By STEPHEN KAPAMBWE-
MEMORIES of the epic 2012 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) which the Chipolopolo won for the first time ever will be rekindled this year when Ivory Coast ‘s football legend, Didier Drogba visits Zambia under a Windhoek Lager Pan-African advertising campaign.
Drogba’s visit follows the conclusion of a partnership deal in which the former African Footballer of the Year was chosen to be an ambassador and official face of the Namibian made Windhoek Lager.
Kazuma Enterprises Chief Executive Officer, Sasha Maglove, whose company distributes the global Windhoek Lager brand in Zambia, said the advertising campaign partnership would feature Drogba in a television commercial entitled ‘The Journey’ which would be televised on the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation and on One Africa.
The television commercial would be supported by a communications campaign across other media channels mostly in Namibia as well as on posters, billboards, and other forms of advertising which would soon be rolled out in Zambia.
Maglove said Windhoek Lager would facilitate Drogba’s trip to Namibia, which would be extended to Zambia under the advertising campaign partnership involving the football star.
“We wanted to be able to tell the story of how a beer born in Africa grew to be celebrated worldwide. Drogba shares the same values and conviction that Windhoek has. Not only is he a proudly world class African, but he has also kept it real, prioritising the important things in life above triviality and the temptation to do it easier. His authenticity and strength make him a man that Windhoek is proud to be associated with,” Maglove said.
He said Windhoek Lager, which launched the Pan-African advertising campaign featuring Drogba in December last year, seeks to celebrate Africa’s world class beverage as well as a world class African hero.
“We are planning a big programme in which we are hoping to bring him (Drogba) to Zambia after he visits Namibia to meet Windhoek Lager fans,” Maglove, who could not give dates of the Ivorian’s visit, said.
For many Zambian football fans, Drogba’s visit would remind them of the historic 2012 AFCON championship final where Zambia’s less fancied
Chipolopolo beat favourites Ivory Coast 8-7 on post-match penalties to claim their first ever AFCON trophy in Gabon.
One of the highlights of the scintillating game was a spot kick which Drogba infamously missed when he only had a determined Zambian goalkeeper, Kennedy Mweene to beat.
Drogba notably vowed not to retire from international football until he revenged his side’s loss on Zambia in the 2013 AFCON tournament which, unfortunately for him, saw the Chipolopolo eliminated in the first round before the team could face Ivory Coast.
The Ivorian is one of the most successful African footballers in history.
Drogba, who now plies his trade at Turkish side Galatasaray where he has already led the club to victory in the League, became the only player in history to score in four separate FA Cup finals.
He captained the Ivory Coast national team at the 2010 World Cup, and in 2013 he inspired the team to qualify for their third World Cup appearance in Brazil 2014.
Drogba also captained the Ivory Coast sides that reached the final of the AFCON in 2006 and 2012 when they lost to Zambia in a final match played in Gabon.
The Ivorian was twice named African Footballer of the Year in 2006 and 2009 before becoming the first African footballer to win the prestigious Golden Foot in 2013.
Drogba is also a United Nations Ambassador and founder of the Didier Drogba Foundation, which is currently building clinics in the Ivory Coast.
He was voted one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2010 for his humanitarian work.