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Are legends immune to criticism when in the wrong?

LIVINGSTONE – I am not much of a boxing fan but I know a good boxer when I see one. Much like Kalusha Bwalya is a legend in football, Joseph “No pressure” Chingangu was one hell of a good boxer.

Sadly, the former African Boxing Union heavyweight champion has now turned into a petty thief. On 30 July 2018, he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for theft and assault by the Lusaka Magistrate Court.

Has any one of you scribes penned even a less than 200 words article, commiserating with our boxing icon as you have done for Kalusha Bwalya? Is the former more of a legend than King Kalu? Why are you trying to sway consensus by using his legendary status? His legendary status in the pantheon of Zambian football remains intact, but that shouldn’t forestall us from excoriating our legends when they do wrong.

Don’t get me wrong. I neither celebrate Christmas nor is it Christmas for me when our legends are in a predicament. It is Un-African even where I come from in Southern province, Kalomo district in Siachitema Village; the Sibeleki family. Sorry, I don’t seem to remember the name of our headman because I have not set foot in my Village since 2004.

We do not dance in euphoria on the tomb of anyone, much less our legends. But when our grandfathers are caught practicing witchcraft resulting in deaths of many people in the village, we excoriate them hoping for their repentance. After all, all have sinned, key reason why Jesus Chris came down on earth and died for our sins.

Meanwhile, I wish Kalusha Bwalya nothing but success as he seek to appear against his FIFA ban. Even though he has blocked me on Twitter. He remains my legend. Only my mother can tell you how much I loved watching this legend during his playing days.

My parent could not afford to own a Television set at home in Mawaya Compound in Kalomo. So we would only watch football from the market place, and there was only one guy who had a TV. A black and white TV. We paid either cash or one bottle of Fanta drink to watch our national team playing, on ZNBC. There was no Melinda that time.

I envy Children of nowadays. Today almost every home has access and can afford the access bouquet of DSTV or GOTV. Times have changed indeed.

Good bless you all.

[James Sibeleki is a football scribe of longstanding, avid about the beautiful game in Africa. He is based in Zambia – in the beautiful City of Livingstone. You can follow him on Twitter at @SibelekiJames.]

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