Thousands attend burial of Blantyre Zero star

Thousands of Malawians on Wednesday gathered at Namalimwe Cemetery in the populous Township of Ndirande in Blantyre, to pay their last respects to Blantyre Zero Women’s Football Team versatile midfielder Tiyamika Kalimba.

The young and upcoming midfielder died on Monday evening after complaining of headache.

Tiyamika, whose casket was lowered in the grave exactly at 02:11, was born October 24, 1988, according to the bereaved family.

Tiyamika Kalimba: Laid to rest

“She was fine the whole of last week until on Sunday after church when she complained of headache.  On Monday her condition worsened  and we took her to Ndirande Health Centre where she passed away,” said one of the bereaved family at the funeral ceremony.

He described Tiyamika’s death as a big blow to the family, saying despite being young, she was one of the bread winners to her parents.

“As you are aware that Tiyamika was a footballer for Blantyre Zero, she used to help her parents in other duties, like buying commodities after receiving her allowances from her football career. We are even failing to understand her death but all the same God has purpose for her death,” said a bereaved relative.

Eulogy

In his euology, Blantyre Zero coach Abel Mkandawire described Tiyamika as a well disciplined and promising player.

“It is a big loss to Blantyre Zero loosing such a young and upcoming player. In women’s football it is rare you have a girl playing both as midfielder and a defender, in Tiyamika we had such a player. She started playing women’s football in 1999,” said Mkandawire.

Mkandawire said during her career, she won the FAM Cup, Presidential Cup, Donors Egg Cup, Chiukepo Trophy and Chishango Trophy.

Malawi Women’s Football team assistant coach Richard Chipungu, who was also present during the funeral ceremony concurred with Makawa that Tiyamika was becoming a national team material.

“We have lost a player for national team and my condolence should go to her parents and the women’s football fraternity,” said Chipungu.

Some of the notable people, who were in attendance at the funeral were Women’s football president Sugzo Ngwira, the owner of Blantyre Zero Sadick Malinga, the Member of Parliament from the area Eunice Makangala, DD Sunshine players who travelled all the way from the capital city of Malawi Lilongwe, Super Queens team players, Big Bullets team manager Noel Kawole and Blantyre Zero players who carried the casket of their fellow player clad in their uniform.

This is the second time for the team to lose an important person after losing their coach Mphatso Kumwenda last year in October.

Kumwenda, who was buried at HHI Cemetery in Blantyre, died after losing battle to Malaria.

Blantyre Zero players in a sad mood. Photos by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

Priest blessing Tayamika's casket with Holy water

Blantyre Zero players and officials paying their last respect

Tiyamika's parents layiing their wreath (1)

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