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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Monday, 4 June 2012

Chipolopolo Stunner

Time to get back to the drawing board, we
have some wrinkles to iron out!
 Do not let the title of this post confuse you.  We were not the "Stunners" we were at AFCON earlier this year, what was stunner about our first World Cup qualifying match is that we lost in the most humiliating fashion to Sudan.  I cannot describe how I feel any better than with my Facebook status update after the stunner of a loss:

Chipolopolo check your aim: instead of shooting down hawks in the desert, you have wounded your own people! My heart is bleeding, this is not the way champions reach higher heights. You are with the big boys now, step it up!

You can see just how stunned (yes I keep using the word coz I mean we were just blindsided man!) the nation was by the articles like this one in the Lusaka Times.  We couldn't even write about the defeat in detail it was so painful.  For a full breakdown of the match you can read this article and SuperSport really added insult to injury by juxtaposing how Les Éléphants have bounced back from their runners-up effort at AFCON to win their first qualifing match 2-0 against Tanzania while we fell from grace 2-0 to Sudan :(.

When you are at the top, to stay there you need to work harder and keep improving and not rest on your laurels as everyone is gunning to topple you to prove they are the best!  And Sudan have brought us from heights that quite clearly have made us dizzy-drunk with glory that we have been blinded into thinking the World Cup qualification is going to just fall into our laps! Sudan made this sobering episode in our post-AFCON history even worse as they infuriatingly performed every dirty trick in the book to waste time, fake injury and slow play down in a myriad of ways.  Really they should be ashamed of themselves, that sort of play does not belong in football, it sullies the beautiful game...Drogba looks like a saint when compared to the actions of the Sudanese team on Saturday! To further describe the disappointment and rage my beloved national team invoked with their lacklustre performance, I quote excerpts of my whatsapp convo with SPORTS GUZA:

SPORTS GUZA (SG): Is the game on SuperSport? ZNBC has no picture!

MbA: No

SG: OMG! 1st game after AFCON and we get this?

MbA: It took so long for ZNBC to confirm they would have a feed so not surprised they mucked up

SG: Idiots

MbA: They do this for the Ghana game next week there'll be riots coz that game is more important

SG: Yeah and it's on home ground

MbA: Exactly no excuse

We then decided to have radio silence till the game was over but then after the 2nd goal SPORTS GUZA, who had enacted the silence was the first to break it:

SG: Ouchhhhhhhhhh this really sucks

MbA: Dude! This is pitiful, Renard is even subdued! AFCON has past we need to prove ourselves all over again and not rest on our laurels.  So frigging upset. I know we are playing away but jeez we have a full team

SG: Yup and it proves what I said all the teams we will be playing want to prove something

MbA: Of course when you are at the top everyone wants to pull you down.  You have to work even harder to stay at the heights after you have climbed up there!

SG: The national soccer team hasn't had any practice since our win, FAZ claimed they didn't need it...Instead they were busy running with the trophy all over the country

MbA: I'm so angry I could shoot these bullets with my own copper

SG: From your wiring in the house?

MbA: AFCON is gone we have a new challenge, the World Cup won't just drop in our laps from the sky! Ha ha ha foolish, I have my own mine.

Full time is called and we have lost 2-0 to Sudan.

MbA: No words. Will have to blog about this when I calm down!

SG: Do so tomorrow: Talk about the lack of preparedness i.e. no friendlies, arriving in Sudan at midnight the day of the match, experimental formation, trophy tour and next week...

MbA:  Dude I'm speechless, tomorrow I shall write and post Monday.  Ivorians, Ghanaians, Eygytians all off to good starts jeez!

I was rendered speechless, a state normally foreign to me, but now I have regrouped and although this loss was painful, we can bounce back and World Cup qualification is still within our reach.  WE CANNOT PLAY LIKE THIS AGAINST THE BLACK STARS NEXT WEEK!!!!! So here are some things for the team to ponder, rectify and/ or take into account to regroup and remember how to be champions before next Saturday at Levy Stadium in Ndola:

Coach Renard: Have you been spending too much time washing your white shirts with all the free Boom detergent you have been supplied with now that you endorse the brand and not enough time figuring out strategy? Is your shirt so blindingly white now that the one you were wearing on the sidelines obscured your view with brightness so you couldn't see how Sudan kwempad us coz I didn't see your usual frenetic shouting of direction and encouragement during the course of the match? I suggest you go back to AFCON ways, the detergent you were using before kept your shirts white and your coaching skills were not affected.

Christopher Katongo:  Though you did try to motivate by example as you did at AFCON you were still not as effective as you were in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  With 3 endorsements, I think that you have had too much money to spend so you think you have made it and do not need to do as much work now that you are a champion.  To stay a champion and a great leader you have to keep working hard so get it together.

Mayuka: Were you even on the pitch?!  

Mweene: That farm you have been given coupled with the free Pepsi you are getting from that endorsement deal are making you fat on chicken and soda. Plus I'm sure you are eating desert too with free Parmalat custard (though I don't blame you that stuff is crack and heaven in a carton)!  If that is not true, then how were you not agile enough to stop being hoodwinked not once but TWICE!!!! And the second time was worse, they caught you napping coz you were busy yapping!  My favourite Chipolopolo, please do not cause me pain, life is hard enough as it is...

The rest of you, what is your explanation?! Find out what went wrong and fix it!!!!  I shall be checking in on you next week...

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