THE MOSES CHIKWALAKWALA FACT-FILE

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MOSES CHIKWALAKWALA

International career

It is a rarity in Zambian football for a player to be playing for the senior national team when his club is plying its trade in the lower tier .

Yet Chikwalakwala was already an established player in 1992, be it as it may that his team Chambishi FC, was a member of the First Division (Northern region).

What is even praiseworthy for this pocket of magic of a right winger was the fact that despite the Chitalu-coached squad being a star-studded squad, Chikwalakwala quickly established himself as if he had been part and parcel of the team for decades.

Another noteworthy point about the young winger was that the moment he became a part of the already crème de la crème squad, unlike other players who become understudies to their seniors, in his case, he did not made an instant coup de grace of a kind by edging out the equally-deserving (Timothy) Mwitwa who, more often than not, would play second fiddle to Moses.

During the joint 1994 Tunisia African Cup of Nations (AfCON)/USA World Cup finals qualifiers, Chikwalakwala was an almost ever-present feature in the team.

Suffice it to say that Chikwalakwala was in Zambia’s last match she played before the horrific Gabon Air Disaster occurred.

When Zambia thrashed Islanders Mauritius 3-0 away on April 25, 1993 in Curippipe in the 1994 Tunisia AfCON finals qualifiers series, with Kelvin Mutale of Saudi Arabian side El- Ettifaq scoring all three goals, Chikwalakwala was in the starting XI alongside goalkeeper Efford Chabala, defenders John Soko, Whiteson Changwe and thee central defence pair of Eston Mulenga and Robert Watiyakeni, Derby Makinka and Mwila Numba among others.

Elsewhere, Chikwalakwala also played for the senior Zambia team at the 1992 regional CECAFA (Confederation of East and Central African Football Association) tournament held in Tanzania when Zambia won bronze.

Most memorably, Chikwalakwala scored in his team’s 3-2 group stage match defeat of Ethiopia by opening the scoring in the 7th minute before defender Samuel Chomba added a second four minutes later after the interval from the penalty spot.

Banda slotted in the winner on 63 minutes.

Chikwalakwala, the enterprising winger, also featured for Zambia in both the 1-0 defeat of his team by Malawi as well as the 8-0 capitulation of Zanzibar and the narrow 2-1 win over hosts Tanzania.

Had Zambia qualified for the 1994 Tunisia AfCON finals with the perished team, Chikwalakwala would have made his maiden appearance alongside six others in the names of kelvin Mutale, Kenani Simambe, Winter Mumba, Godfrey Kangwa Mwila Numba and (Patrick) Banda.

Legacy

For a player who had not yet become 19 to have commanded a regular place in the Godfrey Chitalu-coached team was in itself an achievement worth a huge pat on the back of the young winger.

The 18-man team that perished in the April 1993 Gabon Air Disaster reads like Africa Select or the CAF Best XI Team of the Tournament: Efford Chabala, John Soko, Whiteson Changwe, Robert Watiyakeni, Eston Mulenga, Derby Makinka, Moses Chikwalakwala, Godfrey Kangwa, Kelvin Mutale, Kenani Simambe and Mwila Numba.

Yet, Chikwalakwala was one of the players, come rain or shine, who was assured of a place in the starting XI. The boy was only 18 years and 8 months when he perished together with his 17 team members in the infamous Gabon plane crash on April 28, 1993 en-route to fulfilling A USA World Cup finals qualifier.

In retrospect, a pretty flower had been crushed before it could reach full bloom.

Personal life

Moses Chikwalakwa

la was a fully-paid member of the Bachelor’s club at the time of his death in the Gabon air crash alongside 17 other players and 13 other passengers aboard a military buffalo plane.

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