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#WomenHistoryMonth: US Embassy chronicles story of Tabitha Chawinga; Malawian girl driving African football

Tabitha Chawinga trying to beat her opponents

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—As people in the United States of America are celebrating the Women History Month, the US Embassy to Malawi had no option but to narrate the story of a rare gem in women football, Tabitha Chawinga.

Tabitha Chawinga is a Malawian footballer who plays as a forward for Wuhan Jiangda in the Chinese Women’s Super League and the Malawi women’s national team.

She began playing football at the age of five and at 18 Tabitha played for Swedish third-division club Krokom/Dvärsätts IF scoring 39 goals in 18 games, earning the league’s golden boot award.

She was the first female footballer from Malawi to play for a European club. Her first team in China was Jiangsu Suning which she joined in 2018 at a record breaking fee.

She spoke of her delight at finally joining her new teammates at Chinese club Wuhan FC ahead of the new season.

 “It is a new feeling and I am eager to play for my new club. I have high hopes of having a good season and we will fight to defend the league title,” she said.

Her younger sister Temwa also plays for Wuhan.

The sisters had a prolonged off-season break in their homeland, Malawi, due to travel restrictions that were imposed in most countries as they fought to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Tabitha had a difficult year in 2020, scoring just seven goals for Sunning, who finished as runners-up to Wuhan.

But Temwa helped her club to win their first-ever Chinese Women’s Super League title in 19 years with her nine goals.

The Malawian was the league’s second top goal-scorer behind Zambian Barbra Banda who netted 18 goals.

Born in Malawi, Tabitha is the middle child of five children born to her parents. She began playing football at age five and played with boys until age 13 when she began playing for girls’ club, DD Sunshine.

Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8, and during October in Canada, corresponding with the celebration of Persons Day on October 18.

The commemoration began in 1978 as “Women’s History day” in Sonoma County, California, and was championed by Gerda Lerner and the National Women’s History Alliance to be recognized as a national week (1980) and then month (1987) in the United States, spreading internationally after that.

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