KAIZER Chiefs and Zambia legend Collins Mbesuma successfully launched his football academy in his hometown of Luanshya on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old University of Pretoria striker has started his own academy and foundation as part of his efforts to repay his community.
In attendance at the launch were Zambia’s Minister of Sport Emmanuel Mulenga, the mayor of Luanshya Nathan Chanda, Football Association of Zambia vice-president Rix Mweemba and Chipolopolo head coach Milutin’Micho’ Sredojevic.
Even though ‘Ntofontofo’ was not physically present as he is currently in South Africa, the launch went well.
“No everything went well, I’m very happy,” Mbesuma tells KickOff.com.
“My organisers were there, they did everything. This academy is to empower youth you know, to give back to my community and to give back to youth in Zambia.
“But now I’m just starting from where I started my journey, in Luanshya. I have some professional people there who can help also, and in time I will be there. You know it’s not far, it’s just a two-hour flight [from SA to Zambia] so I’ll be there often.”
The former Portsmouth striker says starting the academy while he is still active does not mean he is about to retire from playing.
“No no no, it’s just a time you know. You have to put everything in place, you can’t just rush things, you have to plan, and I’ve been planning,” he explains.
“I think this is a nice time to do it. I’m still active and I will see year by year. I have to do it because I can see, especially in my home town, the football level went down because I think there’s no development there. SoI think that forced me to do it.
“For now the plan is just to start you know. What I’m looking to do is just to help the youth… we will see if they establish themselves. There are going to be trials and I think from just a young age, maybe from under eight and go up there.
“Before I even made it and started playing professional football at Roan United back home, I used to even take the kids, like six-year olds, and go and train them you know.
“So it’s been in me since my young age. I used to make a plastic ball and go and train them.”