‘Rest well legend, you have scored the final goal of life’; Tributes pour in for late Raphael Nasimba

Fare thee well, Raphael Nasimba

* You have left an indelible mark in the history of Malawi football—Walter Nyamilandu

* Nasimba was a ‘permanent fixture’ of football back then, he loved football to the core

* He was a staunch Bullets fan, I was a Nomad but couldn’t ignore and love his charisma

* John Green Malunga will shake his belly and uncle Ralph will do his usual march around the field

By Duncan Mlanjira

Very moving eulogies keep pouring in for late Raphael Nasimba, one of Malawi’s most popular football supporters, who died in the early hours of Thursday.

He was a Big Bullets staunch supporter but he was loved by everyone across the country because he also gave the same strong passion he had for his club in the support for the Malawi national football team, the Flames.

He loved national team players like his own sons

In his condolence message, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president, Walter Nyamilandu described Nasimba’s death as a 

big blow to Malawi football as being one of the most passionate football supporters in the country.

Nyamilandu rose to prominence as a football player when he was at Chancellor College playing for the University FC while Nasimba was then head driver for the college.

He used to drive UFC players for their assignments across the country and he was loved by everyone he was in touch with — both in football terms or as a fatherly figure.

“Our father at University Football Club,” Nyamilandu said in the condolence message. “Chief Supporter of the Flames, diehard fan of Big Bullets FC — you have left an indelible mark in the history of Malawi Football.

“There was never a dull moment. We will miss your sense of homour and cheerfulness, Rest in Peace Fazala (father).”

He added: “We would like to convey, as FAM, our heartful condolences to the Nasimba family, friends, Nyasa Big Bullets and all those he worked with.

“This is a sad day for Malawi football and we hope the Almighty will give the grieving family strength and hope in this time of mourning,” Nyamilandu said.

FAM president Walter Nyamilandu

Stephen Siwande said he knew Nasimba from 1978 when he was got into Chanco: “He was a very friendly and helpful person. Great supporter of UFC, Bata Bullets and the national team.   

“He was the official chauffeur for the vice-principal Dr. Zimani Kadzamira, who also loved football. At times he could drive students to Blantyre for football games.   

“The football fraternity will miss him and as well as some of us, farewell Mr. Nasimba, may his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Late John Green Malunga, Nasimba’s

Together with Nasimba, Malunga was also a permanent fixture at all the Flames matches.

Blessings Zimba said: “The combination of Nasimba and John Green Malunga both at national team games and as opponents at Bullets vs Nomads game, was marvel to watch. These two legends made football interesting. We could lose the game but while having fun.”

Journalist Madalitso Musa, who also had a personal touch with Nasimba when he played for Chanco FC, brought in another staunch supporter, John Green Malunga — a Mighty Wanderers supporter in his eulogy.

A packed Kamuzu Stadium on a derby day

Musa writes on his Facebook wall: “Raphael Nasimba will be welcomed by a warm hug from John Green Malunga. They will laugh heartily as they push up the daissies.

“So they will be asking each other, ‘Man, kwatsala ndani  wampira kumeneko?’ then Ralph will say, ‘Adha Green, sizampiranso’. Then they will laugh and laugh.

John Green will shake his belly and uncle Ralph will do his usual march around the field. Then they will talk about stories of what my Wanderers and Bullets games used to be.

“Nasimba loved Chanco FC too, and for that, an additional of admiration and closeness is made.

“Rest well legend. Rest well. You have scored the final goal of life,” Musa said.

Kondwani Chirembo said though Nasimba was a staunch Bullets fan and that he was a staunch Nomad, he couldn’t ignore and love his charisma.

“He had an unusual friendship with Green Malunga, a Nomad. A Bullets and Nomads derby was fun with these two trying to outdo each other in cheering their rival teams. My condolences to his family.”

Sylvester Sandifolo said Nasimba loved football to the core: “I once sat close to him at Mzuzu Stadium when he briefly worked for Mzuzu University in its maiden days. I had a brief chat as I dropped him in Lubinga.

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“He told loads about his travels as a football fan. Soccer, as Americans call it, has lost a big fan.”

Allan Nyirongo said “the Blantyre derby was indeed full of fun when the two ‘chief supporters’ were on the touch line. He was a  true number 1 Bullets supporter.”

Journalist Cliff Kawanga said: “Growing up, we used to go to Kamuzu Stadium as early as 10am for a Bullets vs Nomads game — kicking off at 3pm. For some good hours, we were being entertained by Raphael Nasimba and John Green Malunga.

“The two passionate football supporters will be united, if the dead ever meet — again in the next world. May Raphael Nasimba’s soul rest in peace.”

Crispin Mtike said: “If you never saw him support the Flames and Bullets, you missed out. He travelled everywhere with the team — Malawi has lost a patriot in football circles.

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Chiku Kalilombe said Zomba has lost a man they loved so dearly for his passion in football as well as a father figure.

“He was a man who loved football wholeheartedly. Above all he was also a good person. Hamba Kahle!

Darlingtone Ndasauka asked the good Lord to “find a right place for his soul as we pay our condolences to the whole family.”

Madda Chinguwo took cognizance that Nasimba also gave the Bullets fans full confidence that they will carry the day even when the odds were against them.

He also mentioned other staunch supporters for Bullets such as 7 countries, Isaac White, Widzi and Mr. Chipojola, “who kept us entertained and gave us hope”.

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