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Ducor Sports Star of the Week

Ducor Sports Star of the Week: Be Forward Wanderers’ veteran forward Esau Kanyenda

Be Forward Wanderers’ veteran forward Esau Kanyenda scored again on Sunday to give his team a 4-1 win against Red Lions and send the Nomads up to 2nd place in Malawi’s TNM Super League table.

Kanyenda’s strike was the former Polokwane City marksman’s sixth goal of the season, which includes goals against Tigers and Mzuni. Kanyenda has now scored in three consecutive matches in the Malawi Super League and is the first to do so since Chiukepo Yakubu in 2013/2014.

The home side took the lead in the 10th minute when former Malawian international slammed home from close range.

Second half brace from Peter Wandabwa (57th and 71st minute) and a strike from Precious Sambani wrapped up the emphatic victory to raise the point tally to 45 from 22 games played so far.

The battle-hardened striker was on for the entire match duration, had a game rating of 7.7, completing 100% of his dribbles, 79% of his passes and won just two of his duels contested.

What do we know about Esau Kanyenda?

Kanyenda was born in September 1982 in the central district of Dedza in Malawi.

He started his career with then Malawi’s first division side FC Welfare. It was there that he was spotted by Jomo Sono, the owner of Jomo Cosmos FC during 1999’s Cosafa U-17 championship.

The South African outfit took him to Johannesburg where he joined their junior ranks alongside another former Malawian international Peter Mponda. Both were included in the Jomo Cosmos’s tour to Italy where Kanyenda played in an international tournament and became the second top goal scorer.

He later turned professional in the Malawi Super League outfit FC Dwasco from 1999–2001, before moving back to South Africa to play in the Premier Soccer League with Jomo Cosmos in Johannesburg, between 2001 and 2003.

In between that period, Kanyenda had unsuccessful trials with French First Division side, Olympic Marseille in 2002, scoring six goals in his five trial matches.

However, in 2003 he was successful in Russia where he played for several clubs such as Rostov and Lokomotiv Moscow.

After several years in Russia, he joined Danish lower league side B93, having been persuaded by former Malawi national football team head coach Kim Spildsboel.

In September 2012, Kanyenda signed a contract with South African side Polokwane where he stayed for a record six seasons.

After the expiry of the contract, Kanyenda moved back to his native country in August last year and signed for his current club Be Forward Wanderers.

What has Kanyenda achieved in his career?

The ‘Black Mamba’ , as Kanyenda is nicknamed, remains one of the best imports from Malawi to ever play in the South Africa Premier Soccer League.

He was a hit with Jomo Cosmos during his first spell in the PSL scoring 18 goals in 28 starts in his first season and had scored 15 in just 16 games when he left for Russia during the 2002/2003 season.

In 2002, he was named Cosafa Cup Player of the Series after inspiring the Flames to the finals.

In his professional stint in Russia, Kanyenda was third top goal scorer in the country’s top league when he was with Lokomotiv Moscow.

Kanyenda became the first Malawian footballer player to play in UEFA Champions League with the Russian giants between 2005 to 2007.

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