The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) will be holding its elections next month from provincial to national level.
Obviously the most dominant is the race to head the association with the likes of the incumbent, Andrew Kamanga, Former Chipolopolo captain Kalusha Bwalya, Ricky Mamfunda, Richard Kazala among others vying for the top job.
However, the race to represent the Provinces is also hitting up with a number of candidates throwing their names in the mix.
The ZamFoot Crew met up with Northern Province aspiring regional Chairman, Mwansa Kapyanga to get to know the real story behind the former Zambia U20 team manager.
ZC: Who is Mwansa Kapyanga?
M K: Born on the 17th of December 1989 in Kabwe – Zambia, from a family of three. I am single with no children yet. “obviously at the time of publication …lol”
ZC: When did you get involved in Football?
MK: At 22 years old, I became the youngest football administrator to be appointed Team Manager of Kasama United Youth Academy, a voluntary run community club in Kasama Northern Province. Together with the team, we steered the club to first division football in 2016. This achievement opened doors for me as I was appointed Team Manager of the Zambia Under-17 national soccer team by the Zambian Football Association in 2017, leading the team to victory at the Council of Southern African Football (COSAFA) in August
ZC: What motivated you?
MK: Sport is a curriculum in most schools in Zambia and so growing up I got involved in all kinds of sports from Chess, to table tennis to Football which is more like a religion in Zambia and so the passion for the sport has always been in me. One Sunday, I got an invitation to watch one of the Kasama United Division 2 league games, I willingly watched a second game, two turned to three and from there it just felt so right and I saw the need to contribute in my small way towards the growth of the team. Luckily I was well received and Kasama United has become more than Home.
ZC: What makes a good Administrator?
MK: Integrity borders on most situations administrators encounter and so it’s important to uphold high levels of ethics and values which promote fair play, honest performances and positive conduct by players and officials which enhances the rules that govern the sport and leads to selfless service.
ZC: Were you intimidated?
MK: I was not intimidated but received my appointment as an honor and privilege to serve the nation. I was appointed U17 National Team Manager at the age of 27 and at that age, the only experience I had was managing a team from the lower ranks in a region perceived to be rural. I became the first to be given such a responsibility coming from such a background and at my age at the time. My involvement with age-group teams and my no-nonsense nor compromise to issues of integrity and age manipulation gave the Zambia Football governing body more confidence in my abilities and in turn elevated me to be U20 and eventually U23 Team manager. I believe I understood my role and what was expected of me and so all I needed to do was to apply what I knew and my basic people management.
ZC: How was Experience with the Senior Team?
MK: The winning feeling was ecstatic! We just beat one of the favorite Teams for the AFCON 2019. We played like Zambia, the guys were committed and wanted it more. But a lot of lessons were drawn from that game. On our way back to the hotel on the Team bus, you could hear players asking themselves how come we had not qualified for the AFCON when we were better than most teams and you could see the frustration and the feeling of realization that we could have done more.
My role was simple, to do my best regardless of who I am managing at the time. Just do the usual administrative basics. All players that were called up were in on time except Stopilla who was excused due to injury. I learned a lot in terms of leadership working with players like Ziyo and Donashano who despite being injured were showing great leadership to young players like Kings Kangwa – first on the bus, always in the right attire and never gave any excuses when given an assignment by the coaches. The experience taught me a lot.
ZC: What are some of the challenges Rural clubs face?
MK: Our biggest challenge as Teams from the so-called rural areas is sponsorship. Usually the biggest employer in areas like Northern is the government and so sponsoring of clubs is from individuals’ pockets. More Exposure of our players and marketing of our leagues will increase awareness of the great talent in the province and more potential sponsors even from outside our region will be interested in wanting to partner with us and in the long run, we shall be growing the game.
ZC: What is wrong?
MK: People fighting people and the government clearly showing where they stand. It’s affecting our game. Help is coming…
ZC: Who are your mentors?
MK: I have been privileged to read about certain people and be even lucky to meet them. I got more interested in reading and trying to at least have an idea about the constitution when I started interacting with Mr. Simataa Simataa so I have a part in me that appreciates ‘doing things by the book’. Most importantly, I have come to appreciate good organization, planning, composure, being strong and firm decision making from current FAZ President Andrew Kamanga who is also a respected international Accountant, a profession I also pursue. And funny enough, I don’t really know why I like Mr. Patrick Kangwa. I met him once when he was Match Commissioner for one of our Under 20 friendly matches in 2018 – we have unfinished discussion …lol
ZC: Is Zambian Football better now?
MK: It’s definitely better than before. Why? The ranking of our league tells it all. The performance of our Womens National Teams is another indicator, the outstanding performance of our grassroots Teams gives a lot of hope for the future, Improved sponsorship deals for the Super League Teams and lower league teams get some financial and equipment support from the Football Association, curbed age cheating and running of the association is more professional with a business direction and we can only get better.
ZC: Why Exco?
Our key focus areas will be to champion professionalism, integrity, corporate governance, Modern and Efficient Organization, Governance Stability, Transparency, and Accountability. Over the last seven years as a football administrator, I helped re-organize and sustain the successes of a community club to almost playing the elite league of Zambian football, delivered gold at Under-17 level, and also managed to oversee a selection of eligible age-group teams that are now playing their best football in local and international leagues. I will use the similar principles of leadership and objectivity to help contribute towards progressive policies that will ultimately help the game we love grow even bigger.
ZC: Personal motto in administration?
I choose to be in line with our club slogan ‘TWABABONSE’ which I ride on as it promotes unity and inclusiveness.
ZC: Any ambitions of going higher?
I definitely do. Zurich is the target hopefully and it will call for a lot as football administration of this decade demands good ethical behavior.
ZC: ZamFoot Crew
MK: Mwansa Kapyanga