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Kalusha Bwalya – 20 Questions, 20 Answers

1. What does football mean to you?
It’s central in my life.
2. Which football club did you support as a child?
Mufulira Blackpool, a club in my native Zambia.
3. Did you ever have an idol?
Yes, former Zambian players Alex Chola and Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu. “Ucar” scored 107 goals in Zambia in one season!
4. What is your fondest footballing memory?
Zambia’s 4-0 victory over Italy at the 1988 Olympic Football Tournament in Seoul. I scored three goals. It was one of the first victories for an African team against a European side.
5. What has been your biggest disappointment?
I want to mention two things. Firstly, not having played in a FIFA World Cup as a player, and secondly, the Gabon air disaster in 1993, where my Zambian team¬mates lost their lives.
6. If you had not become a professional footballer, what would you have become?
A pilot. Flying has always fascinated me.
7. What is your favourite type of music?
Give me Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, rumba music and Koffi Olomide any time.
8. And your favourite book?
Why me?, the story of Sammy Davis Jr.
9. Your favourite film?
The Rock with Sean Connery.
10. Your favourite city?
Mexico City.
11. What is your favourite food?
Nshima, a Zambian dish with chicken.
12. What is your favourite hobby?
Football and reading.
13. What do you spend most of your money on?
14. What was your first job?
Trainee stock controller in the copper mines in Mufulira.
15. Who has been the most influential figure in world history?
Nelson Mandela.
16. What are you afraid of?
Disasters in the world.
17. What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
My first team in Europe, the Belgium club Cercle Brugge in the mid-eighties, I was introduced as a new signing and called in front of the many supporters to the stage. Nervously, I took centre stage and the MC asked me one or two questions, one of them was what my favourite “food” was? I didn’t hear him too clearly as I thought he wanted to know what my favourite “fruit” was. So I said in one word without hesitation “banana”, and the whole place went quiet! I did not realise it then, but four months later when the people were freer with me they asked me why I had given that answer and only then did I realise what an embarrassing moment it was. still laugh about it today.
18. How do you see the future of the world?
In a positive light, with tolerance towards each other regardless of colour, race or religion.
19. Where would you like to go on holiday?
To Acapulco (Mexico) again.
20. Who would you most like to meet?
I feel very privileged to have met many of my heroes like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Pele. I would also like to meet Barack Obama, the candidate for US President.

Will an African team win the 2010 FIFA World Cup™? – YES
Is Roger Milla the best African footballer of all time? – NO
Was football better 20 years ago? – NO
Are you a jealous person? – NO
Are you rich? – YES