A Meeting With Jericho Shinde
One of Zambia’s most creative Midfielders of the 1980’s, Jericho Shinde lives a quiet life now after having coaching stints at Nkana, Kabwe Warriors and Kalulushi Modern Stars.
This writer caught up with Jericho at a restaurant in Kitwe’s heavy industrial area. The place used to be a post office. It is situated just behind the Buildlect complex.
Jericho is a regular patron of this place which sells food, beer and assorted drinks.
Jericho Shinde sat at one of the tables close to the counter. He was sipping his favourite drink, Coca Cola.
A close friend to this writer recognised Jericho Shinde and greeted him by his footballing nickname, “ Ah muli shani ba Tanker?”( meaning “How are you Tanker?”). The soccer legend was in a very jovial mood and responded in a very welcoming manner.
This writer and his friend sat at the same table with the Zambian football legend, as he was the only patron in the restaurant at that time, to chat with him.
When asked about what his feelings were with regards to the semi- final defeat that Zambia suffered at the last Cecafa tournament in Kenya, he said, ”Guys, do you know that our current players cannot compare to the likes of Kalusha Bwalya? They might be in the generation of players who brought us the most prized honour in African soccer, but their quality is not anything to be proud of.”
“Look, when I was active as a coach,” he continued, ”I could see defenders colliding due to poor communication at the back and I would ask them Hey you guys why are you colliding like this? Is Alex Chola on the field of play? Alex Chola is the only player who caused defenders to collide due to his dribbling skills.”
The Tanker was not happy for the top scorer in the league to attain fewer than twenty goals in the recent season. He said, “You see guys I think KCM and FAZ should set minimum goal targets for the top scorer in the league. They should say for the league top scorer to get the prize money, he should score a minimum of 25 goals. If there is no one who beats that target in a season, there should be no award given to the top scorer in that season. That will encourage players to work hard and score more goals. In the end, the national team will start performing well.”
He further went on, ”These days I’m a worried person because it has been long since our national team scored more than three goals.”
He paused a while to smoke. After a while he laughed and said, ”You see, when we were playing at Nkana, we used a lot of psychology as players. I remember one incidence when Beston Chambeshi and I intimidated a goalkeeper. We deliberately started arguing as to who would take the penalty kick. Beston said Let me take this penalty because if you take it you will make this goalkeeper dirty. Jericho, you like taking your penalties hard and low. Look at this pitch it is not even. I will take high in the top corner.”
He continued, “Beston did just that. He took the penalty and aimed for the top corner. The goalkeeper went low in the opposite direction.”
He went on to recount how they dominated the Zambian league in the 1980’s as Nkana. ”We had a very good understanding of each other on the field of play. We fought for each other. We could change the system of play within a game without the coach saying so. We knew how to respond to our opponents. The coaches and the other players trusted my leadership on the pitch as captain.”
He laughed and continued, ”One day we lost our game to Kabwe Warriors. Gentile (Kapambwe Mulenga) came into the changing room. Ben made a mistake in defence and caused that defeat. He was having his shower and he had foam from his soap in his eyes. Gentile went straight to him, slapped him in the face, and demanded his training allowance. We never got any bonuses for a defeat.”
This writer chipped in and asked the Tanker why he had a poor performance when Zambia played Algeria in 1985 at Independence stadium during the Africa cup qualifier. This writer watched that match live and saw that Shinde did not have a good game.
Shinde responded and said,” Ah so you remember that game? I was in pain. Many people did not know that I was carrying a knee injury. Our national coach, Colonel Brightwell Banda, insisted that I should play that day. You know by then Zambia Army supported the national team a great deal. The army had the best drugs at that time. The Coach arranged for me to go to the military hospital where they injected me with a pain killer. I could not cope with the pace of Rabar Madja in midfield. He disposed me of the ball and passed to his teammate on the wing. He ran into the box to meet the cross and headed the ball in. It was too late for us to fight back as it was scored in additional time and we lost.”
Now more people started coming into the restaurant. It was difficult to continue the chat with the Tanker. It was such a pleasant day to sit and talk to one of the most gifted midfielders in the history of Zambian football.
Jericho Shinde won several titles with Nkana football club. He is a soccer icon in Kitwe.
He is truly a legend of Zambian soccer.
Read More About Jericho Shinde: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho_Shinde