KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
THE beautiful game of football is full of traditions, rituals and mantras; at the Under 20 World Cup in South Korea, the junior Chipolopolo made
headlines for their rituals which included praying together with the mantra being christened Bola na Lesa.
Now, that mantra has been made into a song by Kayombo aka King Kayo, Felix, Mampi and King Dandy.
There are a lot of people who have been taken aback by the same mantra as they believe that there is no way God can take sides in a football. For them, you can only win the game through hard work although luck does sometimes creep in.
Well, King Kayo has an explanation.
“The song is called Bola na Lesa. The way Zambia is, it’s a Christian nation and each and everything that we do in Zambia, we mix with religion, so, we’re just praising the junior Chipolopolo for the great job that they did at the World Cup, for qualifying and for lifting the Africa Cup,” King Kayo explains.
“It will be playing every time there’s football, it’s generally a football song; a song for the nation so that we can encourage our young men to work very hard, have a brighter future and become millionaires in football.”
The song came out just before the junior bullets bowed out of the World Cup after losing to Italy in the quarter finals. The video for the song, which was shot at Kayo Lodge, has already started playing.
“It is a general song where we’re also praising the senior national team; it’s not only the Under-20. On this song, I decided to use different artistes, it’s an idea that I and Felix came up with and we invited Mampi and Dandy Crazy so that we can have a different feel,” King Kayo further explains.
“It was produced by Jazz Boy Entertainment. The video was done by DJ Lo, co-produced by me King Kayo and the executive producer is Mateyo Ngulube.”
Of course, songs have for a long time been associated with football. For instance, Liverpool Football Club has “You’ll Never Walk Alone” whose bittersweet lyrics and melody perfectly match the triumphant melancholy of being a Liverpool supporter.
But worryingly, most football fans have taken the Bola na Lesa refrain to extremes to an extent where they perceive any form of rituals by opponents (Senegal are victims) as being ungodly if not altogether evil against their “Christian national football team”.
But so that it is made clear, rituals are part and parcel of football.
Examples abound in that regard: In the run-up to France’s World Cup win on home soil in 1998, before every game, their captain Laurent Blanc kissed the bald head of the goalkeeper Fabian Barthez even in the final game in which he was suspended; Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure insists on being the last player to enter the pitch before the start of play; during warm-up, one of England’s leading goal scorer’s Gary Linekar would never shoot towards goal in fear of hitting the back of the net and wasting one of his goals; and there is also the case of former Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea who believed he brought good luck before every penalty shoot his team faced by urinating on the pitch, it is ritual that worked at the 1990 World Cup in both the quarter and semi-finals but not in the final against West Germany – maybe the bladder was empty.
Zambian football fans will be hoping the Bola na Lesa chant will not be empty; after all, its Bola na Lesa.