Football

CNN Inside Africa: Chigoli

This is absolutely fantastic for Malawi, and for football!

I met George, the founder of Chigoli Football Academy, while living in Lilongwe and playing together for the BOBS. He is clearly a visionary, a true believer in the massive potential of Malawi’s kids, and a very good player himself.

It is incredible how far he has developed Chigoli.

This week, the CNN Inside Africa program featuring George and Chigoli was aired, and here are all the links to watch it.

Please share, share, share!

How can you not be a fan of future stars like Deliness, Ravanelli (what a great name, and great player for Middlesbrough FC!), and Tabitha!

The images bring back so many good memories of playing on beaches, dusty pitches, in villages, through to the biggest crowds and stadiums I’ve ever played in! The joy and enthusiasm for the game, through adversity, especially from children, is truly a beautiful thing.

Keep up the good work, George!

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Categories: Football, Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A to Z: F is for…

  • Flavours Cafe – One of the few good lunching spots for expats and Malawians, in Lilongwe. If we ever feel like splashing out a little of our volunteer’s living allowance, that’s where you’ll find us. With a portion of ox liver with chips and a milkshake!
  • The Flames – The nickname of the Malawi Men’s National Football Team.
  • Football
International Volunteer Day 2013, Malingunde

International Volunteer Day 2013, Malingunde

Categories: Football, Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lake trip

Back in September last year, we took the Breakfast Club kids to “The Lake” (Malawi).

It was a huge team effort. Starting with renting the minibus, making permission slips and getting them signed for all the kids. Thankfully, most of the regular kids were allowed to come. Then cooking enough fried chicken, rice (topped up with “chipsy” bought on the day) and banana cake for 30 people! Regie and Dens took care of that thankfully.

A group of other VSO volunteers and friends went with us. Including our good friend Seth. I’m still haunted by that horrendous frisbee over-throw, which ended up on top of a thick, thorny bush… which then you went in to retrieve! Sorry buddy!

It’s a real shame that most Malawians never visit the Lake, which is their best and most beautiful natural resource. Travelling for leisure is simply too expensive for most people. So we’re really happy to have been able to do this for the Breakfast Club kids and a few adults (Harold, Yohane and Francisco) too.

As always, there was no shortage of local kids on the beach to have a game of football with. It was funny watching Harold and Yohane (our night guards) run around with the kids. It’s by far the fastest I have ever seen them move!

It was a really good day out for all of us. And yes, we (Harold and Yohane) bought some fish on the way back, which we hung on the minibus wing mirrors!

A big thanks to Sam, the owner of Cool Runnings 🙂 (the best, chilled out lodge on Senga Bay), who allowed us to park our minibus and use their facilities. I, for one, needed the deck chairs to sit down and catch my breath from all the running around!

Regie's famous fried chicken. Tons of it!

Regie’s famous fried chicken. Tons of it!

Our humble minibus, with me driving

Our humble minibus, with me driving

Happy passengers, ready to go!

Happy passengers, ready to go!

A big bag of Kamba Puffs and Danny

A big bag of Kamba Puffs and Danny

Freddy distracting the kids to jump the lunch queue

Freddy distracting the kids to jump the lunch queue

Lunch time!

Lunch time!

Seth and Francisco washing up, Malawian style

Seth and Francisco washing up, Malawian style

Lost frisbee... my bad

Lost frisbee… my bad

Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings

Ice cream, some for the first time!

Ice cream, some for the first time!

 

Categories: Football, Malawi, Travel, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Field trip to Kumbali Cultural Village

On the 1st March, as part of the farewell to the kids, I took them on a final field trip to the Kumbali Cultural Village. It’s located within Lilongwe, about 2 km from the end of President’s Way.

Thank you to Barbara, a fellow VSO volunteer who has since returned home, for funding this whole activity!

We hired a rather nice and new minibus from a neighbour in Area 11. Considering how the government set fuel prices have gone up again recently, it was very reasonably priced and came with a driver. In all honesty, there were a few too many of us crammed into that bus… 25 plus me, Harold and Yohane!

On the way there, we handed out some small basketballs to the local kids, who live and play along the dirt track. I wanted to get the Breakfast Club kids started giving to others. To everyone’s delight, every time I or the driver (in the opposite side of the vehicle) handed out a ball, our kids shouted “za nonse!” because they were translating my message of “for everybody!”

Something I hadn’t expected was the sight of the kids (as well as Harold and Yohane) seeing horses for the very first time. There are some stables on the way to Kumabli, you see. When I explained that the we (the foreigners) enjoy riding and even racing horses for fun, they had a very bemused look on their faces 🙂

When we got there, there were so many different activities to do, the kids all scattered to play!

  • Playground with swings, slides and a trampoline!
  • Beach/sand football pitch
  • Netball court
  • Bats, balls and water pistols
  • Sand pits (actually designed for French boules, also known as Pétanque)

When the kids burned off their initial burst of energy, I got them together for a penalties competition, which was eventually won by Linda. Yes, all the boys were gutted!

At around 1 pm, everyone was well watered and fed with a bottle of pop and portion of very nice chips. Cheers Scott! (And sorry for stretching your trampoline!)

Football / Mpira!

Football / Mpira!

Playground for the younger kids

Playground for the younger kids

Netball - rather competitive!

Netball – rather competitive!

Linda, penalty queen

Linda, penalty queen

1 x Trampoline = Many smiles

1 x Trampoline = Many smiles

Everyone still loves having their photo taken

Everyone still loves having their photo taken

Boys and carts

Boys and carts

Lunch time... Think we drank all their Sobo and Fanta!

Lunch time… Think we drank all their Sobo and Fanta!

A very tired Danny catching a post lunch nap

A very tired Danny catching a post lunch nap

Some sort of game I didn't understand

Some sort of game I didn’t understand

Categories: Football, Malawi, Travel, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The BOBS

Team photo from the match where I scored a “chinya wekha“…

CIVO Social Team vs. The BOBS. Saturday 23 March 2013.

CIVO Social Team vs. The BOBS. Saturday 23 March 2013.

Categories: Football, Malawi, Volunteering, VSO | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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