KALUSHA Bwalya is elated to be appointed the country’s tourism goodwill ambassador by the government.
“…I haven’t seen the letter of appointment yet. I don’t know what responsibilities will be given to me but I am humbled, I am honoured to be appointed ambassador and I am ready,” he said.
Regarded the greatest footballer to have graced the Zambian game, ‘great Kalu’ has been appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Tourism by tourism minister Ronald Chitotela.
To cap his appointment, the Luapula Province Expo – an initiative of the Luapula provincial administration – honoured Kalusha with a match dubbed the KK versus Chipolopolo on Sunday.
The match brought old timers of the Kalusha era especially the 1994 finalists versus the Chipolopolo intake that took over from the 94 generation that also had two 2012 AfCON winners.
Fans that turned up at Arthur Davies Stadium were treated to sumptuous old timers’ skills with Kalusha mesmerising the crowd with his deft left foot.
The 1988 Africa footballer of the year at one point curled his traditional free kick that beat Kalililo Kakonje in the Chipolopolo goal but the frame of the goal rescued the Chipolopolo much to the delight of the supporters.
Zeddy Saileti, Happy Sichikolo, Andrew Tembo, Dabid Chilufya, Linos Makwaza, Elijah Tana and Joel Bwalya are some of the players that showed their old skills to great effect much to the delight of the crowd.
However, a seemingly tired ‘Kalu’ did not finish the match as he was substituted to the disapproval of the fans who wanted to see more of him.
In the end, the Christopher Katongo captained Chipolopolo won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Linos Chalwe and Nchimunya Mweetwa.
After the match, Kalusha had the energy to lead both teams to run around the stadium to thank the supporters to the chants of Lusha! Lusha! reverberating around the stadium.
Samuel Matete, the most decorated Zambian athlete who was honoured the previous day in Samfya was also in attendance.
Like Kalusha, Matete who has an Olympic gold medal in the 400 metres hurdles also hails from Luapula Province.
Speaking after the match, Kalusha said it was great honour for the government to recognise the duo’s achievement in their sports disciplines.
“It was a greater honour for me, having to come to play with the lads, it was a good interaction, it was a good game. It’s an honour for me and Samuel Matete. I want to thank honourable Nickson Chilangwa and everybody else, it was important that this match was played,” said the 56-year-old Kalusha.
He added: “…I haven’t seen the letter of appointment yet I don’t know what responsibilities will be given to me but I am humbled, I am honoured to be appointed ambassador and I am ready.”
Chitotela who was present at the match alongside Chilangwa said Kalusha’s international recognition would make it easier to organise international matches with football legends and other teams that will eventually boost tourism arrivals into Zambia.