By FELIX MALUNGA -
MORE than 100 golfers have signed up for today’s ‘prestigious’ Bemba versus Ngoni Championship with rival camps promising to outdo each other on the picturesque Ndola Golf Club course.
While the Bembas are targeting a record 14th Tribal Cousins Golf title, the Ngonis are desperately looking only for their third championship.
Ngoni chairperson, Welani Chilengwe declared that he was ready to unleash his ‘warriors’ whom he claimed would give the Bembas a jubilee year thrashing.
Chilengwe said as Zambia would be celebrating its 50 years of independence this year, the Ngonis wanted to crown it all with a thorough beating of the Bemba golfers.
He also personally promised to teach the Bemba chairperson, Kangwa Mukwikile some golfing lessons and challenged him to alter the draw so that they could play together.
“I call upon the wise people from the east to turn up in numbers as we give the Bembas a jubilee thrashing. We really want to give Mukwikile a good thrashing in the year he is hoping to be confirmed as the head for the Bemba team. We want to give him a good baptism. I personally invite him to play with me after altering the draw,” Chilengwe said.
But Mukwikile bragged that the Bembas would ensure they maintained the status quo in the tournament.
He said while the Bembas do not feel good beating their tribal cousins annually, there was nothing they could do because the Ngonis were just bad players.
“I can assure them that they will never beat us because it’s not in their blood. I will help them by calling on all the Ngonis from all corners of Zambia mostly from the oldest club, Fort Jameson (Chipata) to come and play with their old golf clubs,” Mukwikile said jokingly.
And in hitting back at his traditional rival, Chilengwe said: “Please let Mukwikile just bring back the trophy from his farm because he may be seeing it for the last time. Let him just polish it and kiss it goodbye.”
But Mukwikile said he saw no sense in bringing the trophy from his Chonamanga Farm because there was no way it could exchange hands.
Despite the war of words between the two camps, tournament organisers expressed happiness with the overwhelming response they got from golfers dotted around Zambia.
Organising chairperson, Peter Chishimba said the team was impressed with the large turn out of golfers in the event Africa Golf Confederation president, Joe Malanji would be guest of honour.
Ngoni captain, Julie Sakala and her Bemba rival, Arnold Mutale were happy with the turn out from both camps.