Timau: Of Mwawi and Malawi Queens

“….In September 2013,  Mwai Kumwenda became the first African netball player to sign for an ANZ Championship franchise when she signed with the Canterbury Tactix for the 2014 season.” (Wikipedia)

 Two stories are making the rounds in Malawi.The first one is about Jessie Kabwila, a university lecturer turned politician who is now the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General (SG). The former Chancellor College English lecturer is under fire for calling people living with HIV and Aids corpses. Health NGOs and people living with HIV and Aids want her to resign both as a Member of Parliament and SG of MCP. She has put her foot down, “I am not resigning”.

Mwai Kumwend

Mwai Kumwend

The second story is about Mwai Kumwenda, a professional netballer who plies her trade in New Zealand.

You can follow up the first story yourselvesand enjoy the outcome but it is the second story that we will devote our time to.

Malawi netball team, (The Queens) is in England for a two match international netball series this December. The Queens lost 36-68 in their first match at copper Box in London on Wednesday 17th December 2014 and will face off England again on Saturday at University Arena, Worcester. Mwai Kumwenda is not in England with the Queens.

Nyasa times of 6th December described the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) as “arrogant”, “Arrogant [NAM] has left out some vastly experienced players including New Zealand based Mwai Kumwenda in a 12 member squad scheduled to go into camp [Saturday] in readiness for a [3] match test series against England”.

The love between the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) and Mwai has drastically fallen out for failure to resolve key problems. Top on the agenda is that Mwai has accused NAM of failing to pay the players allowances.  Without doubt a very serious accusation indeed. Corruption!

This is how the Wikipedia describes Mwai Kumwenda:  a Malawian netball player who plays for the Malawi national netball team, the Malawi Queens, and the ANZ Championship franchise, the Canterbury Tactix.

Kumwenda made a name for herself in world netball after winning the Player of the Tournament award at the2010 World Netball Series. She played in the 2011 Netball World Championships, where Malawi finished sixth. She also played in the 2011 World Netball Series where during a game against Australia she and Waya scored three consecutive 4 pointers in the last quarter to snatch a historic draw.

She played in the 2012 Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland, where she put in several outstanding performances, which resulted in her becoming a fan favourite, and vaulted her in Championship consideration. Malawi finished in 5th place, but were able to beat silver medallists England during the round robin stage.

She currently plays for the Peninsula Waves in the Victorian Netball League, in Australia, where she was named player of the tournament.

In September 2013, Kumwenda became the first African netball player to sign for an ANZ Championship franchise when she signed with the Canterbury Tactix for the 2014 season.

In the 2014 ANZ Championship Season, Kumwenda burst onto the international scene. Amassing more goals than any other shooter in the competition and shooting above 90% on a very regular basis, she won the ANZ Championship’s Best New Talent award, along with a slew of awards from her club, the Canterbury Tactix. She has signed with them again for the 2015 Season and remains as one of their greatest assets.

Kumwenda also competed for Malawi at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, in which her vast improvement from more competitive play in New Zealand helped her team to many highs. Losing to New Zealand 50-47, they recorded the closest result ever against the country and one of their best performances in Netball history. In addition to this, one sided matches against St Lucia, Scotland and Northern Island in which she scored many goals showcased Malawi’s improved attacking prowess. Despite their 31 goal loss to Jamaica 81-50, Mwai showcased further development in that not only did she score a large number of goals but also played Goal Keeper for a time in the 4th Quarter, in which her aerial ability allowed her to get some deflections against the giant Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. Malawi beat South Africa to claim 5th place in the tournament.

As shown above, this is the calibre of a player Rose Chinunda, Caro Bapu and Mary Waya (The head coach) think they can do without.

This “arrogant” executive is now paying the price. The team is not playing well, there is no proper coordination and passes are being misplaced. They literally cannot place the ball in the basket. We all saw this during the England match at Copper Box in London on Wednesday. As usual, they will use the sports language of, “we are building a new team”.

We, the Timau Crew believe that it is important that coaches build positive relationships, which can act as the glue that cements their players to the cause and binds them together as a team. Such positive relationships (for example with Mwai) create resonance- an environment where players feel their feelings are being taken care of (paying them their allowances)-as distinct from dissonance, a feeling of not being cared for (not paying them their allowances)

Players (The Queens included) would describe a coach who creates resonance asupbeat, warm, caring andapproachable. A good listener and genuinely interested in the players. Players do not like arrogant officials.

Mwai Kumwenda

Having backed Mwai throughout, we also find her a pain in the ass. She is what she is because these officials she is calling “arrogant” spotted her and moulded her into a player for the world to set its eyes on.

NyasaTimes quotes Mwai Kumwenda as having made these remarks, “Where am I supposed to meet them? Do they have an office? What do they want us to discuss, I thought I wrote them a letter? Anyway I cannot say anything in absence of an official letter”…………..by all means this is open defiance of authority,total insubordination. and deserves a punishment.

As a professional netballer, Mwai should showcase exemplary behaviour; she should act as a role model for the upcoming players not teaching them haughtiness.

Conclusion

Will the MCP Secretary General resign? We leave it to your own imagination.

As Jessie Kabwila is trying to find an amicable solution with people living with HIV and Aids, NAM and Mwai Kumwenda should quickly resolve their differences for the good of the game.

Between the two, NAM and Mwai, we ask Mwai Kumwenda to swallow her pride and engage in dialogue with her bosses. She is not doing it for Mary Waya, Caro Bapu or Rose Chinunda. Mwai should realise that she is doing everything for “mother Malawi”

We, the Timau Crew, want to see NAM connecting with the players, getting to the real pulse of the team, and releasing a powerful collective emotional energy. This very often is the edge that allows teams to survive the bad times and go on to remarkable achievements.

Lastly, we, the Timau crew and Nyasa Times wish The Queens all the best as they face off England in the 2 test match on Saturday.

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18 thoughts on “Timau: Of Mwawi and Malawi Queens”

  1. elder sage2 says:

    Too much big headed, this Girl. You need a bit of good exposure in education most often if u r to handle success well. This small brained lass has been brainwashed that “No Mwai, No Queens!”. She does not know that netball is a very short lived career in this country.

    Her advisor, Hlupikire Phiri, is sleeping on the job. ” Tell this kafina to buy new Zealand or Australian citizenship, and forget about bothering Malawians. This is the way we run our business here”.
    Mary Waya is the atcheya (chairperson) of netball in this country, nobody can push her around……… maybe twenty years from now.

  2. The Patriot says:

    There is more to it than what meets the eye! Very soon timva kuti mwai wasintha citizenship! Watch this space, only a few people can resist the temptation to leave a poor country like Malawi whose people are deeply divided based on tribal and political grounds!!

  3. Mwazozo maphale says:

    Nkhani nsiyoti mwai akumudelera mary waya coz amkasewera onse limodzi ngati ma prater a dziko lero mwai ndi professional, wayamba kuzimva pomwe waya ndi coasch so akumadelera.

  4. guest says:

    TIMAU, some things have not been said here, or they have been misrepresented.

    Mwayi was not spotted by NAM, she was an ESCOM Sisters player, where she was developed and became an outstanding player. NAM just a gem and made use of her.
    The current NAM has only been in office just over a year. NAM is composed of people who never played netball at any significant level. Actually they are all parasites, sucking blood where they did not reap. The National Netball team has been a global performer since the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane (2006), where by some luck a local official proposed that the team be a participant in the games. Current coaching staff engaged by NAM was erroneously employed due to NAM Executive favouritism, the two most powerful members ensured their proteges were employed. At the Commonwealth Games in India (2010) the players were cheated out of their own game allowances, the same occurred at the ( 2014) London Games. NAM officials don’t do any credible work but just fight for travel allowances. Since 2013 no AGM has been held, no NAM Accounts have been presented since they were turned down at 2013 AGM due to gross misrepresentations. NAM has an office which NAM officials do not recognize. No Executive has been to this office for over 5 months.

  5. Ndaninso says:

    King Solomon Wisdom…………………….where is the negativity on Mwai here? Or is it you missing the truth in the article

  6. Kanyimbi says:

    Nkhani ndi yoti Mary Waya wachepa sangamakoche munthu woti ndi proffesional pomwe coach sanasewelepo kunja. Kodi simukuwona pamenepa? Azimayi amakonda kupondelezana.

  7. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    AM NOT A JOURNALIST BUT,THIS NEGATIVE REFLECTION IS ABSURD.IT SHOWS UR NOT IN THE SWIM AS REGARDS THE RESPECT THAT MWAI DESERVES.MWAI IS A VERY SELFLESS GIRL .SHE ONCE SAID ,”IF ONLY MY TEAMMATES WERE PAID I WOULD GO”.SHE KNEW IF MATES WERE NOT PAIDMORALE WOULD B LOW AND EVEN HER PRESENCE WOULD BE FUTILE. I LOVE MWAI.BE MY FRIEND MWAI!!

  8. Joni says:

    mmmmmh nanunso, Times group is even worse musamunamize munthu bola nation

  9. JoJane says:

    well pointed NAM and The girl should engage in dialogue

  10. khalid says:

    Mwaiw is beautiful, would you marry me girl? I cant resist your lips

  11. Wawaman says:

    Mbala Za Nam Mukufuna mukaba anamwaliwa asamayankhule?agalu inu chifukwa chake mukungoluza,satana waku phwisilani.wapatseni makobidi awo anamwali akagulire ma panti anyuwani ngati amene mwagula inu.tikhalire zomwezi?shiiiit!!!!

  12. jkkkk says:

    How do you rebuild a team without your best player who is only 24 or 25 years old.

  13. aphiri says:

    Timau group mukulembela kuphasi.kabwila and mwayi where is the combination here

  14. Mbava says:

    The main issue here should have been kusolola Kwama officials not questioning Mwawi’s commitment to the National cause.
    The fat women running netball are very corrupt and should be exposed for what they are.

  15. Mavi patako says:

    Palibe nkhania pa but people are belibalately twisting it for kabwila for political gains, and for mwayi issue apatseni ma allowance awo basi and i hope nkhani kutha and fire arrogant coach Waya, kodi where is malawi council of sport ?, what are they going ? i dont think mwayi is a big problem here koma NAM officials. ndi akuba basi.

  16. lne ndinasiya kuonera netball, ndikamaona mtchafu za atsikana aja mbolo yanga imangotulutsa yokha umuna. Imatota 180 degrees.

  17. Apa nkhani palibe. Freedom of expression is vital here. Maybe kabwira was misquoted. On th issue of mwai she & team mates had experienced non payment of allowances becoz of kusolola by officials. She was only hitting th nail on th head. But this can be resolved @ round table. Allowances payment shud be done before they start off & in the presence of all stakeholders as a nation. Otherwise Malawi as a country needs calibre of Mwai. Officials shud accept the “cashgate syndrome”. Osakwiya nazo koma zolowelanani!

  18. Mando says:

    There is no news here. What a waste of time Sembe. By the way, are you just learning journalism or what? Bwerani ku Times Group muzaphunzire kulemba baba.

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