Malawians in UK let Chilemba down: Nyasa Times editorial

Top boxer Isaac Chilemba on Saturday night once again put Malawi on the world map by appearing at the top world stage, Liverpool’s Echo Arena, where he slugged it out against local boy Tony Bellew in an eliminator bout that was to be a launch pad for a title fight if it had not ended in a draw.

Against all odds and diversity, which manifested itself in form of a highly biased UK media coverage and highly partisan local support, Chilemba did not disappoint by overcoming early rounds lethargy to perform at optimal level and finish off the battle strongly.

Chilemba’s fighting skills were there for the world to sample that even neutrals question the verdict of a draw that was returned by the judges. The dominant view is that the Malawian should have been given the fight as he did enough to merit that.

Not that we expected a different performance from Chilemba who has conquered the top stage even in America which is considered the home of world boxing.

Chilemba: Malawians failed to turn up to give him support
Chilemba: Let down by Malawians in UK

But while it is understandable and accepted that Bellew should have enjoyed the home support as he is a local boy in Liverpool, we are disappointed in Malawians resident in the UK for their no-show up during Chilemba’s fight.

Liverpoolians were understandably vocal in their support of their local boy yet no Malawian showed up to offer similar support to Chilemba.  He was alone in the lone battle as if there are no compatriots in the United Kingdom in general and Liverpool in particular.

Where is their sense of patriotism and pride in being Malawian? Where were organizations that claim to represent Malawians in the UK such as Malawi Association? Do they appear on stage only when organizing drink ups and such other merry-making events?

We may understand that Malawians residents in the UK may have shunned the occasion for one reason or the other but what about those who the country has sent to look after its interests in the UK?

We are talking about those working for the Malawian High Commission in London. Was it not incumbent upon the High Commission to view this event as a marketing tool for Malawi? What else do they do if they cannot see such a world event as an opportunity of selling Malawi and market it on the world stage? More importantly what sports personality will tickle their fancy if he cannot be Isaac Chilemba who has done so much to sell Malawi through his boxing exploits?

It is a shame that the High Commission in London did not attempt to organise Malawians to offer the much needed support to Chilemba. No Malawian flag flew on that cold night in Liverpool except the one Chilemba carried.

He was let down and we put the blame squarely at the doorstep of the Malawi High Commission in the UK.

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