Thursday, March 1, 2012


To some it is a game played and a game won. Since in every competition at least one team should emerge as a winner and the victorious team has to go away joyously. So, the Zambian team went away jubilating for having won the game and never loosing in all the games they played.
Mwene saving Zambia at the AFCON cup final

To others this was a Southern African ‘small team’ that survived the jaws of the giants; Ghana, Cameroon etc… in as far as football was concern. The Zambian players were called ‘Under Dogs’ but to the surprise of many people, it turned out to be the other way round.

But what else could be said about the AFCON with the Zambian team emerging as the winner?

Herve Renard talking to Nkausu
We can actually talk about hard work and determination that the boys portrayed during the matches. They devoted themselves to prayer and devotions to God while in camp and they also trained very hard with the coach Herve Renard. Memories about the Zambian football flashes back: I mean good and short passes that characterized Zambian football back in memorial when players like Derby Makinka, John Soko, Estone Mulenga, Timothy Mweetwa, Wisdom Chansa, were in full form and Dennis Liwewe could not help it but make a chorus out of the boy’s names as the ball passed from one man’s skilled legs to the other, running upfront to the opponent’s goal post with the necessary stubbornness.

It was once again happening with the Zambian new team spear headed by Christopher Katongo, showing what the world had almost forgotten about Zambian football. Indeed the Zambian footballers stood against their competitors with enthusiasm and triumphed. They had a tough game with Ghana in the Semi Finals and we were really outplayed but we indeed managed to win and move to the finals. I could hear the Zambian coach Herve Renard shouting on top of his voice as Zambia was playing trying to instruct the players on what to do as I watched the match with my wife and young sisters at home.

Drogba, after missing a penalty
 May I mention here that at this moment, the names of those who died in a plane crush suddenly registered in my mind as they died on my 10th birthday in 1993. Yes, so vividly that I felt like ‘the boys’ were playing that I …and I…as I watched the match. I couldn’t believe it, but the salt taste in my mouth. Indeed the boys brought the trophy home in memory of the 18 players that perished on the 28th April 1993 in Gabon.

The other thing that can be said about the last match when Zambia finally played Ghana is that, this time around the team was not ready for anything less than a win. They showed a unity of purpose. Chamanga was made to play in the first half and Mayuka was brought in the second half as a substitute and he is the one that scored to take Zambia to the finals.

Zambian players, waiting as they take penalties
The boy’s achievement can be defined as the total some of every player’s effort. Here we can stress the point that unity of purpose is not only about the common task at hand but how the members of a team or a group believes shall all be when the team overcomes the challenges or the opponents. The team ‘won’ before it could actually win so that it was not read to lose the won. In case you are wondering what I mean here dear reader; you see, there must be harmony between what you are thinking and how you feel and how you act. The leg must be well informed, and well energized to kick the ball in the right direction. But to do this in a team it entails one to think about what to usher in at the right time. Thanks to the motivators of this team.
Zambian players celebrating

The nation felt more united and for those who could not talk to each other at least postponed their grudges. The victory fever intoxicated everybody and the lesson was learned; that the common good can be used to make people more united if there is any chance to do so.

2012 AFCON Winners (Zambia's Chipolopolo boys)


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