ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka
ZAMBEEF yesterday launched the K 1.5 million blockbuster football movie that captures the most defining Zambian football moments.
The award -winning e18hteam movie, will be screened in major towns across the country between August and September this year.
Zambeef products joint chief executive officer Carl Irwin said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that the movie captures the countryâ€™s footballâ€™s most defining moments from the lows of the 1993 Gabon air crash to the highs when the Chipolopolo won the Africa Cup of Nations in Libreville, Gabon, in 2012.
â€œWhen we were first approached to sponsor the movie, we saw it as an opportunity to contribute towards the preservation of a part of our history for future generations. This movie goes to the heart of the nationâ€™s love of football and we wanted to ensure the moment was not lost in time,â€ Irwin said.
He said the company has continued to play a key role in the development of football in the country.
â€œThe whole idea behind the e18hteam documentary is to remember a moment in time when Zambia showed the world the best of itself. Here we have a nation that has been in morning for 18 years over the loss of its national football team and just like a flashback, we are back on the same field, playing the game that we love so much,â€ Irwin said.
Zambia lost 18 players, two coaches and 10 officials when a Zambia Air Force Buffalo plane plunged in the Atlantic Ocean in Libreville enroute to Dakar for a 1994 United States of America World Cup qualifier against Senegal.
Irwin said Zambeef is actively involved in grooming upcoming footballers.
â€œThe company has supported football teams playing in various leagues and at community level, helping to groom footballers at the grass roots including the 2012 Africa Cup medallist James Chamanga,â€ he said.
The e18hteam is a co-production by Zambiaâ€™s Ngosa Chungu and her Spanish counterpart Juan Rodriguez-Brisco.
The movie was recently showcased at Cannes in France.
And speaking during the launch, Zambeef Products Plc vice chairman Lawrence Sikutwa said his organisation is committed to the development of football in Zambia
â€œThe e18hteam is not just about football, winning or losing but about the principles that the game itself represents, the passion, determination, hope, faith, perseverance, national pride, spirit, hard work and above all discipline
â€œThese are principles, I am sure that our national football team embodied as they pushed their way through the tide and finally won the 2012 Africa Cup. The great journey such as the one we have been privileged to witness did not begin in 2012, it began long before even the 1993 Gabon football disaster that left such a big hole in the heart of our many Zambians. We can proudly say that e18hteam has already won two awards and was shown this year at Cannes in France,â€ Sikutwa said.
And Chungu thanked various stakeholders for their support during the production of the movie.
ALEX NJOVU, Lusaka