– The 3 times when he rescued Zambia.

Like I said by many that when nothing new exceeds the old, the old gets retold and so is my piece of writing today.

With Zambia failing to qualify for the Afcon tournament consisting of 24 teams which is almost half the continent of Africa and i draw to old positve stories about Zambia football – The greatness of Kalusha Bwalya.

I would pick many stories but for time and space, here are my three favourite times when Kalusha Bwalya showed his greatness and came to the rescue of the nation.

Zimbabwe Vs Zambia (Rufaro Stadium).

Two months after the demise of the our national team on July 23rd in 1993, Zambia was locked in a do or die African cup qualifying encounter against neighboring Zimbabwe, a derby recently famed “The Zambezi Derby.” With only one team qualifying from group 5 which boasted Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius, and Zambia leading by a point before the game and trailing one goal to nil courtesy of Bristol Rovers defender Henry Mckop’s goal which would have taken Zimbabwe a point ahead of Zambia. All hope lost and Zambia on the verge of a double tragedy of losing its team and failing to qualify for Afcon 94, Kalusha rose so high to score a header to level the game 1all in the 80th minute that secured Zambia a spot at the 1994 tournament.

Zambia vs Gabon (Independence Stadium).
April 8th, 1995.

The last game in group 5 of the 1996 Africa cup of nations qualifiers consisting Gabon, Mauritius, South Africa who became hosts, Madagascar and Seychelles who withdrew, Zambia found themselves trailing Gabon by two points on the last day of the qualification campaign. Having managed only two wins against minnows Mauritius and lost 2-1 to the Parfait Odongo led team, there was need for redemption at Independence Stadium. With a shambolic display characterizing that day’s play, the home fans had been quieted like a radio on mute, the usual Chipolopolo iyeee song unheard as many trooped out of the stadium in frustration. Kalusha took matters personally, driving forward and in the commentary of late Dennis Liwewe took a 360 degree turn then shot low to score a goal in the 83rd minute that leveled the group points to qualify the country to Afcon 1996. To this day, this remains the only moment in the history of Zambian football where the number of fans at the end of the game superseded that of those who had initially entered the stadium.

Zambia vs Liberia (Independence Stadium).
September 4th,2004.

Having only garnered four points out of a possible nine after three games played and seemingly destined for a draw in the fourth game against Liberia that would have complicated Zambia’s quest for qualification, Kalusha then head coach of Zambia took matters in his own hands and made a three men substitution that included himself, Harry Milanzi and Christopher Katongo in the 68min. With the game tied zero zero in the 91st minute, Kalu took a free kick and scored from it taking Zambia within a point of the top teams and ensured we still stayed in contention for a spot at both the Africa and World cup.

With such feats and displays for mother Zambia, we could talk and hate him for whatsoever reasons justified and unjustified but none of the reasons will erase these great memories nor take away his greatness.
He earned it and it is etched forever!!!

Long Live Forever King Kalu!!!

Happy Easter Weekend!

Mbanga Irvine, Ilukui.
Fayetteville, Arkansas.


  1. No one argues with the greatness of Kalusha Bwalya during his footballing days, we all knew that with him in the team, Zambia was able to climb mountains, but after those great days, what has he done to keep his legacy intact, my advise to all those with a glittering past is that using ones past to cut corners to leadership does not work out in these modern times, but if you use the past to go into leadership using established procedures, it works wonders. However if you did make mistakes in the past, it is always proper to first admit those wrongs and ask for forgiveness before moving forward, because if one tries to conceal past wrongs and still wants to lead, then people will deduce that one has not repented yet. This also applies to any form of leadership, politics included, you can not harm people and then bring them food in order for you to buy your way out into harming them again, that does not work out in perpetuity because their comes a time when people see through you and plot your final grave.


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