Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Class of 2017: A generation that will not pass, till AFCON dream is fulfilled 

By James Sibeleki


At the dawn of the sun, I have to wake up and get on with my jogging routine.

With a lukewarm attitude. I wake up, all set, clad in my jogging attire with headphones planted on both ears.

FALLS  FM is the RADIO Station am tuned to and the presenter is the baritone FrankTalk, who happens to be my younger brother.

It has been traditional in Zambia that radio stations plays Chipolopolo boostele songs on the day the National team is in action and I am reminded of this because the playlist on FALLS FM Radio is inundated by Chipolopolo boostele songs.

Currently playing is MANGALO YACALO by Mozegeta of the Mimbulu Boys.

For many years, Mozegeta has been churning Chipolopolo booster music to Inspire masses on a match day. Indeed music and football are joined at the hip.

Ahead of today’s encounter, the Chipolopolo boys only need a point against their old nemesis Ivory Coast, whom they defeated in 2012 to win the Africa Cup of the nations.

There is a glowing belief that Zambia will replicate their 2012 AFCON result and qualify to the blannual tournament which has aluded them since 2015.

Throughout this day Chipolopolo boostele songs are dominating on various radio stations across the country.

PUTENI CHIMWELA by the Sakala brothers is the song I am currently listening on Zambezi FM Radio station-formerly owned by the now late Swithin Hangala and brother to Smoke Hangala.

At the end of the song, there is Dennis Liwewe’s commentary, therein narrates the Zambian football story and reminds us that a World Cup qualification is the part missing to complete the jigsaw.

You can not talk about Zambian Football minus mentioning Dennis who is unequivocally the G.O.A.T in as far as football commentary is concerned.

Akin to the Brits’ Peter Drury, Dennis charmed us with his radio and T.V commentary.

It is perplexing as to why nothing palpable has been done in honour of this fallen giant. He must been turning in his grave.

Last year, i watched the National Sports Award and a thought came across my mind that we should borrow a leaf from the BBC Kumla Dumor Award, named after an erstwhile Ghanaian Journalist.

The Award was recently scooped by Diamond TV Presenter Jonah Dingindaba Buyoya.

We can replace Dennis’s name somewhere in the men’s Sports Journalist of the year category in honour of his legacy.

Back to the Crux of this day. At exactly 15:00 CAT, Ethiopian Referee Blake Tassema kicks off proceedings underway at the miginificent Levy Patrick Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

The opening 20 minutes turns out to be a nightmare for the hosts. Ivory Coast takes charge of the match with Zambia goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga keeping them at bay.

Surprisingly out of nothing, Leicester City striker Patson Daka forces the Ivorians to score an own goal and sends a fully packed Levy Mwanawasa stadium into bliss.

In the second half, the 2017 CAF Young Player of the Year beat two towering defenders to score Zambia’s second goal.

It is no wonder Leceister have decided to keep him at the club after their relegation from the top tier of English Football.

Emmanuel Banda another Class of 2017 U-20 AFCON winning squad tutored by Beston Chambeshi; the Belgium based midfielder brilliantly slots in the ball in the back of the net from a Fashion Sakala left operated wing to cement Zambia’s qualification and return to the most coveted showpiece on this continent.

As our Republican President, Hakainde Hichilema’s catchphrase: Zambia Is Back In The League Of Nations.


Since winning the 2017 U-20 Africa of the nations, the Beston Chambeshi tutored squad was widely seen as the fold to take over the mantle from the 2012 AFCON winning team.

However, after back to back facepalm moments it was almost seen as though this generation may just fade minus setting their foot at the major AFCON.

The now retired Enock Mwepu, Patson Daka, Fashion Sakala and Emmanuel Banda have been laying down the marker in the European major leagues on the behalf of the Class of 2021. It was going to be unfair that this generation just fade without qualifying to the major AFCON.

Once again the “Stand and Sing Zambia Proud and Free” National Anthem can now be serenaded at AFCON; the competition which was turning out to be elusive but in the past our birthright.

As the proverbial catchphrase gisfas “This Generation shall not fade, till these things [AFCON dream] are fulfilled.

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  1. I’m disappointed with FAZ wrangling with Nali at the last minute.
    Why don’t we resolve issues before tournaments. If you think a player is faining injury carry out thorough tests & reveal test results openly not verbally. If she is truly injured what is there to hide.

  2. Fashion Sakala is the one who forced the own goal by Aurier and Kangwa scored the third goal, Emanuel Banda assisted.

  3. The team must find a proper right back not chepeshi and another reserve in this department for them to do well at the tournament And for world cup qualifiers.

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