Friday, June 14, 2024

Throwback Thursday: Kapambwe ‘Gentile’ Mulenga

Kapambwe ‘Gentile’ Mulenga – One of Zambia’s most eccentric football players. Nicknamed “Gentile”, due to his crude, tough, strong, tenacious, aggressive, ruthless, and uncompromising defending which was likened to Italy and Juventus strongman Claudio Gentile.

Gentile would send the crowd roaring at Nkana with his antics on and off the pitch.

He played for Nkana and had a stint at Power Dynamos. He made his name at Nkana where he won seven league titles and was in the Nkana squad that lost in the final of the CAF Club Competition in 1990 to JS Kabylie in Lusaka.

He made his national team debut on 29th July 1984 in a game against Uganda which Zambia won 3 – 0 in Ndola.

He went on to represent Zambia at the 1986, 1990 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments but was not named in the team that played at the 1992 tournament.

However, when the Zambia national team was rebuilt following the Gabon Air disaster, he made the team to the 1994 finals at which he won a silver medal.

His last game for Zambia was in the 1994 final against Nigeria which Zambia lost 2 – 1.

He died early 1996 after a short illness in Kitwe, Zambia.

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  1. Player is: Robert Watiyakeni!… pali bola my goodness, that why abena Kalu would shine and have fun because the knew that the defense was solid. Kula dwibblila fye.

  2. The player in the picture should be samuel Chomba-Kabwe warriors.He used to play no.6 sometimes at club level,very tough and strong on the ball.He was’nt easily dispossesed of the ball and was good in aerial tussles.Basamulya akafulo kuli young and energetic Robert Watyakeni

  3. The player in the picture is Samuel Chomba and not Robert Watyakeni. I know Watyakeni as I grew up with him in Chingola when he played for Nchanga Rangers.

    Choma played club football for Kabwe Warriors F.C. before moving to Nkana Red Devils in Kitwe. He also played for Dynamos of South Africa.

    • After analysing the pic once again, this is NOT Samuel Chomba. Looks like Kapambwe Mulenga but again, Gentile was not centre back, but left full back. Gentile died from natural causes and not in the Gabon Air disaster.

    • Did Kapambwe Mulenga die in the Gabon Air Disaster? Gentile died from natural causes. That was a thought that came to mind due to the resemblance of this guy to gentile. Moreover Gentile was not a center back, but a left full back.

  4. The player in the picture looks like Kapambwe Mulenga to me. He was not a center back but left full back and later after recovering from a lenghthy injury shifted to midfield. He played for Nkana and had a short stint with Power.

  5. The player in the picture is neither Samuel Chomba, Robert Watiyakeni or even Kapambwe Mulenga. in fact the picture and the text do not match up. looking at the jersey this picture looks like it was taken way before i started watching Zambia football. if i would guess i would say the game in the picture is from 1982 afcon in Tunisia. i have no idea who the player is. All i can say is he was never part of the Gabon disaster as player (maybe as a coach), therefore there is no way he partnered Estone Mulenga in central defense.

    • I can agree with you on this one. This player in the pic reminds me of the late great Jack Chanda, popularly known as the African Pele.

  6. Yep, Kapambwe Mulenga looks accurate. I don’t think he formed the best defensive partnership with Estone Mulenga though, nor did he die in the Gabon disaster. Kapambwe Mulenga wasn’t even a starter after Gabon. Watyakeni and Samuel Chomba were ahead of him in the pecking order to partner Eston Mulenga. Looks like the clues are abit off.

  7. Ba Amos and others that say Gentile Kapambwe Mulenga (left back and later defensive midfielder starting in the 1994 final against Nigeria-but Okocha, Kaduna Bull Amokachi and Sunday Oliseh were too much for him and Linos Makwaza, John Lungu missed final due to yellow cards like Abedi Pele did 2 years before versus Cote)

  8. Bane I am suprised there are several wrong answers. You cannot seriously mistaken Gentile, Kapambwe Mulenga for Samuel Chomba.

  9. We were misled by the information provided by Zamfoot about this player. That’s why wrong answers were flying around. Gentile was NEVER in the 1993 Gabon Air Disaster squad. Also, he was not center back but left full back.

  10. If i can recall Gentile played all defensive positions, all midfield positions and once played as a makeshift striker too!!…only mu chi goal

  11. its gentile, you can tell from the teeth. he once boasted to kalu that he was more popular since every were they went, his name gents was written on mens bathrooms.

  12. Gents can anyone point out where in this article it says Gentile died in the Gabon disaster? Where’s that coming from?

  13. But why did you state yesterday that he perished in the Gabon disaster-kulufya abantu be serious with your reporting

  14. Gentlemen the man in the picture is definitely Kapabwe Mulenga. I grew up watching the man. He had a very good football brain. He was a natural talent. Used to play as left back just and later in his late age switched to Central midfield(number 6).

  15. Ba Gentile was one of the few guys who could sometimes contain players like Kalusha Bwalya, who was a terror during his hey days. Every defender in Zambia feared facing Kalusha. Even guys like Lucky “Mwana wakwitu” Msiska who was also a dribbling wizard had a torrid time facing Kapambwe.
    He is one guy that could speak his mind out. Though he was limited when it came to speaking “the Queens language”. Well respected by all during his playing days.
    He died after a short illness and not in the Gabon Disaster.
    I personally rate him as the best left back to have ever worn the National colours.

  16. One of my heroes from Kitwe! We watched most of his games and he was a man. One of the greatest overlapping fullbacks Nkana ever produced! (We enjoyed their mastery overlaps – with John Kalusa on 2, Kapambwe on 3, and even Ba Fighton as #5 who would score in corner situations). He was converted by Ba Coach to position 6 and he did well there just as his traditional position of 3. What a man he was!

  17. This is KAPAMBWE MULENGA! I knew Nkana players like the back of my hand! I lived next to the stadium at Nkana flats and watched nearly all Nkana matches when in Kitwe from the 70’s through 90’s. Case closed!

  18. Yes kapambwe mulenga was simply the best left full back zambia has ever produced. He was a graduate when in the pit. He would read and maintain the game. He played like a prayer couch. He would overlap were necessary. He would even score. He used common sense once in the pit. He was a soccer genius. MHSRIEP. Amen!

  19. Sometimes he would come “late” on purpose on the pitch and the mood in the stadium was solemn because “Where is Kapambwe?” people would be asking with great concern since everyone wanted to watch him. Then as the team started taking positions and the referee was inspecting them Kapambwe would come running on the pitch fast and the stadium would go crazy with great applause and the Nkana fans would go, “Gentile! Gentile! Gentile!” That was Nkana!

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