Former Zambian national team striker, Dennis Lota who died of suspected malaria bout last week, was laid to rest at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 12 February 2014.
The Moroka Swallows assistant coach who made his name when he played for Orlando Pirates five years ago was given a huge send off by several former and current Bafana Bafana players, the entire Swallows team and top football officials. The funeral was also attended by Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund and his assistant Serame Letsoaka.
Lota died last week having just returned from his native Zambia where he is believed to have contracted malaria.
The deadly striker was born in Kitwe, Zambia on 08 November 1973. He started his professional career with Zanaco FC of Zambia in 1989 before leaving for Nchanga Rangers at the beginning of the 1991 season.
Lota left Nchanga to join Kabwe Warriors after a failed attempt to rejoin Zanaco. At Warriors, he never settled and left after one season to join Konkola Blades.
It was at Konkola where the late brother to Kalusha Bwalya, Benjamin transformed Lota from a midfielder to a lethal striker who went on to win the Zambia Golden Boot in 1995 and later became a strong target for international clubs.
A contractual conflict later emerged between FC Sion and South Africa’s Black Aces with each team claiming to be the rightful owner of the player.
The matter was later resolved and Lota went on to play for Switzerland’s FC Sion. Upon leaving FC Sion, Lota joined Orlando Pirates where his prowess in front of the goal and particularly his celebration (rubbing his palms against each other), earned him the nickname “Chesa Mpama”.
He was part of the Zambian African Nations Cup teams in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 He has two brothers who are also footballers, Charles and Lawrence Lota.
In March 2011, Dennis was appointed Moroka Swallows first team’s Assistant Coach until he met his untimely death on the 4 February 2014. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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