Blog: We should have a stadium named after Kalu
I am critical with the common tendency of naming stadiums after politicians. You can do that in other areas, such as National Airports, while stadiums should carry the names of legends, among them Kalusha Bwalya.
In some parts of the world, naming rights of the stadium are awarded to and branded by companies. Vodafone stadium in Lusaka is the Zambian example of what I am talking about.
It is becoming a norm in Africa to honour former footballers whose archives are massive by naming a stadium. A Zambian top tier side, Kabwe Warriors converted their home ground’s name from Rail ways to that of their legend–Godfrey Ucar Chitalu–holder of the world scoring record in a year with 107 goals, but unrecognized by FIFA.
In Uganda, there is a Philip Omondi stadium to amass respect on the Cranes and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) legend. South Africa have the Lucas “Masterpiece” Moripe Stadium.
Back home, Kalusha Bwalya’s archives are indispensable. He remains the only footballer in Southern Africa to have been crowned African player of the year, in 1988.
As if that is not enough, hitherto, he is the African Olympics football top scorer, were he netted the famous hatrick against Italy.
“King Kalu” as he is fondly called might have not put his hands on the Africa Cup of the Nations during his playing days, but, it will take centuries to match his records.
I know others have called for a statue to be erected in the name of Kalusha Bwalya, something which is farfetched, I reckon. A stadium is befitting for this legend.
It is true that many were not fans of Kalusha Bwalya as the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president; but this does not erase his archives as a footballer. More importantly, this should not crowd our minds as to why this legend should not be honored.
Imagine this, Chipolopolo and the Super Eagles of Nigeria facing off at the Kalusha Bwalya International Stadium in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. It’d definitely be one way of preserving the name of this legend for posterity sake.
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