King Kalu’s tribute to Kenneth Kaunda
Former Zambia international Kalusha Bwalya led the football world in mourning the death of Zambia’s Founding Father, Kenneth Kaunda, last week.
King Kalu, who is a standing committee member of FIFA and CAF, and is a past president of the Football Association of Zambia (2008-2016), paid a glowing tribute to the former Head of State by, stating that he would always be a proud member of the “KK11”.
Under Kaunda’s reign, the Zambia national team was christened “KK11.
Here is what Bwalya said on Twitter: “Goodbye to you President Kenneth Kaunda. I am and will always be a proud member of the ‘KK11’ . Dignity & honor. May your dear soul rest in Eternal Peace, knowing the immense impact you made on all of us Zambians, Africans and World at large. Sincerest condolences to family.”
The Football Association of Zambia also tweeted, “We mourn the demise of First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda. KK as he was fondly known was an avowed football fan and patron. Under his reign the national team was christened KK11. Dr Kaunda died aged 97 with a 21-days national mourning period declared in his Honour.”
The association also said all matches would be preceded by a moment of silence for KK and players would don black armbands.
FAZ president Andrew Kamanga also directed that there be no celebrations at games – even for goals – during the mourning period.
Kamanga said Kaunda was a revered patron of the Zambia national team.
Zambian football side ZESCO United tweeted: “ZESCO United Football Club Management joins the rest of the world in mourning Dr Kenneth Kaunda. May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.”
Also expressing their condolences were Forest Rangers FC, who said: “Forest Rangers Football Club joins the nation, Africa & rest of the world in mourning the death of our First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda also know(n) as KK. Dr KK died (June 17) at the age 97, & a 21-days national mourning period has been declared in his Honour.”
CAF president Patrice Motsepe called KK a “true statesman”.
“It was with great sadness that I learned of our former President Kenneth Kaunda’s passing. He was a father to all of us on the African continent. In this sorrowful time and on behalf of CAF, I would like to extend to you and the people of Zambia our heartfelt condolences,” Motsepe said.
“President Kaunda was a true African statesman, a man of principle who played a role in the liberation and advancement of not only Zambia but several other African nations. For those of us who are South African, we will always be indebted to him and the people of Zambia for their contributions and sacrifices towards our democracy.
“In the world of football, the support that President Kaunda gave to the ‘KK 11’ led to the growing popularity of football as Zambia’s national sport. It is a fitting tribute to President Kaunda’s legacy that the ‘Shepolopolo’ (Zambia senior women’s football team) will represent Zambia at this year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Tokyo.”Motsepe also said: “A great statesman has left this world, but he will forever live in our hearts and minds. May the friendship and thoughts of the entire African football family offer some comfort to the nation of Zambia through this difficult time.” – goal.com/Independent Observer