By Derick Chibilu
Watching the chipolopolo boys loose to Algeria on Sunday prompted me to voice my opinions about just what could be the bigger problem for not only the chipolopolo boys but Zambians at large. Please understand that I have come to these conclusions only after looking at a variety of areas and issues that concern Zambians at large. First let me stress the fact that these are my personal opinion and are in no way meant to look down on anyone, but that we can look inside us and bring out the best that there is in.
Let me start with Soccer for many years now Zambia has been a household name in African Soccer, and yet we’ve never won the Africa Cup nor have we qualified for the world cup. We have always relied on other teams to bail out. But watching Zambia play on Sunday made me release just why as Zambians we’ve never been able to break that grass ceiling. Take for example, Kenyans, Somalian, Nigerians, Ghanaians, these have all been successful in different areas be it running or soccer. Then I thought about Zambia could it be lack of talent not at all.
We have so much talent. I then figured out that it has much to do with our up bringing and background. Our culture has much to do with why we can’t excel in many competitive areas. First the Algerians were just more superior than Zambia was, second, the Zambian players relied so much on the referee to bail them out, and one would think that we learned a lesson from Dilamba in the Morocco game. Back to my point the kind of superiority exhibited by the Algerians was so obvious that Algeria was the better candidate to qualify to the 2010 FIFA world cup. I would rather see us been embarrassed by Algeria in the qualifying game that to have Spain or Brazil humiliate us on cable network.
Just what is the Problem?
First of all Zambia lacked the physical fitness necessary to compete at that level. The physical condition was not there at all. Second individual players just lacked the positive attitude necessary to perform, and I believe this is the problem facing most Zambian, not just football players but majority of Zambians who grow up getting handouts from their parents or uncles and whoever the guardian maybe. I believe that the difference between those who are successful and the ones that are not is the attitude.
Majority of Zambians lack that positive attitude to want to excel rather we settle for names that do not warranty anything. We need to start believing in our individual efforts and abilities to propel others to succeed. Learn to take advantage of individual opportunities that come our way. Ever wondered why Zambian players fail to break into major leagues such as the Italian, Spanish or premier leagues, its this one simple reason.
Those teams look for players that will exhibit uniqueness in their abilities and show a high soccer IQ. Zambian did not exhibit that on Sunday and so the reasons for that lose. Algerian players showed individual brilliance that they taunted the Zambian players with the style of play. The fact is our players didn’t not show up at all costing us the game, not that Algeria was a hard nut to crack; we just didn’t have the tools to do the job.
Our players should stop being cry babies and focus on doing the job right. I feel saddened that this is a problem that majority of Zambians suffer from we have been used to being casual in our approach to issues even when we stand to individually profit from the efforts. This problem unfortunately extends across the board be it in our careers, politics, and our personal lives, we always look for somebody else to take a lead. Take for example graduates from our local universities the cry is they can’t fins jobs.
Why not become innovative and become an employer. Michael Dell started his computer company in a college dormitory. Firefox one of the most popular internet browsers was started by two students one from Stanford University and a friend from Australia who are now billionaires. Face book was started by a group of friends who after a part wanted a way to share their pictures with family and friends and so the popular face book was born, the list goes on.
In conclusion I want to leave any Zambian teenager out there with this challenge that you can only become who you make yourself to be. Life is about taking risks and having a positive attitude to propel you to high heights. If settling for the minimum is your goal, then your life has been a success. Waiting for somebody else to lead the way is one step too late. God has blessed our country with so much talent which we have not utilized to the full potential. I pray that somebody out there will hear my message and help put mother Zambia on the world stage for the first. Awaken oh Mother Zambian.