Malawian football star striker, Gabadinho Mhango, who plies his trade with South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) Bidvest Wits, has ventured into the clothes fashion world with his own clothing brand he is calling ‘Gaba Wear’.
He says he is working with a reputable designer in South Africa in conjunction with others from Kenya and Malawi who are inventing designer-style hats, caps, T-shirts, vests, college jackets, suits, shirts and shorts.
Gaba says the goods are already on market being sold at upmarket shop, L. Devraj situated along Haile Selassie Road in Blantyre and at Kaunjika.com in Pacific Mall.
“I have a designer who designed the line for me, working with three companies from South Africa, Kenya and Malawi,” he said.
“CR Brands from SA is doing our hats and everything except T-shirts and vests.
“African Hats is doing the hats while T-shirts are being done in Kenya by Beads & Print. We are also working with Nyalisa Wear for some more design pieces.
“Our target is everyone—kids, teenagers and the old,” he said.
Gaba is now becoming more innovative in his lifestyle.
In September last year, he celebrated winning the coveted for South Africa’s MTN 8 Cup by coming back to Malawi to give back to the society that projected him to the status he is.
He wrote on his Facebook account: “I decided to celebrate [winning the MTN 8 Cup] by giving back to my people in Malawi. Malawians are the reason I am where I am today and even though I can give things that are bought by money, I can never give back enough.”
The same month he also came for a special visit to honour a kid from Ntcheu whose picture he saw on Facebook posted by someone else that depicted him wearing a ragged T-shirt on which he had written with a marker Gaba’s name.
It showed the little kid worships and adores Gaba’s style of play.
Gaba posted: “Do you guys remember the picture on the top left? Well, if you don’t here is the story. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of a young Malawian kid with a T-shirt written my name on the back with black marker and everyone in his village in Ntcheu calls him Gabadinho.
“I so wanted to meet this hero of mine that I asked for the whereabouts of this Young Gabadinho. People helped me get to him and by last week, we had found our Young Gaba. Had free slots this weekend and I said this is it! I came to Malawi as soon as possible and made arrangements to meet Young Gabadinho. I am inspired by his gesture, I play football for people like him. I hope I live to make him proud so he makes his family and country proud.
“I had so much fun today meeting up Gabadinho whoop! guys!!! Thank you all for the efforts you put up to make sure we find our Gabadinho. Mission accomplished, I can leave and get back to work now.”
Gabadinho is enjoying a rich vein of form at Bidvest Wits after making a dramatic move from Blomfontein Celtic in the previous season.
He was at his peak when Bidvest won the MTN 8 Cup by beating South Africa’s club heavyweights Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 in the final match.
To reach the final, Bidvest also beat another giant Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in a game Gaba was voted Man of the Match.
In the two-legged MTN 8 Cup semifinal match against Cape Town City, Gaba also won the Man of the Match accolade in both games.
His top form did not go unnoticed as he caught the eye of SuperSport host Robert Marawa as good material for an exclusive interview on television alongside South Africa’s legend Bennie McCarthy early September.
For the Flames, his hunger and desire to achieve better results was evident when he fought tenaciously to inspire the Flames to their first ever win in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland in August at Kamuzu Stadium with a 1-0 triumph.
Despite failing to score, his contribution as a leading striker troubled Swaziland and was denied a goal a couple of times by the woodwork from his trademarks power-packed shots.
In June, Gaba struck three times as Malawi defeated an almost Under-20 Angola side during a Cosafa Cup in Namibia, to become not only the first Malawian player to net a hat-trick in the Cosafa Cup, but was the first Malawian to get more than one goal in a game.
Mhango got his first 22 minutes into the first half from a header which was deflected into the back of the net by an Angolan defender and struck his second mid-way the second half after a series of passes from Flame’s players. He claimed his hat-trick from the penalty spot at the stroke of added time.
The pacy and energetic player was spotted by Nyasa Bullets when he was playing for second tier football league side Brave Warriors.
Bullets offered the youngster a platform to unveil his potential that landed him a professional deal at Bloemfontein Celtic, where he achieved two accolades — the Golden Boot and Young Player of the Season on his debutant season. – Nyasa Times.