Standard Bank contributes K1 million towards construction of house destroyed by Cyclone Freddy for Paralympic Mphatso Saukile

Saukile with his matron beside the destroyed home

* Responds to fundraising initiative by Zomba Athletics Academy matron in her participation for Standard Bank Be More Race

* In which she finished 6th in a time of 1:41:55hrs whose winner from Kenya clocked 1:17:39

* 18-year-old Mphatso Saukile is very successful Blind T12 Malawian international athlete

* His home, along with two other Zomba Athletic Academy athletes was destroyed but no other help had been provided

By Duncan Mlanjira

In solidarity with the efforts by Zomba Athletics Academy deputy matron, Eneless Makumba to raise funds for construction of a house for Paralympic athlete, Mphatso Saukile — which was destroyed due to Cyclone Freddy-induced floods in March — Standard Bank has contributed K1 million towards the cause.


This was in recognition of Eneless’ innovation by participating in the Standard Bank Be More Race race today, June 17 in which she competed favourably by finishing 6th in a time 1:41:55hrs — just 24 minutes away from the 2023 edition’s champion, Kenyan Monica Ghihruto, who clocked 1:16:18.

Another Kenyan, Naomi Jepkrir was the runner-up in a time of 1:17:39 with Malawian Nalicy Chirwa claiming the third spot a time of Nalicy Tembo (1:20:30); followed by Mulanje-based Tereza Master on 4th (1:23:45).

The 5th position — that was the cut off point for prizes — was taken by Chloe Powell in a time of 1:24:37.

Eneless, who is also wife to the club’s founder and coach, Benedicto Makumba, also intends to participate in the Blantyre 42.195km marathon for the same cause, which is targeting to raise K4.5 million to build Mphatso a new house as well as two other affected athletes for Zomba Athletics Academy.

Her support staff were coach Memory Chauluka and manager Godfrey Mwantisi and together they are looking forward to shaping her even better ahead of the Blantyre 42.195km Race scheduled for July 30.

Mphatso Saukile’s family’s home collapsed and despite the disaster that befell his family, the paralympic athlete — who participated at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in December 22 in 400m and 800m Regional 5 Games in Lilongwe where he won two gold medal in 800m and 400m — also represented the country in Italy Jesolo Grand Prix in Venice from May 12-15 — where he was second in 1500m and 5th in 400m in Open-aged competition.

Mphatso at the Grand Prix in Italy last month

Meanwhile, the Makumba’s UK-based partner, Margaret McMullan is assisting towards raising £3,500 for Eneless’ cause through

She wrote: “A very successful Blind T12 Malawian international athlete, 18-year-old Mphatso is still homeless due to Cyclone Freddy in March this year. His home, along with two other Zomba Athletic Academy athletes was destroyed by the rains and wind of Cyclone Freddy and no other help has been provided.

In the past year, the club’s 10 athletes represented Malawi in international meetings and the Academy’s founder and coach, Benedicto Makumba — a soldier with the Malawi Defence Force currently on UN peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) — also pays school fees for some of the underprivileged athletes using his own resources.


The Academy has 47 athletes in total and he maintains the team through his salary from the MDF and from his business profits as well as occasional assistance from some of his well wishing friends.

He said in an earlier interview: “I get inspired because the are performing so well. Last year, the Academy got 17 medals at the national track and field events that took place in Lilongwe and contributed to Regional 5 games that took place in Lesotho.

“We were represented by three athletes namely Martha Bakili, Blessings Mwalure and Mphatso Saukile at those Lesotho Games where Martha brought silver medal in 3000m, Mphatso won silver in 800m and Blessings was in position 4 in 1500m.”

On the other hand, Makumba also emphasizes he encourages his athletes to concentrate on their academic pursuits and his contribution towards their school fees greatly motivates him as some have secondary school level.

“But to sustain them is a great challenge,” he said. “I am always going around appealing to wellwishers since the numbers are rising with 6 already in secondary school as of last year who were joined by five others.”

Makumba, who is also the national and southern Africa champion in 800m and 1500m, also paid tribute to the Academy’s Matron, Mrs Hande, a police traffic officer at Zomba Police for her tireless and selfless work in inculcating a culture of academic discipline in the atheletes.

Meanwhile, those wishing to support Makumba’s efforts of encouraging the athletes to also pursue their academic dreams, can deposit to Zomba Branch of the FDH Bank — Account name: Zomba Athletics Development Center; Account number: 1210000450527.