By McLloyd Kudzingo
Challenges make people stronger and without them life becomes somewhat meaningless.
However sometimes challenges seems to be too much for one to cope with.
But, regardless of the challenges, facing up to them is key. Doing so will make one feel special and understand the value of the success.
One person who has heavily benefited from personal challenges is footballer George Nyirenda.
Nyirenda is arguably one of Malawi’s most underrated footballers.
Here is a player who was discarded by a Malawian team only to hit a jackpot in a foreign country. Nyirenda once played for Dwangwa United, Azam Tigers and Nyasa Big Bullets before joining Zambabean giants Caps United.
In the 2012-2013 TNM Super League season Nyirenda was voted the best defender of the season.
He later left the country and became a regular in Zimbabwe as a midfielder after signing a two year deal with Caps alongside Ishmael Thindwa and Gerald Phiri Jnr.
He rejoined Bullets in 2016 after terminating his contract with Caps.
The dreadlocked player signed for Bullets again but things were not as perfect as he left them in 2013.
If there is player who endured a torrid time punctuated by long spells on the bench at his club in the previous season, then it is George Nyirenda.
The player became a regular bench warmer for Bullets and was no where near the Malawi national team players selection.
At the start of the 2018 season, Nyirenda was released by Bullets and left for Namibia where he got signed by Premier Division side United Africa Tigers as a free agent.
Just like it has been for great footballers like Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku who were rejected by the English Premier League side Chelsea, Nyirenda seems to have benefited from rejection.
Rejection has played a big role on his turnaround as a footballer as he has now become the cornerstone of Namibian football.
Nyirenda featured in 14 games for the Namibian outfit, scoring one goal and winning two man of the match awards.
At the time of joining, the team was third from bottom in the 16 member league but pushed up the ladder to end the season in fourth place.
“I joined them half way through the season, featuring only in the second round but it looks like my bosses are so much impressed with my performance,” said Nyirenda.
After a successful season in Namibia, it was then time for Nyirenda to take break and come home.
He was then called into the Flames squad but the player failed to make it into the final squad that played in the recent Cosafa games in South Africa.
While in the country, the former Bullets defender has been involved in a number of projects including motivational talks.
The player has been visiting a number of places in the country where he has been holding motivation talks and has promised to help young people to reach their dreams.
One of such places was Salima where the player was invited to be the guest of honour at a function organised by United Nations and UNICEF.
The event was organized with the aim of empowering women and girls.
The football star showed his outstanding commitment and dedication to Malawian girls and women.
He advised women and girls to have have faith in God and start believing in themselves. The player gave his own example as a person who faced a lot of challenges in his career but persevered to reach where he is right now.
“In my career I faced so many challenges but i faced them with faith.
At some point I thought about giving up. But I never gave up. I found the strength in myself, my family, and all those who were around me,” said Nyirenda.
Nyirenda cited resilience, determination and discipline, as one of the things that has made him successful in his career.
He then said he would continue to play an important role in inspiring and motivating young Malawians and women to become useful and productive citizens.
He further pledged to collaborate with different individuals and organizations on future projects benefiting Malawians.
“I am glad that organizations are now recognizing us people with different talents. Let me commend UN and UNICEF for the opportunity they gave me to speak to women and girls in Salima. They chose me because they consider me a winner in all my battles and i want everyone to be strong and face challenges with faith,” he said.
Nyirenda then revealed that he had been selected to become an Ambassador for Kamba FC and Kamba Academy in Dedza.
He said, “In Dedza they included me in their project because of my football career life, on how I have triumphed alone through those challenges so that I should inspire some rising stars,”
Meanwhile the player is still in the country but will leave for Namibia soon to start the new season.