Dickson Makwaza

From Chalo Chatu, Zambia online encyclopedia

Dickson Makwaza
Personal information
Full name Dickson Kenneth Makwaza
Date of birth (1942-07-15) 15 July 1942 (age 81)
Place of birth Mazabuka, Northern Rhodesia
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1961–1976 Mufulira Mine Team
(later Mufulira Wanderers)
National team
1965–1975 Zambia 74 (0)
Teams managed
1977–1982 Mufulira Wanderers
1983–1993 Roan United
1994 Bloemfontein Celtic F.C.
1994–1997 Botswana Meat Commission F
1998–1999 Comets FC
2000–2001 Indeni FC
2003–2004 Roan United

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Dickson Makwaza (born 15 July 1942 in Mazabuka) is a former Zambian footballer and coach. Nicknamed "Barbed-Wire" due to his tenacity in defence, he is one of the most decorated players in Zambian soccer history and was captain of the Zambian national team that made its first ever appearance at the African Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt in 1974. Makwaza also captained Mufulira Wanderers and was voted Zambian footballer of the year in 1973. He later coached Wanderers and several other club sides.

Early life

Makwaza was born in Mazabuka to Sweet Makwaza and Mangalita Chiinga. He started his primary school at Jeans School where he enjoyed playing football, and later went to Church of Christ School in Livingstone. After his father died in 1959, he went to Namwianga Secondary School and developed his football skills as a right winger.[1]

Club career

In 1961, Makwaza travelled with his mother to Mufulira to visit her sister and soon settled there. He started playing community football and was discovered by future team mate George Sikazwe who signed him for Mufulira Mine Team which later became Mufulira Wanderers.

He found established players such as Samuel Ndhlovu, George Sikazwe, Pennius "Kapenta"Chirwa, the Mvula brothers Goodson and Sandford, John Mwewa, Edward Musonda, James Phiri, Kenneth Simwanza, Joseph Menzu, Patrick Nkole, Rodson Chewe, Laurent Chishala and Richard "Magician" Changwe. Later, younger players like Bedford Kaputo, Tolomeo "Juva" Mwansa, Willie "Orlando" Kunda, Elijah "Kapilipili" Mwale, Joseph "Kanono" Musonda and Makwaza himself, started featuring more prominently in the team.[2]

In 1964, Makwaza switched to defence when Wanderers travelled to Chingola to play Nchanga Rangers with a shortage of defenders as "Kanono" Musonda was unavailable due to work duties with the mines. To the pleasant surprise of his teammates and coaches, Makwaza gave a good account of himself and it was decided to make the move permanent.[1]

Due to his time as a winger early in his career, Makwaza won many admirers as a skilful and ball playing centre-half. He played in one of the most famous football matches in Zambian history – the final of the Super Castle Cup between Wanderers and Salisbury Wanderers of Southern Rhodesia which the Zambian side won 4–3 on 17 October 1965.[3] Makwaza became a lynchpin of Wanderer's defence and his leadership qualities saw him being appointed club captain in 1969, the same year in which he placed third in the voting for the Footballer of the Year award behind Boniface Simutowe of Kabwe Warriors and Wanderers club-mate Robertson Zulu. He became one of the club's most decorated players winning all the silverware on offer in Zambian club football including 5 league titles. To cap it all off, he was voted Zambian Footballer of the Year in 1973 and was joint winner of the Sportsman of the Year award.

Makwaza played his club football solely for Wanderers and quit football in 1975.The following year, he became a coach for Wanderers who went on to win the league. His experience was however called upon as he made some appearances towards the end of the season. In March 1977, he became the team's head coach, replacing George Sikazwe.[4]

National team

In 1965, Makwaza made his debut against Kenya in September 1965 when Zambia won the Rothmans Soccer trophy in a three match series in Ndola, Kitwe and Lusaka.[5] Apart from Ndhlovu, Makwaza rubbed shoulders with players such as Freddie Mwila, Emment Kapengwe, Ginger Pensulo, Fordson Kabole and Charles Phiri at the national team. In changing the old guard, new faces were introduced into the team and these included Dick Chama, Godfrey Chitalu, Boniface Simutowe, Lazarus Musumali, Emmanuel Mwape, Abraham Nkole, Peter M'hango and Richard Stephenson.

Makwaza was first named captain of the national team in June 1967, replacing Howard Mwikuta.[5] However, the captainship rotated as Mwila and Chama took turns in leading the squad.[6][7][8]

Makwaza regained the armband and was named permanent skipper in August 1969 after Zambia lost 2–1 away to Cameroun to bow out of the 1970 CAN race.[9] In July 1973, Zambia crushed Nigeria 5–1 in Lusaka and lost 3–2 in the second leg to qualify to the African Cup of Nations (CAN) for the first time. Zambia's qualification was due in no small measure to Makwaza's sterling work in defence and his leadership qualities. It was Makwaza's proudest moment when he led Zambia to the CAN in Egypt and after finishing second in their group behind Egypt, Zambia beat Congo 4–2 to make it to the final where they drew with Zaire 2–2 but lost the replay 2–0.

For his CAN exploits, Makwaza was decorated by President Kenneth Kaunda at an investiture ceremony on Africa Freedom Day, 25 May 1975 with the Insignia of Honour. Also honoured were national team manager Eliya Mwanza and coach Ante Buselic. After more than 70 appearances, Makwaza retired from the national team. His last game was against Mozambique in that country's independence celebrations which Zambia lost 2–1 in June 1975 in Maputo.

Makwaza won a number of minor trophies with Zambia, such as the Rothman's Trophy, the Peter Stuyvesant trophy and the Kenyan Jamhuri cup.

An amazing statistic from Makwaza's career was that he never received a yellow or red card while playing for Wanderers and Zambia.

Coaching career

Makwaza was first appointed Wanderers coach in 1976 and became head coach in March 1977, the year Wanderers made history by becoming the first Zambian club to make it to the semi-finals of the Africa Club Champions Cup. They beat Moulodia of Algeria 3–2 on aggregate in September 1977, after goals by Bwalya and Benson Musonda saw them wipe out a 2–1 first leg deficit.[10]

In the semi-finals, they beat Hearts of Oak of Ghana 5–2 in the first leg in Lusaka but were eliminated on away goals after Hearts prevailed 3–0 in Accra. The fallout from this was that the Wanderers' executive was purged and Makwaza was reportedly sidelined and replaced by Ndhlovu. However, Makwaza returned to lead the team to, as well as feature in, that year's Independence Cup final which they lost to Roan United 3–2.[11] He however refused to blame the team's poor performance on the administrative upheavals.[12]

The following year, Wanderers reached the semi-finals of the Africa Cup Winners Cup when their quarter-final opponents Navy of Zanzibar withdrew but they lost to Algerian club Milaha Athletic Hussein Dey (MAHD) featuring a young Rabah Madjer, again on the away goals rule with a 2–2 aggregate score line after winning the home leg 2–1. He won the league title and the Challenge Cup in 1978 and in the following year Wanderers represented Zambia in the Africa Club Champions Cup.

After defeating Simba of Tanzania 4–0 in Dar es Salaam in the first round first leg, Wanderers turned up for the second leg on 1 April 1979 in Lusaka, in what appeared to be a formality game. In a shocking turn of events, Wanderers were battered 5–0 to exit the competition. The press had a field day, calling it Wanderers' "most miserable performance in history" and "a big April Fool's Day affair."

A dejected Makwaza attributed the loss to his players taking the game casually and issued a public apology for the debacle – "I hope that any team that will be given a chance to represent the country in future will do better than us."[13]

In March 1982, Wanderers supporters held a meeting at which they discussed the lack of progress by the club in the last three years in which the club had failed to win a single trophy and laid the blame on the coach. When Makwaza heard of what had transpired, he tendered his resignation which the club accepted.[14]

Makwaza then moved to Roan United in Luanshya as coach and won the 1983 BP Challenge Cup when Roan beat favourites Rhokana United 2–0 in Lusaka.[15] Makwaza would stay with Roan until 1993 when he moved to South Africa and coached Bloemfontein Celtic in 1994. That same year he moved to Botswana where he coached Botswana Meat Commission FC and led them to a second place finish in the league and won the Coca Cola Cup. Afterwards he coached Comets from 1998–1999 then returned to Zambia to join Indeni FC with whom he stayed from 2000 to 2001. Thereafter he made his way back to Roan United and became their coach in 2003. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the team's Technical Advisor.[1]

Makwaza served as national team assistant coach for several years under Brian Tiler, Chama and Ndhlovu. He was assistant to Chama at the 1980 Olympic Games and also travelled to the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988 where Zambia reached the quarter-finals. In 1988, he was honoured by President Kenneth Kaunda as part of Zambia's Olympic squad which reached the quarter-finals in Seoul. He took charge of the national team on temporary basis at CECAFA 1989 where Zambia reached the semi-finals and he was part of the coaching bench at CAN 1990 in Algeria where Zambia won the bronze medal with his son Linos featuring prominently and scoring a goal against Kenya.

Personal life

Makwaza married Hilda Nachande and they had seven children, five of them sons of which only Linos, made it in football, playing in 3 Nations Cups in 1990, 1992 and 1994 and emulating his father by appearing in the CAN final 20 years after Makwaza's exploits. Linos now coaches Nkana FC. Makwaza has settled in Luanshya and has stated that he was happy with his career but bemoaned the lack of recognition for soccer stars of the past. He recently made an appearance on Zambian television as part of the panel of analysts analysing games during the 2012 African Cup of Nations tournament which saw Zambia win their first continental trophy.


Club honours

  • Zambian League Title: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1969
  • Charity Shield: 1967 and 1968
  • Castle Cup: 1965, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1973 and 1974
  • Zambia Challenge Cup: 1967, 1968 and 1969
  • Heinrich Cup: 1964, 1965 and 1968
  • Super Castle Cup: 1965.
  • Champion of Champions Cup: 1976

National honours

Makwaza won a number of minor trophies with the Zambian national team:

  • Rothmans International trophy: 1965, 1966 (3 match series with Kenya)
  • Jamhuri Cup: 1967 in Kenya
  • Heroes Cup:1968 against Uganda
  • Uganda Independence Cup: 1968
  • Independence Cup: 1968 against Tanzania
  • Peter Stuyvesant Trophy:1969 (3 match series with Malawi)
  • BAT Independence Trophy: 1969 (3 match series with Daring Faucons of Congo DR)

Individual honours

  • Zambian Footballer of the Year: 1973
  • Zambian Sportsman of the Year: 1973
  • Insignia of Honour: 1975
  • Order of Distinguished Service (2nd Division): 1988

Coaching honours

With Mufulira Wanderers

  • Zambian league title: 1976 and 1978
  • Charity Shield: 1976 and 1977
  • Zambian Challenge Cup (Shell Challenge Cup/BP Challenge Cup/ BP Top Eight Cup): 1978
  • Heinrich Cup/Chibuku Cup/Heroes and Unity Cup: 1976
  • Champion of Champions: 1977 and 1978

With Roan United

  • BP Challenge Cup: 1983

With Botswana Meat Commission

  • Coca Cola Cup: 1996


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Anon. "Makwaza: Longest serving Zambia captain” Zambia Daily Mail, 1 January 2011, p.10
  2. Lombe, Humphrey "What makes Wanderers tick?" Times of Zambia, 7 December 1978, p8
  3. Anon. "Mufulira take Castle Cup" Times of Zambia, 18 October 1965 p.14
  4. Anon. "Makwaza is new coach" Times of Zambia, 24 March 1977 p.8
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anon. "Work keeps trainer Zoom at home" Times of Zambia, 28 June 1967 p.12
  6. Anon. "Chama: National captain” Zambia Mail, 14 April 1968 p.29
  7. Anon. “The big soccer shake-up” Times of Zambia, 27 November 1968 p.12
  8. Anon. “Chama heads soccer squad” Times of Zambia, 16 April 1968, p.8
  9. Anon. “Axed: Skipper Chama, Zoom Ndhlovu – Dickson Makwaza is new captain” Zambia Mail, 25 August 1969 p.12
  10. Sikazwe, Sam (1977) "Mighty Wanderers sail through" Times of Zambia, 25 September 1977 p.10
  11. Chipalo, Expendito "Sailota grabs cup for Roan United" Times of Zambia, 14 November 1977 p.10
  12. Masiwa, Ephraim "The month Wanderers will never forget" Times of Zambia, 14 November 1977 p.10
  13. Sikazwe, Sam "Wanderers bow out in disgrace" Times of Zambia, 2 April 1979 p.8
  14. Lwanga, Davies "Makwaza quits Muf Wanderers" Times of Zambia, 15 April 1982, p.8
  15. Mijoni, Violet "Stylish Roan lift BP Cup" Times of Zambia, 3 October 1983 p.10


Muchimba, Jerry "Dickson Makwaza – Zambia’s Defensive Rock of the ‘60s and ‘70s" Bola Yathu http://bolayathu.com/index.php/component/content/article/88-more-football/386 (retrieved 1 June 2012)

External links