Tributes pour in for one of Malawi’s finest goalkeepers, Boniface Maganga

When fans reminisce of the crème de la crème of Malawi football, the first call is the era of legends such as Kinnah Phiri; Barnet Gondwe; Harry Waya; Collins Thewe; Jonathan Billie; Stock Dandize; Reuben Malola; Jack Chamangwana; Young Chimodzi; Henry Tewesa; Kannock Munde; Dennis Saidi; Lawrence Waya; Gilbert Chirwa; Boniface Maganga and several others — sadly Boniface has been called up yonder to God, who gave the country the gift this magnificent and safest pair of hands; which leaves sweet memories in the hearts of  so many.

Boniface died on Sunday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital where he had been admitted for a long time and at the gut wrenching news of his passing on, Malawians took to social media to express their grief and offer condolences to the bereaved family — describing him as one of Malawi’s finest goalkeepers.

Robert Bright Salijeni said: “One of the football legends gone. He did us an honour and patriotic he was to his country. May his soul rest in eternal peace”, — while Kondwanie Chirembo described his passing as “a sad day for the football community. Condolences to his family friends and Malawi football fraternity. We thank God for the gift Boniface had which leaves us with so many good memories.”

Boniface (standing 4th from left) at the audience with former President, Kamuzu Banda after Malawi won the 1978 East & Central Africa Senior Challenge

The tributes continue:

* He left so many good football memories for us to cherish; we can only celebrate him. Hamba Kahle sekuru—Utonga Mungo

* Very sad news. An historic figure in the annals of soccer in Malawi—John Leonard Mitchell

* The flamboyant goalie was famed for stopping penalties during his playing days

* Our Hero is gone in Flesh but remains with us in spirit. That’s where he’ll be forever—Charles ‘Grandmaster’ Nyirenda

* Gone is the legend whose legacy will live in us forever. To them, it was Malawi first; kufera dziko basi—Charles TW Mbale

* Praying for repose of his soul—Sophie Mwanza

* Another legend gone to the Lord! Malawi soccer fraternity, particularly the ‘House of Noma’ mourns another of its all-time greats!—Dan Jere

* Fare thee well, uncle Boniface Maganga ‘Scatter’ legend and he made the all-black goalkeeper attire famous—Hastings Chatsika

Boniface is a legend in Malawi football fraternity— just as Thomas Nkono is for Cameroun; Andre Arendse for South Africa; Peter Shilton and Gordon Banks are to English football; Oliver Kahn for Germans; Peter Schmeichel for the Dutch; Gianluigi Buffon for Italy; and many more.

Here in Malawi, he is ranked top alongside Dennis Saidi; John Dzimbiri; George Waya; Ganizani Masiye; Navigator Dzinkambani and several others — but Boniface is considered by many as the best-ever shot-stopper the country produced; famed for stopping penalties.

Alongside Dennis Saidi as goalkeepers, Boniface was the winning custodian of the goalposts in the historical back-to-back East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup in 1978 when Malawi hosted and 1979 in Kenya.

In his eulogy, Charles ‘Grandmaster’ Nyirenda remembers of the 1979 East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya, “where Boniface Maganga, assumed his legendary status”.

He reports that in the semifinals, Malawi drew with Tanzania forcing a replay which they also drew to go into penalty shootouts — that’s when Boniface gained his hero status by saving two of them.

“In the final against hosts Kenya, the side which caused Malawi agony in Zambia four years earlier, Malawi repaid the debt in kind. Trailing 1-2 late in the match, Malawi equalized at the death of regulation time and proceeded to inflict an unforgettable defeat on Kenya with a 3rd goal in extra time.”

Thus, the Grandmaster says: “Our Hero is gone in flesh but remains with us in spirit — that’s where he’ll be forever.”

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1 year ago

Across the bridge … There is no sorrow… Rip

Joe Guta
Joe Guta
1 year ago

May his soul rest in peace 🙏🏻

1 year ago

Malawi lost a true ever produced Goalkeeper of all times.

Malawi lost son of the soil on the Six and Eighteen yards sticks man.

Malawi lost a Hero of all times in our soccer sports.

Bornface, Maganga name will still linger in our minds for all times.

Kinna Phiri and company will miss their soccer man.

God bless my Malawi

1 year ago

Halala Mighty Limbe Leaf Wonderers, uncle Boniface Maganga, the best goalkeeper ever, May His Soul Rest in eternal Peace, until we meet again. Hamba kahle, Mkulumkulu akubusise.

Allan Kumwenda
Allan Kumwenda
1 year ago

Sad. Boniface you will ever be remembered in our country for ever

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