Esau Kanyenda

“You’re never a Malawian legend if you’ve never played for Nomads” -Kanyenda


By Hazviperi Mbizi & Chifundo Zingunde.

There were a lot of Doubting Thomases that the old legs of the once revered former Flames’ stalwart, Esau Kanyenda, could be the corner stone for the Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.

Local Monday coaches had already written eulogies of this once fearsome striker that his move to the Lali Lubani family could cause no scare on the domestic soccer scene.

After all, at 35, not many, save for Big Bullets’ veteran, Fischer Kondowe, could be making news on the back pages of the country’s dailies.

However, the soccer fraternity was in for a ride. Black Mamba, as he used to be called back then, has just lived to his alias’ billing; he is finding the back of the net like crazy.

Typical of Black Mambas (now colloquially called The Blue Mamba) who viciously attack whatever poses a threat to them, Esau too, is making scoring goals look so easy.

Now, Kanyenda is the talk of the town. That earlier so-called “tired legs” is proving to be too lethal to the so- called fresh legs of any opponent that comes his way. Netting six goals in his last five TNM Super League matches is no kid’s play.

What more, four of those goals coming from top sides in the league reflects that Kanyenda is on a mission; and his mission is to score as many as he can. So far, Mzuni FC, Blantyre United, defending champions, Kamuzu Barracks FC, Silver Strikers, and Blue Eagles, have had a sour taste of Esau’s exploits.

It is such a robust form of a 35-year-old that caught the attention of EM’s sports crew and the latter did not hesitate but to organize an exclusive interview with this rare trinket to let the cat out of his long footballing career and his move to the Blue side of Blantyre.

Hazviperi Mbizi (Reporter) and Esau Kanyenda

Dream come true

If Esau Kanyenda retires from active football today, he is going to be a happy man. Not necessarily because of his rather flamboyant career, not really; but because he has donned the orange-(technically blue) white jersey of his childhood team, Mighty BeForward Wanderers.

According to him, he could not have enjoyed the legendary status if he could not have played for either Nyasa Big Bullets, or his current team because of their eminence in the country’s soccer arena.

“Every player in Malawi dreams of playing for either NMC Big Bullets or the Nomads. These are the footballing super powers locally. I wouldn’t have called myself a player if I didn’t play for (either) Nomads or Bullets. If you’re a player in Malawi and you decide to hang up your boots without playing for any of these teams, then you haven’t played football (in Malawi),” he challenged.

The resurgence of the old ‘Black’ Mamba

It is common knowledge that Old wine tastes better with age. Esau is exactly cementing that adage as his exploits on the pitch are leaving many in disbelief. At 35, he is proving he has an arsenal of footballing stamina and skills capable of wreaking havoc to the opposing sides.

So what has been his secret?

“The trust my coach, Yasin Osman had towards me has played a big role in my resuscitation. You know when I was coming back, I wasn’t that fit, but as time went, I started picking up form courtesy of the said confidence from the coach.” He attributed.

Esau Kanyenda

Then….and now

Having been in the league over a decade ago, there have been changes going on whilst in his absence. Kanyenda observes that the current crop of strikers, unlike his days, are goal shy.

“Nowadays players are not scoring more goals like the way our strikers used to, in our days,” he observed.

And that was not all. The wanting in the human resource is just a tip in the calabash of challenges rocking the gentleman’s game locally. Most of the pitches, according to him, are shambolic as well.

“Most of our pitches are not playable like they used to be back then. The state of the pitches makes it almost impossible for various teams to play their pre-planned games,” said Kanyenda.

The future

Kanyenda also revealed to EM that his next move in football will be made after his contract expiration come December 2017.

“Sometimes it’s the body that decides when to stop football. In my case, I will play until December; that’s when I will decide my next move,” he revealed.

Who is to fit in the Mamba’s shoes?

It is a fact that as days go, Kanyenda’s days of kicking the ball are slowly being abridged. He is at the twilight of his otherwise remarkable career. Many a spectator on the terraces would live to cherish the plunder that was in the-then famous jersey number 11 of the Flames; Esau Kanyenda.

But should the footballing world be celebrating that a hero it taking a bow, or should it get worried of the successor? Does our league possess the likely heir to the throne?

The former Dwasco frontman feels fellow Nomad’s giant-killing machine, Jafale Chande has the potential of climbing far, footballically.

“I have seen Jafale Chande when he is serious with football, he is one of the best strikers a team can have. He just needs encouragement. With good behavior, he can make it anywhere,”. He advises.


So, as the footballing clock is ticking, Kanyenda’s energies are but slowly diminishing. Sooner, age is going to catch up with him.

For somebody who has been in the game for ages, it is his wish to seeing the standards of our local football improving.

He personally feels he is not that special, only that he was so professional in his game. This is why he feels today’s youngsters need to emulate his career path if they are to last that long.

“The most important thing is discipline, and working smart; without these, one cannot make it in football”. Advised Kanyenda.


Esau Kanyenda


Birth name: Esau Boxer Kanyenda

Date of Birth: 27 September 1982

Senior Career

  • 1999 -2001: Dwasco Fc
  • 2001 – 2003: Jomo Cosmos
  • 2003-2005: Rostov
  • 2005- 2007: Lokomotiv Moscow
  • 2006 _ 2007: Rostov (loan)
  • 2008 – 2010: Kamaz
  • 2010 : Rotor Volgograd (loan)
  • 2011: Dynamo Bryansk
  • 2012: B93
  • 2012- 2017: Polokwane City
  • 2017: Mighty BeForward Wanderers



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