A man claiming to be former MTL Wanderers’ juju-man, Alfred Mapira, has predicted doom for the team, saying unless they give him K10, 000 they owe him in magic services rendered during the 2007/08 TNM Super League season, team will end up grabbing nothing in all soccer competitions in the country.
Wanderers were the Malawi Super League champions for the 2006/07 soccer season but lost it to Escom Football Club the following season under mysterious circumstances. Mapira says it was because of his unpaid dues.
Mapira, in an exclusive interview, asked the Nomads executive committee to settle up the bill before their term of office expires. Wanderers, also known locally as the Nomads, are expected to go to club polls on January 25- though both the executive and supporters committee are giving contrary information.
The executive says they will not call for polls to elect, or re-elect, office bearers for the next two years until financial statements are finished for presentation to their sponsors and supporters, while the supporters’ committee wants the polls on January 25 fearing that any delays could lead to a mass exodus of players.
Already, Nomads’ captain Lawrence Majawa is reported to be in Botswana attending trials at a club being mentored by former Wanderers’ Zimbabwean coach, Rahman Gumbo. Reports are also rife that defence pillar Harry Nyirenda could be heading to Silver Strikers- the 2007/08 TNM Super League champions- in Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe.
“These people at MTL Wanderers are very ungreatful; I helped them win the Super League during the 2005/06 season, and when they thought they were at arms’ length to winning the 2006/07 championship they stopped honouring their financial obligations. That is why, when they only needed a point to clinch the Super League, I sabotaged them and they failed,” said Mapira.
He added: “Still, they were unrepentant, hence their finishing on position five in the TNM Super League; it has never happened to them before, and they must expect more trouble. Let me say it openly here that they will not be among the top three during the Presidential Initiative on Sports which has already started at district level; they will not be in any prized-position at all, unless they pay all, times three this time around”.
For starters, Mapira is not new to Malawi soccer. He is an elementary coach whose team. Blantyre Netting, caused a stir in the Southern Region Football League the time he was at the helm. When he got replaced by the team’s administration, the team’s fortunes deserted them- the coach cum Juju-man took his roots home!
“Football is not all about tactics; it is also about muti. I am only worried that some of our people take our charms to South Africa, where different players from various countries ply their trade in the PSL. This will dilute the power of our herms because they are getting into so many hands,” said Mapira.
But Nomads officials Mapira said knew the issue, denied the accusations. They also threatened that once their names appear in this story, they will hire “thugs” to bit up this reporter.
“That is nonsense. We depend on God, the almighty,” shouted one of the officials, adding any linkage of his name to the story would be met with unforeseen consequencies. “Don’t even try to publish this”.
But Mapira’s story was also featured in Malawi’s Weekend Nation newspaper, though the issue was about the existence of Juju. Mapira said in the newspaper story Juju existed in Malawi, and that a certain team owed him money in juju services- the team was not mentioned.
“The team is Wanderers,” revealed Mapira to this reporter. He said he would nolonger receive the original amount but would accept only double the amount, which is K10, 000 multiplied by three.
“Wanderers will pay heavily for cheating on me. I have helped a lot of teams, including some in foreign leagues. They appreciate and pay in full. The good thing about us is that we let teams take our charms without advance pay, and receive it later when results speak for us- where else can you get such a fair game, and then you cheat? No, no, no, no!,” shouted Mapira.