Soccer legend Ernest Mtawali honoured in South Africa

Mtawali with other former players

Malawi football legend Ernest Mtawali has been awarded a certificate of recognition by the Premier of Gauteng for his contribution towards football development in South Africa.

Gauteng’s premier David Makhura awarded Mtawali during a dinner organised to honour great football legends in the country.

Mtawali initially played for Hardware Stars in Malawi. In South Africa he played for Welkom Real HeartsBloemfontein CelticSundowns FCOrlando PiratesHellenic FC and Ajax Cape Town.

He also had stints with Newell's Old Boys in ArgentinaToulouse FC in FranceAl-Wehda in Saudi Arabia and also represented Malawi's national team.

He was appointed as caretaker manager of the Malawi national team in June 2015.

This is not the first time for the Malawi national team player and coach to be recognized.

Last year, he was invited alongside 18 other former African players, including Ivory Coast’s Abdoulaye Traore, Nigeria’s Kingsley Amunike, Doctor Khumalo from South Africa and Cameroon’s Cyrille Makanaky, to play in a 50-years independence commemoratory match in Equatorial Guinea.

Mtawali was also part of the legends team that took part in an international charity match at Orlando Stadium last year organised by South African Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMLFA) which worked with Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Professional Soccer Management Company.

Former South African football stars Sibusiso Zuma, Khumalo, Phil Masinga, Benjamin Mwaruwari, Lucas Radebe, Steve Pienaar, Quinton Fortune and Lucas Radebe were also part of the match.

In his reaction to the award, Mtawali said it is encouraging to see people recognising his effort as he enjoyed uniting with old friends.

Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial director Limbani Matola commenting on a FAM Media connect WhatsApp forum congratulated Mtawali for the recognition.

“Colleagues, let’s learn to appreciate each other how local or familiar we may look,” Matola said.

Mtawali was appointed the Malawi National Football team coach in 2015 before FAM decided not to renew his contract.