She-Flames Star Tabitha Among Cosafa Heroines

By Mphatso Sam

Malawi National Women’s Football team captain, Tabitha Chawinga is among the list of five heroines of Council for Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Women’s Championship of all time.

In a statement from COSAFA, even though the 23-year-old versatile striker, who plies her trade in China with Jiangsu Suning club, did not participate in the 2018 tournament, her display two years ago earned her space in the history of COSAFA Women’s Championship.

The statement notes that Chawinga, one of the top players from the Southern African region who started her professional football with Swedish Club Kvarnsveden IK in 2014, finished as the golden boot winner in her debut year with the club before doing the same in 2015 and 2017.

“She shone at the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship when she scored a hat-trick against Zambia, four goals in a win over Madagascar and other two goals against Zimbabwe in a remarkable personal haul of nine goals in three games,” reads the statement from COSAFA.

The Malawi women football export is among other five players from Southern Africa in the rich history of the showpiece competition including two South Africans, Noko Matlou and Veronica Phewa as well as Zambia’s Babra Banda and Zimbabwe’s Rutendo Makore.

In a WhatsApp response from China to Malawi News Agency, Chawinga banked her success on God who she said has been by her side ever since her career started. She said God helps her and that she is very humbled with the development.

“In everything that I have achieved, I only thank God Almighty without whose support I was nobody and even the world would not have known and recognized me. When such recognitions happen, it gives motivation, said the Malawi football icon.

In a separate interview with the Malawi National Women’s Football Team Coach, Abel Mkandawire described Chawinga as a force to be reckoned with. He said her achievement is not a surprise in Malawi’s women football.

Tabitha started making headlines when she was playing for DD Sunshine on the local scene before making a stint with Kvarnsveden IK in 2014 through 2017, and later signed for Jiangsu Suning Club which her transfer fee, pegged at K126 million, was the highest in 2018 in women’s football.

Before leaving Kvarnsveden IK Club in 2017, Chawinga won the golden boot award with 25 goals and she was also the Forward of the Year.

Last year (2018), she won the Chinese Women Premier League golden boot award in her first year at the club with 17 goals.

Currently, Tabitha has netted six goals in six games for Jiangsu Suning Club. She has set a target of 20 goals by the end of this season.-MANA