Striker is help­ing Bid­vest Wits in their ti­tle chal­lenge this season, but do you know which mem­ber of his fam­ily also played for the Zim­babwe na­tional team, or that the Clever Boys for­ward was forced to flee a civil war?

Kick Off - - Feature - BY LOVE­MORE MOYO friend Hu­bert Many­owa.

Cuth­bert Li­fasi Mala­jila is the only child born to his mother and fa­ther, who were never mar­ried, which is why he uses his mother’s sur­name, Mala­jila.

His fa­ther, Ernest Makosa, played for Rio Tinto FC and the Zim­babwe na­tional team. Makosa has chil­dren from other re­la­tion­ships, while his mother also got mar­ried and has two other chil­dren, Gideon and Brenda. Gideon (15) is a promis­ing striker who top-scored in his age group league last year. There are also his cousins, Obert and James Mala­jila, who are com­ing through the foot­ball ranks.

Mala­jila’s par­ents have their roots in Malawi and were part of the mas­sive mi­gra­tion of labour to Zim­babwe mines and farms in the 1950s. Cuth­bert strug­gles with ChiChewa, the lan­guage spo­ken by his par­ents, with Shona his pre­ferred lan­guage of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Cuth­bert is mar­ried and has three chil­dren – two girls and a boy.

The 31-year- old first com­pleted his Or­di­nary Lev­els (Ma­tric) in 2001 be­fore ven­tur­ing into foot­ball while play­ing in his home­town of Kadoma – a min­ing and cot­ton pro­duc­ing area. Mala­jila started his foot­ball ca­reer in the Zim­babwe lower di­vi­sions at David White­head Tex­tiles, where he worked as a gen­eral labourer for 18 months at the fab­ric and thread pro­duc­ing unit of the com­pany.

He re­veals he was lucky not to have been sent for com­pul­sory six-month mil­i­tary train­ing when he joined Air Force club Cha­pungu. The team was do­ing so well at the time that the coach did not want to lose him. His un­cles Bwanale, James and Mala­jila Mala­jila, all his mother’s sib­lings, played lower di­vi­sion foot­ball in Kadoma at Wild­cats, Dairy­board and Con­rock re­spec­tively. Bawanale is child­hood best friends with Su­perS­port United as­sis­tant coach Kai­tano Tembo, who also hails from the same town.

Through his suc­cess in foot­ball, Mala­jila has also been plough­ing back into his com­mu­nity and is a di­rec­tor of the CUMA Foot­ball Academy, which he co-owns with his At the start of the Libyan Civil War, which ul­ti­mately led to the demise of Muam­mar Gaddafi in 2011, Mala­jila was play­ing in the North African coun­try for Al Akhdar. With gun­fire started just 100km away from his base in Al Bayda, he had to es­cape, tak­ing a 12hour bus drive to Egypt. From there he took a flight to Johannesburg and then Harare. Due to his stay in Libya, he now has the nick­name ‘Gaddafi’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.