Malawi international Tabitha Chawinga has revealed that her utmost dream is to one day win the African Women's Footballer of The Year Award after her historic feat in the Italian Serie A.
Chawinga, who is on a season-long loan from Chinese champions Wuhan, scored 23 goals in 21 games for the Nerazzurri and becomes the first African woman to win the golden boot in Italy.
Her latest feat also means she becomes the only African woman to win the league golden boot in three countries abroad after finishing as the top scorer once in Sweden and thrice in China.
The incredible feat on her return to European football after six years in China left the 27-year-old striker emotional.
"I feel honoured but I am more humbled by the reaction from the African continent and my fellow countrymen and women in Malawi," Chawinga told CAFOnline.com.
"I am simply honored to have been bestowed a gift to play football and to share this gift with the world. It's a humbling experience for a young girl like me coming from one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi.
"I thank Africa and my country Malawi for the unwavering support and for celebrating me on this feat. And I will most definitely continue carrying the African and Malawi flag in my future exploits. This means I can aim beyond the sky. So I look forward to more challenges in the game of football."
Chawinga, who made a goalscoring debut for Inter Milan in a 4-1 win over Parma on August 28, 2022, grabbed her 23rd goal of the season in a 2-1 defeat at Roma on May 20, 2023.
With 23 goals, the Malawi captain ended the campaign eight goals ahead of her closest rival, and Juventus’ Cristiana Gireli and she admitted it was her dream come true.
"My goal was to help the team to finish in the top two places on the Serie A table and as a forward that meant scoring many goals and winning matches," she admitted.
"So yes my goal was to win at a personal level (top scorer) and team level. I am very glad to achieve it."
The Malawian star had been nominated on four previous occasions for the Africa Women's Player of the Year gong but eventually missed out despite her incredible successes.
Despite the setback in the African prize race, the Malawi captain refused to lose sweat as she remains hopeful her time will come.
"I was born with a gift. My duty has been to nurture the gift and nurturing a gift requires a willingness to continue learning and improving," she continued.
"So I am focused, I work hard, I am a team player, and always willing to learn and be exposed to new developments and skills in football.
"Every player should desire to get that [African Women's Player of the Year] award. My eyes remain fixed on the prize. All in good time, my hands remain expectant whilst I continue to play good football."
Following her latest achievement, the product of the Malawian club DD Sunshine offers some inspiring messages to young African girls while sharing the work ethic behind her success.
"I want to tell every young girl out there that every status quo can be challenged. Look beyond your current situations and believe in possibilities," Chawinga enthused.
"My focus is to ensure my mind, body, and soul are in a tranquil state for optimal productivity. So I engage in exercise and acts that give me that tranquil state daily. This has had profound effects on my career as far.
"I will dedicate this to less privileged girls in Malawi and across Africa. Let my achievement help every less privileged girl believe in possibilities for themselves. Your poverty, challenges, and problems can be overcome."