Rest in peace TIMOTE
Virtually every football player of sort has had some myth or crazy story surrounding them. Some true and some untrue. But in sense and the beauty of the game they transcended and epitomized the very player.
We have had mythical stories that where especially back in day where movement of information was so limited. And due to such it made stories appear real.
And here a man, who shared an equally strange rather life status. Dorning the colours then Real Magnificent Kabwe Warriors. Nothing against the Railmen of today. But if you grew up during that Timothy Mwitwa era or just about around. But thought much earlier will be sweeter, you understand what the title “Magnificent” meant to legion of the Kabwe Warriors.
“Timote” as some called him was one this particular myth associated with him. They said in those loose football debates, that he was a 45 minutes players. Its one myth that maybe disputed by many but be supported by many too.
Like the theme that dominated Shinde back in the day. They said “Mighty Iwine Ichungulo”. That simply kept those abena Milambo fans stay in stadium until the final whistle.
This Mwitwa, he would completely be a pale shadow of himself. And suddenly after the interval he would mesmerize, embarrass and destroy opponents. To some they called him a good reader of the the game. Maybe that’s were the nickname “Teacher” came from. He took to study in the first half and dish out lessons on the second half.
And indeed he was without doubt one of the best players that entered the books of Kabwe Warriors. And he was part of that title winning side in 1987 as a freshman but wearing the shoes and heart of seasoned competitors.
This is the Timothy Mwitwa as he was christened at birth who could have been celebrating his 51st Birthday on the 21st May 2020 as he was born on that day in 1969.
Football wise Mwitwa is said to have started his professional career at Ngungu Rangers also called Kabwe Rangers during that period. And it was the season of 1986 that he was spotted by legendary Late Zambian and Kabwe Warriors goal machine “Ucar” Godfrey Chitalu then as Coach for Kabwe Warriors.
The joined the Railway men at the end of that season and became an integral member of the Warriors side in 1987.
He introduced himself in that debut season for Warriors with the League title lining up alongside the likes of Whiteson Changwe who was also part of the Gabon Air Disaster.
His excellence in the type of football he exhibited clearly cemented the Teacher as he was not shy to give football lessons to a lot of defenders who faced him during games and perhaps the name that became common was Tiger because of his calculative moves on the pitch.
As earlier stated, Timothy Mwitwa played for Kabwe Rangers after which he joined Kabwe Warriors where he was an exceptional player at the age of 18 winning the title. Still with Kabwe Warriors Timothy Mwitwa won the Charity Shield twice in 1988 and 1992.
Most remembered one is the 1988 edition at Lusaka’s Independence stadium were Warriors were victors against Mutondo Stars. Followers of Kabwe Warriors still believe that could have been one of his best games in the Warriors colors.
Power Dynamos were the victim of Mwitwa’s sublime skills in the 1992 seasonal opener at Woodlands Stadium were he scored one goal in the 3-0 routing of the team from Ndeke.
With his exploits at Warriors, Timothy Mwitwa was identified by Sparta Praha in Czechoslovakia in 1990 but was on his way back to railway ground in 1991 Mwitwa to help his relegated Kabwe Warriors who were relegated in 1992 after having suffered relegation to the lower tier (First Division) at the end of the 1990 season.
That was Kabwe Warriors’ first ever demotion since the team became part of the inaugural 1962 National Football League.
There is no way he would not be in the national team and he was drafted into the National Team and records still states he has two goals in AFCON qualifier and one in World Cup Qualifier.
He participated in the 1990 AFCON where ZAMBIA was eliminated by Nigeria in the semi final after beating Kenya and Cameroun only to lose to Yekin as Zambia were booted out via 2-0 scoreline.
He participated again in the 1992 AFCON believed by many to be one of the best AFCON in the history of the tournament held in Senegal. Mwitwa was reaching his height.
Zambia beat Egypt in the first game 1-0 with Kalusha Bwalya goal in the 61st minute before losing 1-0 to Ghana but qualified to the knock out stage because Egypt had lost too to Ghana,
Zambia was eliminated by eventual champions Ivory Coast 1-0 after extra time.
Unfortunately, that would be the last tournament for Timothy Mwitwa and his friends who looked like they had been becoming a formidable team to conquer Africa and qualify to the World cup.
Rest in Peace , Teacher Tiger!!
/ 11 months ago
Sierra Leone FA President who also doubles up as CAF Executive Council member Madam...