By NDINAWE SIMPELWE In Marrakech, Morocco -
ZAMBIA may have struggled in the last Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) last group game against Namibia, but one man stole the limelight and admiration for his never-dying commitment through-out the game.
That’s not a player but Zambia Sports Fans Association Fans (ZASPOFA) patron Peter Makembo.
Makembo with his drum and ability to mobilise fans to cheer Chipolopolo at every match has made him one of the well-travelled fans.
His cheer leading earned him the nickname “the drumming pastor” in South Korea when he travelled to cheer the under-20 national team at the FIFA under-20 World Cup.
Makembo’s latest cheerleading actions are now in Morocco where Chipolopolo is competing in the African Nations Championship (CHAN)tournament.
After missing the first two group matches, Makembo’s presence was felt at the Mohamad V Stadium when Zambia was taking on Namibia in a match that ended 1-1.
Impressively, Makembo mobilised Zambians and Moroccans living in Casablanca to cheer the team dressed in Zambian colours and despite going down a 12th minute goal, the chant from a small section of Chipolopolo supporters never died and the drumming became even louder.
In an interview, Makembo said Zambia is a big brand in world football and deserves to be cheered at every match.
He said he expects more fans as the tournament progresses vowed to follow the team wherever it goals.
“We are expecting more fans to come for the quarter-finals. Looking at that, we are happy that in the first place we made ourselves known,” Makembo said.
He said football was a uniting sport anywhere in the world as a Man of God, he uses it to unite people locally or abroad.
He said his legacy was spreading across Africa because when he landed at the Marrakech international airport with his attire and drum, everyone recognised him as “the drumming pastor” from the South Korea under-20 World Cup.
“And whenever I make a move and when I am in my attire, they say ‘there is that pastor who is supporting Zambia’.
“And knowing what we are here for, for sure I drew much attention from the audience and I mingle very easily because the anointing which flows into me it attracts many people that’s how God is using me,” he said.
AS Zambia faces Sudan in the quarter-finals of the CHAN on Saturday, one thing is for sure, the drumming will be louder than anything else at the Stadede Marrakech.