Zambia and Malawi have suffered their first sports casualty to the global pandemic, Covid-19.
The casualty, former volleyball star Best Nkhoma, succumbed to the disease in the United Kingdom (UK) where he was living.
Nkhoma died in the early hours of Friday at his home after reports emerged that UK health authorities could not accommodate him at one of the hospitals.
The Malawian, who was born in Zambia, is well-known for his exploits in volleyball circles having left Lusaka in 1991 to play professional volleyball in the UK.
His wife Meriah Lapani Nkhoma was “too devastated” to comment on the fatality.
The wife is in self-isolation with four kids.
According to Volleyball Association of Malawi (Vam) General Secretary Jairos Nkhoma, a younger brother to the deceased, burial arrangements were yet to be made.
“We have lost one of the pioneers of volleyball in Southern Africa. He played much of his volleyball in Zambia but inspired Malawians a lot especially through the Zone VI Games. He is well known for securing an international deal to play professional volleyball in the United Kingdom.
“His exploits during Zone VI Games also motivated our late elder brother to promote the sport at Malawi Defence Force. Burial arrangements are yet to be made but it is very unlikely that he will be buried here in Malawi due to the Coronavirus pandemic which has halted flights in most countries,” Nkhoma said.
The late Nkhoma was born in 1965 and is survived by a wife and five children.
BEST Nkhoma, who signed for professional volleyball in UK after making a mark in Zambia, died from Coronavirus in the United Kingdom on Thursday.
He was at Kalomo Secondary School where his love for volleyball started before he dominated the game in Zambia.
He went on to play for Indeni Volleyball Club in Ndola and later signed a professional contract to play in the UK.
So far, three other Zambians have died from Coronavirus in the United States.