By Bwezani Mbewe
Legendary tennis player Pete “Pistol” Sampras when he won the 14 grand slams at the Wimbledon to make it 7 Wimbledon titles, once said these records being set maybe may not be broken by his nemises in that era. But went on to say some kid somewhere playing tennis in the park will come break them.
He did know too well, that the kid he was talking about would beat him to stop him from winning another grand slam title. The kid is now an active tennis legend on Roger Federer, the Swiss maestro. The difference in age is about 10 years between the two.
So the Zambian football legend story goes. Few clubs dominated the league title status for many years. And amongst them two stand out. That is Nkana FC, the team that probably changed official club names more than once. And another side in Mufulira Wanderers. And remotely here and there we got the jinx broken sometimes by the likes of Green Buffaloes, Zanaco, Power Dynamos, Kabwe Warriors etc.
But historians back in the day would have crucified anyone who had dared said these records set out by Nkana and Mufulira Wanderers might be threatened especially by a club like Zesco United. Because Zesco United the Ndola based outfit didnt seem to have serious interest in the football powerhousing at the time. Maybe Zanaco, GBFC or Magnificent Kabwe Warriors had shown stamina to dislodge them
So when the 2007 season was starting Zesco United had not won any league title. Between Nkana and Wanderers they shared a combined 20 titles. 11 and 9 respectively. And my words these two clubs are folded. They are still active in the football world.
ZANACO had four titles. The rest you know, as in Power Dynamos was on 5 and Green Buffaloes were on 6.
That year (2007) ZESCO United managed to beat City of Lusaka on the last day of the season to get their first title. Now race to the title between City Ya Moto and Zega Zega would have had old fans wincing their faces. That Zesco and City fighting for the title? Sounds unfold in the corridors of soccer fans from the 50s, 60s,70s, 80s,and remotely 90s.
It would have been a a massively huge debate of potentially biblical proportions for one to even suggest that ZESCO for the next 12 years would win 7 with Nkana winning only 1, Power Dynamos 1 and ZANACO 3 and Mufulira Wanderers zero.
One could be stoned to death or accused of blasphemy. In the football world to say such things.
But that’s the case today, almost rendering every team in the league as no competitor. They deserve to be called the best and the most achieving team of this era.
The format of the winning formulae
Won it in 2007 and defended it in 2008 before handing it over to ZANACO.
Only allowed ZANACO to have it in 2009 and got it back in 2010. Couldn’t defend it in 2011 and ZESCO United did very bad that season finishing sixth.
Luka Lungu then for Power Dynamos was in superb form. scoring four goals against Nkwazi on the last day via a 5-0 score line with Felix Nyaende with the fifth in the 90th minute.
It would then be the longest period ZESCO United would wait to win it back as ZANACO grabbed it in 2012 while Nkana got their 12th in 2013.
ZESCO United were back in 2014 after regrouping under George Lwandamina .They won it with two points above Power Dynamos on the last day beating Kabwe Warriors 3-1. Perhaps one of the best seasons for Winston Kalengo who scored a brace on the final day with Simon Silwimba adding a third.
They would then defend it in 2015 before handing it to a very good ZANACO in 2016 that had a lot of goals and scoring from every player on the pitch. The season which I call NUMBA MUMAMBA’S season and the best I have seen in ZANACO in my life time.
Record points of 81 with record goals scored (71). It was a perfect season for ZANACO and ZESCO United finished second
They would only wait for a season and the new record was in the wait ….Winning it three on a bounce, following Mufulira Wanderers , Kabwe Warriors , Green Buffales and Nkana .
By the end of the Transitional Season, ZESCO United had become the fifth team to win the league title three on a bounce .
You may bring different statistics and compilation to try and bring a point but what this team is achieving is undisputed . They are without a doubt the best in this generation and they may just be the only team to get the title four times on a bounce if they grab the 2019/2020 title.
I don’t know about you but to me, this is the best team in the land and it will take massive work to dislodge them from this position. They look incredibly good to match on and continue threatening the records.
Well Done ZEGA.