I always had hope that we would survive- Gwen
What a season for Napsa Stars! But with special interest on one Gwen Mulundu Chipasula the Media Officer for the team who kept hoping that breakthrough for the team would come and get off the relegation zone.
Bwezani Mbewe of Soka25east managed to talk to the Napsa Stars Media Liason Officer and understand how she perceived the 2018 season.
But how did she find herself in football?
Gwen : Firstly I have always loved football.. Back when I used to live with my parents, my dad and I would always sit together to watch soccer matches and that became my favorite thing to do.
When I was still a student studying Journalism and Public Relations, I did my attachment at ZNBC TV 1 and I requested that I go straight to the Sports desk. Great support I received from the team I worked with
After I got done with college I went to Times of Zambia where I must accept that I learnt almost everything I know today. My boss Mr. Elias Chipepo was always tough on us and that really made me work extra hard. Napsa eventually poached me to work as Media Liaising Officer and that’s where I’m now.
Soka25east : Who would blame Napsa Stars today after this hard working lady has made the team visible everywhere with a lot of people wanting to be associated with the team. But how does it feel to work in a male dominated industry for Gwen?
Gwen: Ideally being a sports journalist allows you to deal with a lot of males so working for Napsa isn’t really something different for me. And everyone at Napsa Stars treats me like their sister so I guess that’s even more encouraging.
Soka25east: Let’s fast forward to 2018 soccer season with a lot of promises for the team after a successful pre season, what happened with Napsa Stars.
Gwen: Well, up to now non of us really understands and we can’t point fingers at anyone. We didn’t start well as a team and along the way we corrected that and we just thank God that it was not too late. I guess ups and downs are normal in football. But we promise our followers that next season will be a whole lot better.
Soka25east: You faced relegation…. As Gwen who was always with the team, did this have serious impact in you?
Gwen: It did, a lot. I handle the pages and all the negativity comes right direct at me . It’s never easy being in the relegation zone because even at work things change. People lose jobs , people you worked with and got used to go and you would seat there to wonder who is next, maybe you, it’s very normal and common in football because the sponsors and fans want answers and sometimes it can be confusing.
Soka25east: Did you have any hope that maybe just maybe you would survive?
Gwen :I always had hope that we would survive. Mostly because the team would assure me that time and again. I had days when I lost some hope. Especially when we lost to teams that every team saw it easy to defeat. It was draining but working in football somehow makes you strong because we are always told not to focus on a game that has passed.
Soka25east: Then came the game against KYSA and news came through that Lumwana had lost at home. Napsa survived. Just describe the feeling.
Gwen: It was exciting. Because before the game I had 100% hope that we would beat KYSA and with a lot of goals.. but they gave us a tough game. We even missed a penalty, it was scary so after the final whistle it was really exciting for all of us.
Soka25east: Give us your memorable moment in the 2018 season.
Gwen: Beating Power 4-1. That result was everything. Since I joined Napsa we had never beaten Power . We would always draw or lose by a goal.
Soka25east : And your worst.
Gwen: Games where we concede in the last minute always have been my worst. And this season I remember the game against Power and Nkana both in the first half.
Soka25east: You have pushed the level of media at Napsa Stars so high. What do we expect in 2019. Especially that you have managed to stay up?
Gwen: More work I guess. It’s actually even more motivating to have people like you appreciate my work on a regular because it encourages me to work even more. You know Bwezani my team isn’t at a place where people expect it to be and work becomes hard especially media coverage, so I need to be on my level best to help it be on the map.
Soka25east : Your message to the growing fans for Napsa Stars.
Gwen : We love and appreciate them. It’s because of them that the team fights hard. And next season everyone is working hard to see the team be in top four. The coach is yet to tell us his plans for the coming season but I’m sure everyone is expecting better.
Soka25east : I can only see passion in this and not work, this lady loves what she does and results of her work can tell.
We can only wish her and the team all the best…