Written by on March 14, 2019

Zambia internationals Wisdom Chansa and Pearson Mwanza were the winners’ goal-scorers on the afternoon to spoil Makinka’s day after doing some larger-than-life, exceptional the Pensioners from the first round of the tournament through to the final itself.

Elsewhere, on four occasions Wanderers’ players – Dickson Makwaza (1973), Ashious Melu (1983 and 1987), Kalusha Bwalya (1984) and Johnson Bwalya (1986) have won the Zambian Footballer-of-the-Year award – their team has finished in the top five positions, with the highest finish having been second in 1973 and 1984.

On the four occasions Rhokana United (Nkana FC) players have been beneficiaries of the Zambia Footballer-of-the-Year award  in 1974, 1990, 1992, 2014 – the 12-time league champions have finished in the top six bracket.

In when Bernard Chanda scooped the award in 1974, Rhokana United, as Nkana were known at the time, they finished in sixth place while in 1990, they were champions when Gibby Mbasela was crowned Zambia’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

When defender Eston Mulenga unanimously won the individual honour in 1992, award, Nkana were the Zambian Premier League winners.

And when the man they fondly call Sate-Sate, his real name Ronald Kampamba was voted national Footballer-of-the-Year in 2014, Nkana were fourth finishers on the 16-team log, with Zesco United as the champions.

In 1975 and 1980 when defenders Edwin Mbaso and Kaizer Kalambo were voted Zambia’s Best Footballers respectively, their team Ndola United were 3rd and 13th on the table of the elitists in that order.

Elsewhere, Mufulira Blackpool were 9th-placed in 1976 when their star player Alex “Computer” Chola claimed the most prized individual football award. 

And when Roan United’s Vincent Chileshe became the first goalkeeper to scoop the Zambia Footballer-of-the-Year in 1977, his team were 7th finishers on the table of 14 teams.

And five times Power Dynamos players have won the Zambia Footballer-of-the-Year award with the team securely positioned on the league of elites.

When defender Michael Musonda and wing-terror Peter Kaumba were victors of Zambia’s Most Valuable Player honour in in 1981 and 1982 in that corresponding order, Power Dynamos were perched in 5th and 2nd positions on the Big League table of Zambian football.

Further, Dynamos were runners-up to Nkana in 1988 in the Premier League when Wisdom Mumba Chansa was voted Zambia’s footballer-of-the-Year.

With nimble-footed winger Kennedy Mudenda and the tricky midfielder Mukuka Mulenga winning the award in 2008 and 2012 respectively – Dynamos were 5th and 2nd finishers in those years.

To further show that Makinka’s case study of having won the Zambia footballer-of-the-Year with a confirmed relegated team from the Premier League is a unique feat, illustrations come fast and furious. Zanaco FC goalkeeper James “Ringo” Phiri, the second goalie overall to have ever won the national award in question, was the winner in 1993, his side finishing in 5th place that season.

And when DR Congo-born Patrick Kabamba run away with the award in 2009, the Zambia national Commercial Bank-sponsored side were the Zambian champions that term.  

And more recently, when Zanaco FC central defender Ziyo Tembo was voted the Most Valuable Player of the Premier League for 2016, his team were champions for a record 7th time.

The Red Arrows’ twosome of Adubelo Phiri (2005) and Bronson Chama (2013) were Zambia’s Footballer-of-the-Year in the years shown in brackets when their team finished 5th and 6th in corresponding order.

And in the only season when a Green Buffaloes player has scooped the award in 2006 in Sebastian Mwansa, his side were runners-up to champions Zanaco FC.

And on all the occasions when Zesco United players have won the national Footballer-of-the-Year award in 2007 (Rainford Kalaba) 2010 (Jacob Banda) and 2015 (Winston Kalengo), the Ndola side has been champions of the elite league.

For Makinka having won the Zambia Footballer-of-the-Year award with a Premier League side already confirmed as relegated at the end of the season, is a feat of immense proportions, something unheard of again. For that reason, Derby has a special place in Zambian football and stands out like the Great Wall of China or indeed Zambia’s Mighty Victorious Falls – both registered as wonders of the world in global history.

In his own right, Derby Makinka is a wonder in Zambian football.

What is praiseworthy about Makinka is that when his team was relegated to Division One in 1989, unlike most star players behave, switching over to other clubs of the Premier League, with the midfield-governor, he chose to stick on with his relegated Profund till they bounced back to the elite league in 1991.

Come early 1993, Makinka, together with Nkana and fellow Zambia international, joined Saudi Arabian side El-Ettifaq – a club he played for up to the time of the horrific Gabon plane crash in which he perished with 17 other players of the national team alongside two coaches and 10 other passengers off the coast of Libreville, the Gabonese capital en-route to Senegal to fulfill a 1994 USA World Cup qualifier.

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