Do you know who in Zambia were at one time the Muhammad Ali of Boxing, the Pele of the country or the greatest soccer player, or who was the best long distance runner? The easy to read book Zambia Sporting Score by Moses Sayela Walubita is what you urgently need at this point in our proud nation’s history.
Moses Sayela Walubita, Zambia Sporting Score: A Period of Hits and Misses, Bloomington, IN: iUniverse Publishers, First Published in Zambia 1990, 2011, pp. 219, $18.95. K98,000.00, Paper. All Zambians everywhere held their collective breath just before Stophira Sunzu of the Zambian Football team Chipolopolo boys kicked the penalty. When he scored to make the penalties 8-7 to beat Ivory Coast, pandemonium broke, wild celebrations, jubilation took place on the field and all over Zambia and among well-wishers everywhere. Most of us did not go to bed until the wee hours of the morning. Zambia had just won the most prestigious soccer cup trophy on the continent: The Africa Cup of Nations. This cup had eluded the nation since Independence from British Colonialism in 1964. During all the celebrations, Zambians have remembered the National Soccer team that perished in 1993 in a plane crash in Gabon. This may be the right time to ask all Zambians whether we know enough about our Zambian heroes in not just football or soccer, but many other sports. Do you know who in Zambia were at one time the Muhammad Ali of Boxing, the Pele of the country or the greatest soccer player, or who was the best long distance runner? The easy to read book Zambia Sporting Score by Moses Sayela Walubita is what you urgently need at this point in our proud nation’s history. ZAMBIA SPORTING SCORE describes Zambian achievements in 16 sports in such well known and popular sports as Soccer, Boxing, and Athletics but also less popular sports in Zambia including Netball, Volleyball, Table and Lawn Tennis, Golf and many others. The book describes sports in the Southern African country of Zambia from the 1950s when the country was a British colony of Northern Rhodesia. It describes Zambia’s greatest sports personalities, team sports, and their achievements.
In the country’s number one sport of soccer, the book describes the performances of such Zambia’s legendary players as “Ucar” Godfrey Chitalu; who is perhaps Zambia’s best and most dazzling soccer player ever. Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu and Kalusha Bwalya will forever be etched in the history of soccer and sports in Zambia and beyond. Chitalu is by far Zambian’s equivalent to Pele of Brazil soccer great. Chitalu in one soccer season in 1972 scored 107 goals facing stiff premier club and international defenses. Chitalu was a deadly striker who left goalkeepers sprawled on the ground diving to save his shots. He was Zambia’s scoring machine long before the era of Kalusha Bwalya, the 1988 Africa Footballer-of the Year.
Zambia’s greatest Boxer Lottie Mwale, with a ring name of “Kaingo” (the Leopard), used to pack the 30,000 seat Independence Stadium in Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka. Mwale had dynamite punches and at the height of his dominant career travelled to the United States of America twice as contender of the World Light-heavyweight champion. Unfortunately he lost to former world light-heavyweight champions Matthew Saad Muhammad and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad for the title. Mwale was the only Zambian boxer capable of fighting with intelligence, clean style, and strength. He usually knocked out his opponents who fell without staggering. Zambians burst into celebrations soon after the victories by “the Leopard” who moved stealthily around the canvass – and when he attacked, it was with lightning speed, which currently Zambian Woman boxing icon Esther Phiri is emulating. Samuel Matete competed in the US in track and dominated 400m hurdles becoming its world Champion in the 1990s. Zambia produced the greatest and legendary long-distance runner in Yotham Muleya in the 1950s and 60s. From an early age, Yotham Muleya chased calves into submission. He also excelled in ‘Kamando’ (a form of wresting). Athletics came to him naturally. Sadly, Yotham Muleya died in a car accident when he came to the United States of America to compete.
I would strongly recommend this book for educators, scholars, teachers, or coaches of sports history. This book can also be used to understand the impact of sports in creating national unity and globalization. Whatever your age and where you are today as a Zambian someone who is very interested in Zambia, I strongly recommend that you buy this book with pride for yourself, your family, daughters and sons, friends, and may be to show your grandchildren and visitors in your home.