THE WISDOM CHANSA FACT-FILE
Written by Millennium on February 27, 2019
Capped for Zambia between 1985 and 1993, Chansa made three African Cup of Nations (AfCON) appearances in 1986, 1990 and 1992.
He was also part of the famous 1988 Zambian squad to the Seoul Olympics and played regularly in the World Cup qualifiers for the 1986 Mexico, Italia 1990 and USA 1994 World Cup qualifiers.
In the 1986 Egypt-held AfCON tournament, Chansa was an integral part of the Jones Chilengi-captained squad that would go out, sadly, in the first round, finishing bottom of Group B with a single point in three matches behind pool winners Cameroon (5 points), runner-up Morocco (4 points) and third-placed Algeria (2 points).
Zambia lost 3-2 to Cameroon in their opening match and were also beaten 1-0 by Morocco and in between drew 0-0 with fellow group dark horses Algeria.
After missing out on the 1988 AfCON championship because of the punishment CAF meted out on Zambia for failing to host the event that year’s event, after she won the right to host but failed to fulfil the actual hosting of the bi-annual showpiece, Chansa and Co would resurface at the 1990 Algeria-staged tournament where she reaped bronze after a narrow 1-0 win over Senegal in the third play-off, Webster Chikabala getting the crucial goal that gave Zambia the much-needed victory on March 19, 1990.
Earlier, Chansa’s Zambia had topped her Group B with five points following a 1-0 defeat of Cameroon which was followed by yet another identical score-line in nudging out Kenya in the second match.
In her last group game, Zambia settled for a non-scoring stalemate with second-placed Senegal.
In her third and last AfCON appearance during the 1992 Senegal edition, Chansa and friends exited in the quarter-finals, losing 1-0 to Cote d’Ivoire on January 20.
Appearing in Group D of three teams, Zambia (2Points) finished in second place behind winners Ghana (4 points) with Egypt, surprisingly, finishing at the very bottom who had lost both her matches.
The script was that Zambia beat Egypt by a single Kalusha Bwalya fatal shot in a match played at the Stade Aline Sitoe Diatta in the town of Ziguinchor on January 13.
Two days later, Zambia would suffer an identical 1-0 loss to Ghana at the same venue, the one and only Abedi Pele providing the lone goal.
Like it were a conspiracy, Ghana would also beat Egypt by a single goal to complete a uniform pattern of all three matches becoming products of 1-0 margins.
Elsewhere, Chansa, together with his Dynamos club-mates in the names of Bonnie Muma, Lucky Msiska, Pearson Mwanza, Manfred Chabinga, formed the famed1988 Seoul Olympics squad that also had Ashious Melu, Edmund Mumba, Kalusha Bwalya, Efford Chabala, Johnson Bwalya and derby Makinka among others.
Despite being knocked out in the quarter-finals, Chansa and Co. became world-famous instantly when they thrashed Italy 4-0 in the group stage with Kalusha netting a famous hat-trick while his namesake Johnson (Bwalya), was the manufacturer of the other goal.
During his Zambia career, Chansa scored some memorable goals.
Most memorably was the goal he scored against Ghana in a 2-0 win in a 1988 Seoul Olympics qualifier at home on January 1988 with Kalusha being the other scorer on the day.
Chansa would also net back-to-back for his country in friendly matches against visiting Malawi in 1988.
In the first match on August 3, 1988, in a 4-1 bashing of the so-called Flames of Malawi Chansa delivered a brace with Kalusha and Stone Nyirenda sharing a goal apiece.
The following day, the in-form Chansa would bang in yet another brace in a 7-1 humiliating defeat of Malawi as Kalusha’s brace and single goals from Nyirenda (Stone), Johnson and Charles Musonda completed the rout.
At individual level, Chansa’s biggest honour was in 1988 when he was unanimously voted Zambia’s Footballer-of-the-Year.
And the fact that his club failed to win any trophy of any description that term, goes on to show how exceptional “Summerbee” was at his trade both at club and national level – of his overall contribution to the Zambian football family was that term.
In winning the 1988 national football of the year ward, Chansa thus became at the time, only the third player from Arthur Davies to have scooped the coveted individual award after defender Michael Musonda’s achievement in 1981 and the following year, Zambia’s wing-wing-terror Peter “Abaleya” Kaumba walking the same giant path.
Since then, two other men from Arthur Davies Stadium have stolen the award: midfielders Kennedy Mudenda (2008) and Mukuka Mulenga (2012), at 19, becoming the youngest ever winner since its introduction in 1968.
Chansa, the son to former Rhokana United (Nkana FC) player James Chansa, was a married man at the time of the Gabon plane crash.