An Ode To Malawi’s Soccer Legend Jack Africa Chamangwana

One of Malawi’s celebrated soccer legends Jack ‘Africa’ Chamangwana died Sunday evening at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre where where he was admitted.

Chamangwana was currently working as Technical Director for TNM Super League Defending Champions Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.

Last week, the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) posted Chamangwana’s career profile that we re-post below.

Rest in Peace #Legend

Throw Back Thursday with Mario

Africa was never a Sub

I begin by wishing Jack Chamangwana birthday wishes as he celebrated one on Monday. I have been privileged to have worked with many soccer legends at Mobile Motors Limited (now Toyota Malawi) and Jack was amongst them. Other stars that were my work colleagues were Zorro Msiska, Mustafa Munshi, Robert Kamwendo, Charles Satha, Peter Tsinabuto and Bernard Chirwa.

Jack (popularly known as Africa) is the second Flames most capped player with 133 appearances. Amazingly he started in all the matches and was never a substitute. He made his debut in a friendly match against Kenya on 10 July 1975 in Lilongwe as an 18 year old. Flames won this game 3-1 with legend Kinna Phiri getting a brace while Isaac Muhura scored the other goal. On that day, under Brazilian coach Wander Moreira, the Flames lined up as follows:

Frank Mlotcha,Steven Phiri, Bosco Munthali, Robert Banda, Jack Chamangwana, Montfort Pemba, Spy Msiska, Kinna Phiri, Yasin Osman, Patrick Chikafa and Isaac Muhura.

Jack was eventually substituted and replace by Elvin Mwafulirwa. That same year Jack travelled with the team to Zambia as Malawi made its debut appearance at the East and Central Africa Senior Challenge Cup (ECASCC). The Flames reached the final and lost 2-1 on penalties to Kenya after drawing 2-2 in extra time. He featured in Flames’ 7 games that year.

In the next two years, Jack played in all the 28 games that took place and even scored his first ever goal in a 2-0 win over Botswana in a friendly match away in Gaborone in 1977. He also played in all the matches played in 1980 (13) and 1982 (7). On 3rd October 1982, in an African Cup of Nations Qualifier against Zimbabwe in Harare, Jack made his 100th appearance as Malawi won 2-0.

Two years later, in Malawi’s first ever appearance at the African Cup of Nations finals in Bouake, Ivory Coast on 08 April 1984, Jack overtook Kinna Phiri as the most capped player after featuring in a 2all draw against Nigeria . This was his 118th match and his record as Flames most capped played lasted for seven years before being broken by Young Chimodzi in 1991.

Jack played under seven coaches during his eleven years with the Flames starting with Brazilian Wander Moreira, followed by caretaker for 1 game Hydri Kondwani, Englishmen George Curtis and Ted Powell. This was then followed by two Malawians, caretaker Alex Masanjala and Henry Moyo while his last coach was Danny McLennan from Scotland.

Jack is only player to have appeared in four final matches beginning with the ECASCC final in Lusaka in 1975 which Malawi lost to Kenya then the 1978 final which Malawi won after being Zambia 3-2. He was also part of the squad that retained the ECASS in 1979 beating Kenya 3-2 with goals from Bannet Gondwe, Stock Dandies and Collins Thewe.

In 1984 Jack appeared in his fourth ECAS Final in Kampala, Uganda, but ended up with a Silver medal as Malawi lost 3-0 to Zambia.

Jack played his last match for the Flames on 16th April 1985 in Maputo against Mozambique in an African Cup of Nations 2nd leg qualifier which ended 1all on aggregate and Malawi lost 6-5 on penalties. This how the Flames lined up on Chamangwanas’s last match:

John Dzimbiri, Harry Waya, Ruben Malola, Collins Thewe, Jack Chamangwana, Young Chimodzi, Lawrence Waya, Jonathan Billie, Frank Sinalo, Peterkins Kayira and Clifton Msiya. Dickson Mbetewa and Holman Malunga came on as subs for Malola and Jack.

In 1986 Jack left for South Africa where he played for giants Kaizer Chiefs. He coached Chiefs in 1988 before being replaced by Jeff Butler whom he replaced again in 1989. He also coached Young Africans of Tanzania in 2006.

Jack was Flames coach in 1998 for 13 games with a record of 1 win 6 draws and 6 loses. He then served as FAM technical director between 2009 and 2013. He was part of the Flames technical team at the 2010 Afcon . Jack and then assiant coach Young Chimodzi are the only ones who went to Afcon twice as a player in 1984 and an officia in 2010.

Between 2014 and 2015 he served as Flames assistance coach under Young Chimodzi. He is now technical director for Befoward Wanderers since 2016.

A summary of his 133 games is detailed below:


FRIENDLIES 58 32 16 10 106 47 55.2

ECASCC 42 23 9 10 67 42 54.8

ACN QUAL 14 4 5 5 18 16 28.6

WC QUAL 7 2 1 4 6 11 28.6

AAG FINALS 5 0 0 5 4 13 00.0

ACN FINALS 3 0 1 2 2 6 00.0

ZONE VI QUAL 3 2 0 1 7 7 66.7

AAG QUAL 1 1 0 0 2 1 100.0

TOTAL 133 64 32 37 212 143 48.1




1975 7 0

1976 15 0

1977 13 2

1978 19 1

1979 14 1

1980 13 1

1981 15 3

1982 7 0

1983 11 1

1984 14 1

1985 5 0

133 10

Compiled by Mario Antoine who is writing a book on Malawi Football to be published in December 2018.

Can you spot Chamangwana in the Kaizer Chiefs picture.

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