By Duncan Mlanjira
Taekwondo Master Yamikani Guba, who was in the country last month to attend the Malawi Sport Awards in which he was a nominee for Sportsman of the Year, donated uniform to Taekwondo Association of Malawi before he returned to his base in the United Kingdom.
The British Army soldier paid a courtesy call three weeks ago at the Blantyre Youth Centre, where he launched his taekwondo career path.
“I specifically said the uniform I donated to be used only at international championships as it has all the legal prints according to the code of the National Olympic Committee,” said the medal winning taekwondo athlete with the British Army team.
“I also had a very successful training with the team members and encouraged the youth on how important it is to work extra hard in order to achieve a lot in this career.
“It was also my gesture of appreciation because Blantyre Youth Centre is very dear to my heart having nurtured me into what I am as a Master in taekwondo,” said Guba from his base in UK.
Guba was once a national taekwondo coach and he is also one of the founders of Taekwondo Association Malawi.
He was in the country for the red carpet Malawi Sport Awards after being nominated for the award of Sportsman of the Year alongside men’s footballer Gabadinho Mhango and women footballer Tabitha Chawinga.
The award went to Tabitha, who was voted as Best Overall Sports Personality for her excellent performance at her club in China which made her be nominated for Confederation of African Football (CAF) Footballer of the Year award.
“It was an honour to be nominated and it shows I shouldn’t take my performance and achievement for granted.
“Congratulations to all nominated athletes and all well deserved athletes who actually came champions — keep shining,” he said.
Guba also applauded Malawi National Council of Sports, Malawi Olympic Committee, Blantyre Youth Centre and Taekwondo Association of Malawi for recognising his achievements and contributions in taekwondo abroad.
“I also thank Malawi Military UK Community, which also played a very big role towards the trip to attend the prestigious event and to the British Army taekwondo team for their support allowing me to attend the ceremony.
“I should also acknowledge much appreciation and respect to the Malawi media for its support by following up my footsteps and exploits since I was a young boy at the BYC up to now.
He urged all Malawi corporate companies and organisations to promote minor sports in order to nurture young athletes at the earliest stage for the greater success of the Malawi sport.
“I also ask parents and guardians to help and support these young talented athletes in order to take them away from bad habits on the streets.”
In an earlier interview, Guba had said he is hoping to one day further promote the sport in Malawi.
Guba represented Malawi Taekwondo team in recent World Taekwondo Championship held in Manchester on May 19 last year and also in the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifications which was held in Agadir, Morocco.
Originally from Blantyre District, he also holds a 2nd Dan in both Judo and Karate and a 1st Dan in Kendo.
He learnt his Martial Arts at BYC at the age of 10 at the inspiration of his family members and later relocated to UK in 2004 to study the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM-postgraduate) and thereafter he decided to join the British Army in 2007.
He joined the British Army Martial Arts team in 2008, competing in both Taekwondo and Kendo at international and national level.
In 2016, the British military awarded Guba with the title of the best senior fighter for its Taekwondo team in which he is the captain.
Based in Larkhill at the Royal School of Artillery as a Phase 2 Instructor, he has achieved many medals over the years on both national and international level of fighting.
In February, Guba won his first Gold medal of the heavyweight category +87kgs during at the Scotland (Lanarkshire) Open Taekwondo Championships, held at the Wishaw Sports Centre.
Sergeant Guba was representing the British Army Taekwondo team in.
In November last year, Guba won the silver medal at the National Taekwondo Club Championship on Sunday in Nottingham just after 11 days of achieving the same feat at the London International Open.
Guba is now looking forward for the Army Open Taekwondo Championships which will be held this month in London.
Guba has also be previously honoured by the British military as he was named the third best British Military Sportsperson of the Year achiever.