THE WISDOM CHANSA FACT-FILE
Written by Millennium on February 25, 2019
Birth and roots
Wisdom Mumba Chansa was born on April 7, 1964 in Kitwe to James Chama, himself, a former player with Rhokana United (renamed Nkana Red Devils and now called Nkana FC.
Chansa’s early career saw him play for the school teams where he was an out-and-out forward or alternatively played as an attacking midfielder.
Later he joined the Power Dynamos nursery team in 1978 where he made rapid progress to become a member of the senior team at the start of the 1981 season.
Style of play and nickname
He was nicknamed Summerbee after the former Mancherster City forward Mike Summerbee, a good and close friend to the former Manchester United legend George Best.
Like Summerbee of the four-time top-flight English champions Manchester City was forever all over the pitch in hide heyday, a marauder of the highest order, Chansa was seen in the same light, hence the nickname Summerbee.
Alternatively, Chansa was simply referred to as Whizz, an abbreviation of his first name – Wisdom.
If anything else, it was the latter moniker that was more pronounced and eternally on the lips of either the Power Dynamos’ faithful or the Zambia national team fans alike whenever he was in possession of the ball or dribbled past a defender or a cluster of them or indeed when he put the ball behind the net.
Whether playing as an attacking midfielder or as an out-and-and-out attacker, the former Arthur Davies Stadium popular captain was famed for his waltzing play, of turning this way and turning that way for the sole purpose of wanting to lose his marker.
Also, Chansa was a potent threat at corner-kicks in the six-yard area owing to his height and had the unfailing ability to prize open the tightest of defences with his meandering style of play, almost effortlessly.
Blessed with beautiful balance, pace and tenacity allied to admirable control and pace, Chansa was lethal and a devastating finisher when given space and time in and around the 18 yard area. Also, the man they fondly called Summerbee had abundant industry like former Profund Warriors’ Derby Makinka and Kabwe Warriors’ Clement “Soweto” Banda – both former Zambia internationals.
Chansa’s club career is almost married to the six-time Premier League winners Power Dynamos where he played between 1982 through to 1992, save for a short stint at South African side Dynamos before he perished in the infamous April 1993 Gabon Air Disaster together with 17 of his colleagues, two coaches and 10 other passengers aboard the Zambia Air Force buffalo military plane en-route to Senegal to fulfil a 1994 USA World Cup qualifier.
With the Arthur Davies stadium, Chansa won 8 honours: 2 Premier League titles, 1 Charity Shield, 1 BP Challenge Cup (BP Top 8 Cup), 2 Independence Cup (Mosi Cup) titles, 2 Champion of Champions Cups and to crown it all, lifted the biggest prize of them all – the 1991 African Cup winners Cup (Nelson Mandela Cup now called the CAF Confederations Cup.
The Premier League titles Chansa won with Power Dynamos came in 1984 and 1991.
The year 1984 was particularly special to Chansa and those fortunate enough to have been a part of the team that season because it happened to have been the team’s first ever top-flight title since joining the elite league for the very first time in the club’s history in 1979.
More significantly, Chansa and Co. grabbed the title from bitter rivals Nkana FC who themselves had won it for the first time in 1982 after a length wait of 20 years on the bounce and would retain it in 1983.