BY PETER KANJERE:
Former star shooter Emma Mdzagada—a dedicated clever-footed and sharp-eyed player who helped steer the netball Queens to their zenith on the world stage—died in Blantyre Monday after a long illness.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary, Carol Bapu, confirmed the development, saying: “We are very sad. She contributed a lot to Malawi netball and to the Queens.”
Former Queens coach, Edith Kaliati, Monday said she was heartbroken over the demise of Mdzagada, adding “I am sad, she was a good shooter.”
Mdzagada, who used to play in the Queens squad comprising the likes of Mary Waya, Linda Magombo-Munthali, Slyvia Malenga-Mtetemera, Peace Chawinga-Kalua and Connis Mhone (deceased), died at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre where she was admitted.
Last year, she complained of leg pains and underwent an operation at Beit Cure International Hospital in Blantyre.
News about the illness of Mdzagada, who represented the Queens in World championships and the Commonwealth Games, emerged last year, leading to an outpouring of support from the government and individuals.
Mdzagada started off her career with City of Blantyre before moving to Produsak then Whitex.
The lanky shooter later joined Silver Strikers, before moving to Postnet which was renamed MTL Queens and now Thunder Queens. Mdzagada played for Thunder until 2010.
She started playing for the national team in 1995, travelling to many countries. Her last outing was in Manchester, England, in 2009.