Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Why Chipolopolo! Why!!

I am in so much pain that I just want to scream, cry and shout at this moment. We have been knocked off our pedestal as the champions of Africa. I almost never watched the final game because I felt that I could not handle the emotion. So I began preparing myself for an exit before the Burkina Faso game. I am so glad I did that. This is not a piece about encouragement, if that is what you are looking for I would advise you to stop reading now. For this is a piece by a frustrated, a very frustrated BROTHA.

The chaps go in camp for over a month, spend my tax payers money in hotels and globetrot from Saudi Arabia to Tanzania and South Africa. We dangle US$90, 000 in front of their eyes. All they had to do was sneeze and we gave them what they required. We supported them with every breath and sweat our bodies could release. And WOW! What do the lads go and do, put up such an appalling display.

I do not care if you play beautiful football, slick passes, artistic dribbling, have 61% ball possession, give me BLOODY GOALS!!!!!! Is that too much to ask? We go to South Africa our beloved backyard so we say and we go and draw all our matches. I can excuse the chaps for the Nigeria draw but to draw with Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, are you kidding me. Chipolopolo I am gravely disappointed and I hope each one of you reads this blog.

To the players when you represent as the Zambia National Team, please understand that you are a team, and not the bunch of selfish fellows that you paraded yourselves as in the first two games. What nonsense was that? There is what we call passing the ball in football. I guess that lesson is slowly losing its value in you. Our strikers iye sure.  Where is the power in legs? There is a serious drought in that department. You call fluffs as shots. The chances we created all went begging. I am tired of watching a game of ohhhhhs and ahhhhhs. Give me something to celebrate.

After you were booted out, not a single one of you shed a tear. Show me some passion and that you really wanted it. I hope that when you went to your rooms you cried. I hope you cried real hard because you broke my heart. Reflect on this moment and missed opportunity for a long time. May the disappointment still linger in your minds for a long time to come; so that the next time you step onto that pitch it is not only for YOU. It is for all the faithful fans of Chipolopolo.  I think I am entering into an episode of depression; I may need psychological help to get through this phase.

Iwe Herve Renard, thank you for making us win the AFCON 2012 but do not bank on that victory forever. You know us Zambians we forget quickly and if things don’t improve we will show you the door. The signs were smacking you in the face and you did not do anything about it. We survived by the skin of our buttocks against Uganda, lost to Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Angola, and drew with Morocco and Norway. Clearly results that champions cannot be proud of. What is even more annoying is that you kept giving me hope that Chipolopolo will make it to the quarters. Quarter final yanga ili kuti? I think it is about time that you did some pruning and inject some new and hungry blood into that team. Retire some of those old fellows they have served their country well. Please allow them to retire with dignity before we push them out.

It will take me a long time to get over this disappointment. I hope you really feel the tons of disappointments we have and I pray that you confess that you did not do your best. We have seen your best when you won the AFCON 2012. You owe us an apology each and every one of you owe mother Zambia an apology. We might just forgive you for this shortcoming if you qualify us to the world cup, so you can still redeem yourselves. Oh by the way, this is not for you Kennedy Mweene, you were outstanding.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Chipolopolo Draw Opener, Pullout Your Calculators

The African Cup of Nations did not begin on Saturday 19 January 2013, for me it actually began on Monday 21 January 2013. It was the day the defending champions, Chipolopolo would open their campaign to defend their title against the minnows Ethiopia. How ironic that we are beginning to consider other teams minnows, when 11 months we were in the same category. There was much anticipation leading to this match because even though we as fans were cautious, we expected the likes of Christopher Katongo, Rainford Kalaba, Stophilla Sunzu and Collins Mbesuma aka King David to bulldoze their way to three points. Well King David did actually bulldoze his way to a goal, but that is all we wrote.
This was supposed to be a game we should have finished, buried and sealed with titanium given the flurry of chances that we had. The entire nation was hoping for that, we left work in good time, endured the traffic and had our vuvuzelas in hand and what do Chipolopolo go and do, put up that display. Yes, I am disappointed and it is actually hurting. I think it is about time we started writing the obituary for this Chipolopolo at this AFCON. I know many people will call be a doomsayer, a pessimist, a ball of negative energy. Go ahead, I don’t care. Anyone who takes my heart on rollercoaster ride like that, and leaves me feeling as if the world just ended deserves every inch of my frustrated mind.

First of how did we just draw that game?  We drew but it very much feels like a loss. First Mr. Reliable, Kennedy Mweene saves a penalty, Ethiopia has a man sent off, Mbesuma scores before the stroke of half-time. The football gods were definitely doing us some favours, but what did we do with that? We drew. Clearly the spark of 2012 was gone it was not there in whatever shape or fashion. It was more of individualistic performances and selfishness than team spirit that was paraded before us. I am sure a number of them want to shine in their own glory so that the European clubs can come knocking on their door. I am no football analyst so I will not care to state whether Herve Renard’s tactics were miscalculated or the substitutions were wrong. It is not my concern at the moment. When I sit in front of a television to watch my beloved Chipolopolo, all I want is a win. I do not care how we get it red cards, penalties, hand balls, just give me a win.

Let me also take this opportunity to talk about that jersey the boys were wearing. It is ugly. No more needs to be said than that. It is a far cry from the exquisite green and side-striped jersey that we won the trophy in. I do not know who is responsible for designing that tragedy of a piece of clothing. Someone in the design department of Nike should be fired. The jersey looks like something made in a high school tailoring class. I will stick to the green and side-striped jersey until Nike and FAZ get their act together.

While I was spitting venom into this piece Nigeria and Burkina Faso were playing. When Nigeria scored the first goal in the 22nd minute my heart died a little. I was already seeing our tombstone. Then the football gods did us one last favour, Burkina Faso equalised in the last minute of extra time. The Chipolopolo boys have been given another chance to redeem themselves and let’s pray they take it with both hands. So for now the calculators can stay where they are, we might have to make use of them later in the final game if Chipolopolo do not play like champions.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Only Liars Make New Year's Resolution

            We are back to that time of the year again, where the majority of people lie to themselves that they will live better lives. We will exercise more, complain less, get closer to God, finally propose, quit our boring jobs and get rid of everything else that is an inconvenience in our lives. Almost everyone has some kind of resolution for this year, whether one chooses to write them or not, it is their decision. Let us not deceive ourselves, resolutions are all nice to talk about but in reality we will be lucky if we even achieve half of them.

            Yes I hate to put a dampener on your jolly happy year, forget about those prosperous and happy new years you received. They are just words and in case you haven’t yet realised it, words are a lot easier to dish out than actions. So I will try to bring it back into perspective and give you a reality check. This year is not going to be better than last year. Come next year this time around, the chances that you will probably have the same resolutions will probably be high. The one thing that will certainly change is your age that I can guarantee anything else I wouldn’t bet my life on it.
            Do not be discouraged by this news, you are just one of the billions of people in the world who make resolutions and who fail to achieve any of them. I have no idea what you hope to achieve this year, lose weight, pray more, get rich or finally hand in that resignation letter. Spare yourself the disappointment you are unlikely to achieve any of them. It is not that you do not have it in you to accomplish your resolutions; it is just that you can’t. Like the rest of the overzealous individuals who write their plans and even have themes for the year, you will do what pretty much everyone else does- procrastinate.
            When January is done and dusted you will convince yourself that you still have 11 months to start working on your resolutions, by April you will scold yourself slightly and allow yourself to believe that your still have time. By the time October breezes through you will psyche yourself and even say that it is not how you start but how you finish, yeah right. Before you realise, it will be 31 December and you will be counting down to the new year where you will contemplate writing a New Year’s Resolution.
            Clearly, why do you have to wait for 1 January to change something about your life? Surely if you were really serious and committed to change something about your life, you would not wait for New Year’s Day to do so. It is not like some miracle or supernatural event happens on 1 January. If we remove the fireworks and the fact that it is a public holiday it is just an ordinary day. For the love of excuses we use New Year resolutions as a tipping point for our lives. So each year we continue making the same resolutions over and over again. Let us continue to lie to ourselves that we can be better, wiser, smarter, and happier if we make New Year resolutions.
            I am not stopping you from making your New Year resolutions they are good if you follow through, but we all know the truth. When we ring in 2014 you will ask yourself what happened to the year gone by and the resolutions unachieved. You will have a resolution on your 2014 resolution list to accomplish your resolutions for that year and the cycle will continue. If this will be the case, why should we care about resolutions once again?