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Mulenga – Why Kambole Struggled At Chiefs

Former Bloemfontein Celtic forward Clifford Mulenga has discussed why he believes Lazarous Kambole struggled at Kaizer Chiefs.

Mulenga spent more than 10 years in the Premier Soccer League and played for 11 teams. He started his journey in the colours of University Of Pretoria back in 2004/05 season, while his last stint in Mzansi was with Jomo Cosmos in 2018.

The Zambian international explained how difficult it is to play in South Africa and what he experienced when he first arrived in the country.

The 2012 African Cup Of Nations winner mentioned that language was a problem at times and also felt there is a “different attitude” of South African players toward Zambian players – all things which he believes played a role in his countryman Kambole struggling to live up to expectations at Chiefs.

“When Kambole joined Kaizer Chiefs there were big expectations on him,” Mulenga told Touchline News.

“Players adapt differently to new environments. Kambole had just moved to a new country and joined one of the biggest clubs in African football, and it took him a long time to adapt to a new environment.

“The attitude of South African players is different and you need to be aware of that. South African players have a different attitude towards Zambian players and those things can be a big factor.

“When I first came to South Africa it took me a long time to adapt. I got to know the culture and mentality of South African people in general.

“People used to tease me on the way I talked [my accent]. I made friends with the late Dumisani Masilela – may his soul rest in peace – and George Maluleka who advised me to understand the culture first. They said once I did that I would fit in.

“When you speak English to some players they will respond in IsiZulu or SeSotho and as a foreign player that can affect you. I experienced that as well. James Chamanga, Collins Mbesuma and David Nkausu all experienced that.

“Maybe that is what happened with Kambole at Chiefs.”

Kambole seemingly found a new lease on life after joining ZESCO United in the January transfer window, where he started his reign with four goals in his first three matches.

Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco is one of South Africa's brightest up-and-coming football journalists. Makonco shot to prominence on social media as a reliable source for South African football news and transfer stories, and is currently working as a junior journalist at iDiski Times.