The last time I travelled to Mozambique capital, Maputo, was in 2004 on a tour of duty to cover a Cosafa Castle Cup match between the Mambas and the Flames and I had fun, lots of it!
One thing I learnt during the trip was the Mozambican capital residents’ passion for night life. I befriended a young lady called Sonia, who made sure that I enjoyed every moment of my stay. She took me to popular night spots such as Coconuts, Havana and Chez Rangel—one of the best romantic spots with intimate surroundings.
My beloved Flames lost the game 2-0, but I found comfort in Sonia’s company and on the night after the game, she took me to Chez Rangel where she offered me practical lessons on some of the most popular Mozambican dances such as marrabenta and, of course, pasada, which is common on the local scene.
But the dance that I still have fond memories about is maxixe in which a man and a woman wriggle their waist attractively all the way up and then right down. To my amazement, it dawned on me that the dance extends to bed and it is also called shushu. Sonia explained to me how it is done as we sipped a drink called caipirinha, it was quite a lovely experience that I nearly missed my flight back home the following morning.
Well, I have been reminded about my Maputo adventure because of the increasing number of our players who are heading that side in search of fortune. Over the years, football standards have improved noticeably in the former Portuguese colony so much that they are able to attract exciting talent from the region, including our own players.
Our first-choice national team goaltender Simplex Nthala, midfielder Joseph Kamwendo and Zicco Mkanda play for a top side called Maculmana while Chiukepo Msowoya is also set to renew his romance with the Mozambican capital. Others are Sankhani Nyirenda, Jimmy Chikulekule, Lewis Minjale and Emmanuel Chipatala.
Of course, there has been a lot of debate as to whether the standard of the game is any better than ours. But one thing is clear, the pay is much better in Mozambique. While the highest salary that our players earn is in the range of K15 000 to K20 000, virtually enough to buy bonya, top Mozambican clubs pay an equivalent of K800 000.
They are also able to showcase their talents to a wider audience through continental tournaments such as the CAF Champions League and the Confederations Cup. And if you are lucky, you are bound to be served by a chic like Sonia. Any wonder that our boys are heading that side? To God be the glory! Uloliwe.. Uloliwe wayidudula hi..Nang’esiza! [The train is pushing!]