Malawi’s women football icon Tabitha Chawinga says she is not bitter to have missed out on the Confederation of African Football (CAF), 2018 Women’s player of the year award.
Chawinga was this month nominated for the award alongside Zimbabwe’s Rutendo Makore, Chrestina Kgatlana of South Africa, Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria.
But the list was on Monday whittled down to three leaving out Chawinga and Makore from the final shortlist.
Reacting to the news, Chawinga who claimed to have been caught unawares by the development, said she is neither bitter nor disappointed, but rather encouraged to have made the shortlist in the first place.
“Am hearing this from you, but all in all am not disappointed to have missed out on the accolade. I believe in God who works wonders out of nothing, so that will not slow me down. And as a matter of fact, am looking at the positive side of it. Being the first Malawian to be recognised by CAF brings so much joy to me. That will encourage me further to never look back in my career but yearn for more glory wherever i go” said Chawinga.
Chawinga received a word of encouragement from Charles Mwenda, owner of Lilongwe based women’s football club Skippers fc.
“The snub should not discourage her. The initial nomination has put Malawi on the map and she must know that we are fully behind her. She is our star, who represents the country well, so she must not be worried, but stay focused because there is always next time” said Mwenda.
Chawinga then disclosed her decision to leave Swedish club Kvarnsveden, for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning ladies, was down to the tempting offer from her new employers.
“Besides wanting to play in China, the offer i got turned my head. It was too good to turn down. You know football is an unpredictable career. You can’t tell what will happen the next day, so when an opportunity arose to make money for my family, it was hard to let it pass”
She further explained that she has penned a two year deal with Jiangsu to asses the strength of the Chinese league before committing to a long term future.
Jiangsu also runs a men’s football team, which is coached by former Real Madrid and England boss Fabio Capello.