Matilda Mwaba: 1957- 2021 MHSRIP

The Board and Management of NOWSPAR regret to announce the passing of our Founder and Executive Director Mrs Matilda Mwaba.

Mrs Mwaba died on Monday 11th January 2021 at the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues across the sports world.

Here we share a few highlights of nearly three decades of her career in sport practice, administration and advocacy.

In 2006, Ms Mwaba co-founded the National Organisation for Women in Sport Physical Activity and Recreation (NOWSPAR) where she was Chief Executive Officer until the time of her passing. NOWSPAR is a leading sport focused civil society organisation dedicated to the advancement of women’s rights to and through sport. She was Chairperson of the Women Sport Africa Network (WSAN), and a member of the Global Executive Board of the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) as representative for Africa.

She was Team Manager for Team Zambia to the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2004, she spearheaded theTalent Identification Program in 2011 in preparation for Zambia’s participation in the All Africa Games, led the Volunteer Management Committee during the Zone VI Games held in Zambia 2012.

A second Dan Judo Black belt holder, she was the first woman to be elected President of a national Judo Association and served from 1998 – 2005. Through this groundbreaking election, she was the first woman within the global martial art sport community to become president. She was also the first African Woman to head a national Judo Association. Other sports leadership portfolios she held include the Board of the National Sports Council of Zambia for 12 years, served on the Ministry of Youth and Sport Women’s Technical and Advisory Group, Board of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ), President of the International Kicking Aids Out Network, and member of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Gender Advisory Committee.

In the course of her career, she has been at the frontlines of advocating for the sport for development approach and gender equality in sport at different levels from National, Region, International forums. She has engaged in platforms including with traditional leaders, sports federations, Parliamentary Committee, African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Women’s Commission, Africa Women in Sport (AWISA), International Women’s Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG), United Nations, G8 and World Bank summits.

She was awarded three times as Sports Administrator of the year by the Rothmans Sports Award and National Sports Council of Zambia Awards. She also received an award from the Ministry of Youth and Sport, in recognition of contributions to the advancement of girls and women in Zambia.

In 2014, she was awarded by the AUSC Region 5 Sports Award presented by the Chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

In 2019, Ms. Mwaba was awarded the Presidential Insignia of Meritorious Achievement for her contribution to sport by the President of Zambia.

In 2020, she was inducted into the African Union Sports Council Region 5 (AUSC5) Hall of Fame.