When Zambia beat Senegal at one of the two opening games of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon on January 21, 2012, Zambian netizens went abuzz on Facebook and Twitter to celebrate the victory even asking “Demba who?” referring to the much touted Senegalese player, Demba Ba, who plays for Newcastle United in the English Premier League. Demba Ba is the second top goal scorer in the Barclays Premier League.
Before the game Zambians wanted to get #Chipolopolo, or bullet, the Zambia national soccer team nickname, to trend:
@ntheyelungu: Let's get #Chipolopolo trending today @itawa_bovi @tha_jayman @zonefam @slapdee @missbwalya @mz_obika @GNdhlovu @ChiluLemba @Deejaylbc
Impressed with Zambia’s performance, one tweep describe the players thus:
@ilfabiano: Zambia are the more athletic and oozing with verve and versatility. That's the direction African football has taken #SSAFCON
A tweet by one radio station ticked off the doubters:
@rphoenixzambia: Well done chipolopolo the doubters and commentators didn't give us a chance,we truly are a great nation
Wondering where the EPL Newcastle superstar, Demba Ba was during the game, one tweep @kamateso had this to say:
Another tweep posted a YouTube video of the goals:
@missbwalya: Senegal 1-2 Zambia – Watch the goals: youtu.be/TerHEqJc-fY
@mwiingason reproduced a quote attributed to the Zambian captain:
@mwiingason: “Nobody expected us to beat Senegal, but our history speaks for itself. We need to carry on like this” ~ Christopher Katongo #Zambia
Zambian netizens were more expressive on Facebook. Remembering the 1993 Zambia national football team air disaster in Gabon on their way to play Senegal in 1993, John Ziba wrote:
Chipolopolo!!THAT WAS FOR THE 1993 GABON DISASTER great team! Now go on for the top prize.
Angela Chishimba simply stated in her post:
Demba who? Its Mayuka…[Emmanuel Mayuka scored first goal for Zambia]
Durban Kambaki injected some humour in his post:
What a nice feeling waking up to find Zambia won last night. Good boy that I am, I slept early and slept like a baby only to hear on BBC this morning the news. I will to stay awake for the next game.
But not all netizens were satisfied with the result. For Joshua Jere, Zambia could have done better and the players need to up their game:
I thought the Chipolopolo were on spot with they game plan but their endurance was in question. And if endurance is in question, concentration is lost. Against Libya Zambia stands a better chance than it did in the Senegal encounter. However the COPPER BULLETS should know this, North Africans play with 12th players on the pitch-THE REFEREE!
Richard Chanter recalled an article he posted about Mayuka early last year:
Well done Zambia! Told you about this player last year in March – remember?
Zambian star Emmanuel Mayuka struck again for Young Boys this week, his 90th minute goal sealing the victory over 10-men St. Gallen by a score of 2-0. The goal, Mayuka’s 7th in the domestic league…
Others like Shalala Oliver Sepiso, added a numerology mystique to the victory:
We played this game on the 21st in the year 12 of the 21st century not long after the Lusaka West 2.1 billion and in West Africa we scored 2:1 . The games will end on the 12th. The first goal was scored in the 12th minute and the second goal was scored in the 21st minute. Via Henry Nasilele and IZambia.