You are currently viewing No surprise
FILE: ZAMBIA striker Barbara Banda (right) beats Lesotho players during the COSAFA Women Championship Group B match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Zambia won 2-0. PICTURE: BACKPAGE

No surprise


STRIKER Barbara Banda may be soaring high in the women’s game, but her achievements come as little surprise to those who have seen her in action previously. Going into the Olympics, Banda was tipped to be Zambia’s potential bright spot in a group where the Shepolopolo were pitted against some of the best teams in the women’s game. “A naturally gifted striker, she plays with the intelligence and composure of a veteran,” the Olympics website wrote ahead of Zambia’s game against the Netherlands on Wednesday. “No matter what happens with Zambia at Tokyo 2020, they’ll emerge as history makers with Banda leading the way.” True to their prediction, Banda gave a record-setting performance by becoming the first-ever African woman footballer to score a hat-trick at the global Games. For Banda’s former coaches, the world is yet to see her best. Having watched Banda since she was seven, coach Kaluba Kangwa believes the Shepolopolo captain is poised for more records. “I think her boxing background helps… it gives her that drive and fighting spirit, that is why you see her never giving up even when the game looks like it is over,” Kangwa said. “I am not surprised, this is a girl who thrives in challenges, she is a source of inspiration to other players. What I like about her is that she is always willing to learn. Once in a while she calls me to ask in what areas she can improve.”Kangwa is founder and coach of Bauleni United Sports Academy (BUSA), where Banda honed her skills before transferring to Green Buffaloes. “She will set more records. Remember, she was the first female footballer from Zambia to play in Europe. Now she is the first Zambian and African to score a hat-trick at the Olympics,” he said. Carol Kanyembo coached Banda at Green Buffaloes between 2015 and 2018 before she trekked to CLICK TO READ MORE