African Football

Walter Bwalya, Chipolopolo saga: When is the white smoke emerging?


The inclusion of Nkana striker, Walter Bwalya to the Chipolopolo set-up is a subject of a heated debate in Zambia football circles.

In question, is the nationality–whether he is eligible or not, to play for Chipolopolo, having been born to a Zambian father and a Congolese mother. He also spent some years of his life in Democratic Republic of Congo, before returning back to Zambia.

Bwalya played for Forest Rangers in Ndola, then switched to Nkana on a short loan stint before joining them permanently.

Early in 2016, the Zambia Immigration officers raided Nkana stadium before summoning Walter Bwalya and other Congolese born prayers.

Henceforth, the debate of his nationality embarked as the striker himself maintains being a Zambian.

“I’m still waiting for my call up to Chipolopolo”, he said in an exclusive interview with Now, that’s someone who is adamant of being a Zambian and that he is eligible to play for Chipolopolo.

Apparently, he won the hearts of many fans after grabbing the 2016 Zambia Super league golden boot, with remarkable 24 goals. Who wouldn’t lurk such striker in their National team?

Chipolopolo handler, coach Wedson Nyirenda, affirms, Walter Bwalya can be the guy to get him goals, alongside Collins Mbesuma, when Zambia face off with Algeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

However, Nyirenda cannot take any risk. He says “I always say that as long as the documentation is in place I have no problem. But as long as the legitimacy is still in question I cannot take a risk”.

The Chipolopolo coach, wants to see documents, proving that indeed Bwalya is a Zambian.

About James Sibeleki

African football writer, covering the game across the continent. Covered the U-20 Africa Cup of the Nations, in Zambia.


  1. Musonda MuKeje

    April 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Zambia has a dual citizenship let him choose country of his choice Zambia because of father parentage.

  2. Francis Namakube

    April 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    I think it’s up to him to decide whether to play for Zambia or not, if he was born to a Zambian father, then he is eligible to play for chipolopolo unless if he has other ideas.

    • James Sibeleki

      April 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      But he says, he anxiously waiting for the call to Chipolopolo.

    • Francis Namakube

      April 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      If that’s what he’s waiting for and he is not being called to chipolopolo team up to now, then i don’t know why he is not being given a chance because to me he has been a very good striker in the league and he deserves a call up to the chipolopolo team.

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