Satisfying 2023 for outstanding Paralympic athlete Mphatso Saukile that earns him Sportsman with Disability of the Year

Saukile receiving his award from Sports Council Chief Executive Officer, Henry Kamata

* He represented the country in Venice, Italy at the Jesolo Grand Prix from May 12-15, 2023

* Where he won the silver medal in 1500m and came 5th in 400m in Open-aged competition

By Duncan Mlanjira

The 2023 outstanding performance of Paralympic athlete Mphatso Saukile, who came to national prominence when his family’s home got demolished due to effects of Cyclone Freddy, has earned him Sportsman with Disability of the Year accolade at the Malawi Sport Awards.


Saukile, who is a member of Zomba Athletics Academy, got national attention when matron of the academy, Eneless Makumba volunteered to run the annual Standard Bank Be More Race in Lilongwe as a charity venture to raise funds towards rebuilding Saukile’s family home.

When Standard Bank Plc learnt of this noble gesture, it contributed K1 million towards the cause while Malawi National Council of Sports contributed a further K1 million with its chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise forfeiting his annual honoraria of K600,000 towards the same.

Through the media, Standard Bank learnt that Saukile is no ordinary Paralympic as he represented the country in Venice, Italy at the Jesolo Grand Prix from May 12-15, 2023 where he won the silver medal in 1500m and came 5th in 400m in Open-aged competition.

Saukile at the Grand Prix in Italy in May 2023

He also participated at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in December 2022 in 400m and 800m which Malawi hosted in Lilongwe where he won two gold medals in 800m and 400m.

Towards the end of 2023, Saukile won two gold medals in 1500m and 400m during the Paralympic National Championships held at Bingu National Stadium.

Founder and patron of Zomba Athletics Academy, Benedicto Makumba — a soldier with the Malawi Defence Force — said he was very proud of his athlete he has nurtured into an international star.

“All of us at Zomba Athletics Academy are proud of Mphatso’s achievements in 2023 that has culminated into winning the prestigious Sportsman with Disability of the Year,” he said.

“We look forward to another successful year for him and the rest of the Paralympic fraternity, which has also done well in Malawi Sport Awards,” he said, referring to the accolades attained by Malawi Paralympic Committee.

Saukile (right) with fellow members of Zomba Athletics Academy

Paralympics attained three awards — the Best Executed Sports Programme (Para-Sport against Stigma); with Malawi Paralympic Committee president James Chiutsi earning Sports Administrator of the Year and Sports Council Chairman’s Award.

Chiutsi was recognised by Sports Council chairman, Madise alongside FDH Bank Plc and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) for the role they played in sports in 2023.

The Sportswoman with Disability of the Year went to Hanna Winesi and the recognition for sports persons with disabilities in disciplines other than football should be noticed as out of the 16 awards, eight went to football —  National Team of the Year, Sports Personality of the Year, Coach of the Year, Junior Female Sports Person of the Year, Sports Woman of the Year, Non-Citizen, Best Referee and Best Sports Association (FAM).

Chiutsi said it is always an honour to serve to his best capability, saying: “The awards I attained are through seamless team work that is in the Malawi Paralympic sport. I thank Sports Council for the recognition to various sports disciplines and to all my colleagues at Malawi Paralympic Committee.”