They are often neglected and rejected within society after hanging up their boots yet during their prime time many both the young and the old idolised them
That’s how best to describe the life of Malawi’s football legends.
From riches to rags.
From household names to beggars.
But for one Jim Kalua former Trustee of Nyasa Big Bullets he has embarked on a mission of redefining the life of a football legend in Malawi.
Kalua views a football legend as tool that can be utilised for positive change within society and not just on the field hence setting up a Trust under his JK Productions brand which has since been registered under the Registrar of Companies.
With him heading the Trust as Chairperson, Kalua has roped in former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Justin Saidi as Vice Chairperson while current Vice General Secretary for Blue Eagles FC Gomezgani Mchawi a lawyer by Profession is General Secretary as well as Legal Counsel of the Board.
Former Nyasa Big Bullets Treasurer Antony Msendemaa is the Treasurer while Board Members are former Flames Players Lovemore Fazili, Gilbert Chirwa , Lawrence Waya, Young Chimodzi, Chancy Vinny Gondwe and Blue Eagles defender Sankhani Mkandawire.
“We started this on December 31 2021 and when we were starting I never thought we would reach this far. It only started as a 4 team football tournament where the Legends formed a select side and competed against Makalani Stars, Sankhani Football Academy and Emanuel Zoya Academy”, recounts Kalua as to how JK Productions legends team was born.
But since that 31 December 2021 tournament the Legends Brand has continued to grow from strength to strength. Apart from growing in numbers JK Productions now has a secretariat which administers a revolving fund where the former football stars access start -up capital for various small and medium scale businesses for their survival.
Many are into Agri-Business where they procure various Farm Produce and sell later on.
On the Pitch JK Productions has been all over the country participating in various football related activities.
For instance JK [Productions has been to Malomo in Ntchisi where it curtain raised the final Match of that area’s MP Arnold Kadzanja’s trophy.
The team has also been to Mtunthama in Kasungu where it played a select side which MP for the area which is also second deputy speaker Madalitso Kazombo had set up to entertain people of his area.
At the climax of it all JK Productions also played against Members of Parliament at the magnificent Bingu National Stadium and the most recent outing was on Saturday December 17 when it participated in a curtain raising match during the final of Noel Lipipa’s Trophy at Moneymen ground in Blantyre.
Outside the pitch JK Productions has also been involved in several charity activities donating items to the needy in the rural areas where the team has gone to play.
“I attribute the success we have registered in our first year of existence to the legends themselves. When I hatched the idea they welcomed it. They embraced it as their own. This thing is not a Jim Kalua thing but it’s their thing and I’m happy that we have reached this far”, explains Kalua who is a Banker by Profession.
So Far JK Productions has over 30 members comprising former footballers and administrators.
So how do one become a member?
The JK Productions Constituti0n defines a football legend as someone who was/is active in football for atleast 5 seasons at the highest level and contributed positively towards his club or national team.
The Constitution also provides for incorporation of football administrators who managed a top flight side for atleast 5 years and above.
These members are entitled to a monthly fee contribution of K3000 and if one fails to renew their membership within 3 consecutive months he or she automatically ceases to be a member.
“This membership fee was set up to show commitment as well as sustainability of the group. You know where there is a group there are certain things that the group must be able to contributed together as a group so this K3000 is there just to help in running the errands of the group especially on the part of the secretariat”, said kalua.
Looking into the Future?
According to Kalua the focus is now growing the Association especially within its current set up and not necessarily targeting more members.
“We want to utilise the current members by devising several initiatives that will see us grow as a group. The focus is not growing in numbers but rather growing together as a group”, said Kalua.
And in line with the co0nstitution JK Productions will institute various Sub Committees to oversee various operations of the Association.
“Remember this is an Association so we are going to institute various committees as provided for in Section 6.4 of our constitution. Then we will proceed to hold our first ever Annual General Meeting within the first Quarter of 2023 at a venue to be announced in due course”, said Kalua.
Other notable faces within the JK Productions Legends team include former Flames Coaches Kinnah Phiri and Meke Mwase, Former Flames Stars Joseph Kamwendo, Fischer Kondowe, Lucky Malata, Harvey Mkacha, Bob Mpinganjira, Robert Ng’ambi, Andrew Chikhosi, Ulanda Kalua and several other former and current super league players.