Hundreds of people led by acting Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa and FAZ president Andrew Kamanga and Zambia Army commander Lieutenant General Sitali Alibuzwi bade farewell to former Zambia National Team coach Colonel Brightwell Banda (retired).
Banda, who became the first indigenous Zambia National Team coach in 1976 had a decorated career at the helm of the KK11 that he led to CECAFA glory in 1984. He was also part of the 1982 bronze winning side at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Previously, he had understudied Yugoslav Ante Buselic who is best remembered for the 1974 AFCON silver medal.
Speaking on behalf of the government Kangwa described Banda as a patriot.
“The colonel served his country diligently with a lot of passion and patriotism. He transitioned the National Team coach position from Ante Buselic so smoothly without any problem and went on to serve to the best of his ability,” Kangwa said.
“He will be best remembered not only as the first Zambia National Team indigenous coach, but also as an intelligent, strategist and firm coach who brought glory to the country.”
Kangwa also thanked the Banda family for allowing the deceased to serve the game at the expense of his family.
“The government would like to thank the Banda family for allowing the colonel to serve the Zambian people for so many years as a football coach in many capacities. The colonel spent so much time away from the family just to ensure Zambia as a country progressed in the game of football,” he said.
The FAZ president allowed current coaches to emulate the spirit of hard work espoused by colonel Banda.
“He played different roles in the development of our game and remained loyal until his death. At FAZ, we incorporated him in the Technical Committee where his services were invaluable. In football, we choose to celebrate him and not mourn his loss,” Kamanga said.
“We celebrate the moments he mentored several players and administrators in his life. A good number of accomplished coaches, players, and administrators past through his hands. I am happy that among the mourners in this house are accomplished football minds that have turned up to send-off one of their own.”
He added: “To the local coaches gathered here, the challenge remains for you to take up the mantle of leading the various national teams to success. I am sure it is a kind of legacy that would make colonel Banda proud.”
Among the notable personalities that attended were former ministers General Ronnie Shikapwasha, Emmanuel Chenda, and former general secretary Ponga Liwewe. Others were former KK11 stars Peter Mh’ango, Lewis Shambulo, John Kaunda, Fred Mwila senior and Dean Mwiinde.
Colonel Banda died on Friday, aged 75 and was buried on Tuesday, August 30th at Leopards Hill Memorial Park.
(By FAZ Media)