipment.
The powers that be in government will be greatly spurred to rehabilitate Kamuzu Stadium as well as consider providing such state-of-the-art facilities in the North and Eastern regions.
We need two each of such infrastructure in each region if we harbour to make our sports to become professional. Otherwise, with such mentality of destroying the very same infrastructure that can make out football develop to the level of other football giants on the continent, let’s not expect government to be in a hurry to consider giving us the best.
Let’s protect beautiful things that we are provided with. Stop this kind of vandalism. Let’s be vigilant and keep an eye on each other to stop vandalism of this kind.
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