Chipolopolo 2015: Can history repeat itself?

Zambia African Champions

Abstract: Short poem about the Zambia national football team (aka Chipolopolo or Copper Bullets). In the build up to the Africa Cup of Nations 2015, I reflect on Zambia’s astonishing and historic victory at the 2012 edition of the tournament. Could it happen again?

We sat crouched! Fingers crossed, hearts pounding,

Awaiting the result that would leave them all astounded.

A young man steps up to lay stake among the greats,

Sunzu his name, one kick and then we celebrate.


“The elephants”, they called them, as a sign of their power,

Yet they seemed to falter at their supposed ‘divine hour.’

Not a chance was given against such opposition,

Yet if they lose now they’ll be a mass inquisition.

One step, two step, three step, BOOM!

A sharp piercing silence suddenly fills the room.

The weight of this moment precedes grown men’s cries,

As we remember our dearly loved brothers who died.

Years before they chased the same final destination,

Only to have their lives cut short like abbreviations.

KK11 we remember you still today,

May your spirit of ambition spur us on as we play.


So many greats have risen since your sad and sudden fate,

Kalusha, Tana, Lota, among many candidates.

But none awarded the privilege to lift the great cup,

Till the lads of 2012, an unlikely make-up.


Woohoo! We did it! Come and have a look,

Though all the doubters still claim it was only but a fluke.

Yes, ok. We’ve had a blip from then until now,

But now we’re ready, ‘bola panshi’ playing style.

The fans they yell “Chipolopolo! Iyeeeee,”

Love us or loath us, we have come here to stay,

Whether at home, in town or even a cafe,

Go Go Zambia! We’ll cheer you all the way.