Italy-based women’s football star Tabitha Chawinga is not hogging the limelight in the Women’s Serie with her magical skills, but also general behaviour.
The Scorchers captain has won the eBay Values Award for the month of February which is given to a top-level player with distinguished behaviour to change lives of others, in particular her campaign titled ‘Believe in the Possibilies’ which aims at encouraging the girl-child to have self-belief.
In an interview yesterday, the 26-year-old said she was delighted to be recognised for her behaviour, in particular her campaign.
She said: “To me this is a great honour because it goes beyond recognising my football skills.
“It is something special to be appreciated for your efforts to influence mindset change because it speaks a lot about your character and I thank God for His blessings.”
Reads part of her write-up: “Growing up in rural Malawi, being a girl, meant I was expected to do house chores, but I was totally expected to be divorced from sports.
Tabitha shows off her award
“My love for football wasn’t a norm. Most young rural girls’ lives revolve around house chores, zakumunda and school not prioritised for girls in most cases.
“For rural boys, sports is an extended grace to them after school. In fact, it was and still is normal for boys in rural areas to attend school, talk, watch and play sports.
“For girls, no sooner as the breast or female features appear than your love for sports is frowned upon and met with demeaning names such as hule [prostitute].At times, I personally got a serious beating from family for playing and loving football.
“My campaign, Believe in the Possibilities, is aimed at challenging the status quo.”
She cited herself, boxer Anisha Basheel and netballer Mwawi as examples of those that are proving to Malawi that a girl-child has a place in sports.
She says: “My message is simply to encourage authorities, schools, parents and society at large that as we endeavour to promote education, let us also develop, nurture and celebrate sports talent in our rural girls.
“You never know, the world’s [future] best swimmer could be a girl in the rural shores of Nkhata Bay.”
In light of the campaign, Tabitha says she is producing various TC11 branded materials with motivational quotes and pictures on notebooks, schoolbags, pens, and balls.
“Your buying these items means you are powering the message of ‘Believe in the possibilities through sports’ for our Malawian rural girls,” she says.
The forward said more details on how the items can be accessed for yourself will be broadcast on her official TC11 Prints page.
Women’s rights activist Emma Kaliya hailed Tabitha for her efforts saying: “This is commendable. These are the things we value when we are looking at women leadership. This kind of thinkiing should be encouraged