Football Sport

Mwila Numba: Like father, like son

FOOTBALL and the Numba family are inseparable.
Numba is not a strange name in the football fraternity. The name echoes in the minds of many soccer followers.
It all started with late Mwila Numba, who died alongside 17 other national team players when the Buffalo plane they were travelling in plunged into the Atlantic Ocean in Libreville, Gabon, enroute to Senegal for a 1994 World Cup qualifier.
From Mwila came Mumamba who won four Super Division titles and several silverware with Zanaco Football Club.
Mumamba went on to feature for the national team winning two Cosafa Castle Cup titles in 1997 and 1998.
Mumamba is an assistant coach at Zanaco.
And finally came Konkola Blades’ midfielder Matthews who completed the brotherhood soccer affair.
But that was not the end of it all; another generation has been born.
Mumamba’s 15-year old first born son, Mwila, has opened a new generation and hoping to go a step further.
He is eager to make it big in football but only after completing his education and acquiring a trade.
Despite his natural talent, Mwila, who plays as a forward has prioritised education.
“Football runs in the blood and there is nothing I can do about it. I will support whatever he wants to do but as long as he puts education first,” his mother Salome says.
Mwila was born on July 7, 1999 and is the first born in a family of two boys.
He is currently awaiting Grade nine results.
Mwila wrote his examinations from Lusaka’s Woodlands A Primary and Secondary School and is optimistic of making it to grade ten.
He intends to study engineering after he completes his education.
“I find engineering interesting through Technical Drawing. I think I am good at TD and my teacher told me to go for it…engineering it is, that’s what I am going for,” he says.
Mwila started playing football in 2012 with a community team known as Midlands that trains from Lusaka’s Woodlands Stadium.
He, however, put his training on halt to concentrate on school.
Currently, Mwila plays for a church team at Chilenje’s St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
For now, football is not his top priority although he seriously considers pursuing his football career later in life.
His father has come out strong to ensure his son puts education first.
“I have told him to concentrate on education and after that he will be free to do what he wants. My job is to empower him get a trade then he can continue with his football dreams,” Mumamba says.
When he retains to the pitch, Mwila has ambitions of signing for English giants Manchester United.
Locally, he feels it will be easy for him to play for Zanaco, a team where his father is one of the assistant coaches.
Dutch striker Arjen Robben who currently features for the Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich is Mwila’s role model.
Mwila believes his style of play matches that of Robben.
Discipline wise, his father is his role model.
“When it comes to discipline, I look up to my dad,” he says.
Mwila says his father is not just a disciplinarian but he is an example of a disciplined person especially during his playing days.
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