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PROFILE:- Rural Back Ground Plots Football Academy Coach Jethrow Matalise

PROFILE:- Rural Back Ground Plots Football Academy Coach Jethrow Matalise

June 12
20:29 2018

By Ashton Kelly Bunda aka (BAK 2BAK)

IT IS PLAIN to see from the retired Zambia Army (ZA) Military Staff Sergeant’s eyes, a clearly burning ambition confronting new football career challenges and frontiers despite being born and bred in a deplorable rural back ground.

“That is why I relocated back to my roots in the rural areas in Chongwe, my childhood dream of setting up a Soccer Academy to improve grassroots football in Zambia is about to come true and I have been assured of goodwill support,” the former Green Buffaloes football club (GBFC) Captain proudly explains.

Rural Back Ground Plots Football Academy Coach Jethrow Matalise in Lusaka

Jethrow Matalise, was actually brought to life by Cephas Matalise and Lenah Machai on the 12th of November 1970, at the then Lusaka General Hospital now University Teaching Hospital (UTH).


The future soldier was started walking the school corridors in 1977 at Lwimba Primary School in Chongwe situated in Manyika, a block in the rural area and went up to grade in 1985.

Paster Peter Makembo with Ashton Kelly Bunda Thursday 4th June 2015 pix by Derrick Sinjela

The future Riflemen coach embarked on his football career at Lwimba Primary School in the first team as an 11-years-old lad.

In the year 1986, Matalise’s soccer career started shaping up when he was moved to Kafue at Naboye Secondary School then he was attending night show casing his will and determination to gain education at all costs.

Whilst pursuing education at Naboye Secondary School he attending training sessions during the day and it was then that his unique talent was spotted by the Bata Tannery Company in Kafue where he was then signed as a school by player as right winger.

“Just as I said back then I tried to burn the candle on both ends by going to school in the evenings and attending football training sessions during the day in an effort to build an intelligent future soccer administrator in me,” he proudly narrated.

In an effort to complete his senior secondary education, Matalise was compelled to relocate to Kitwe on the Copperbelt in 1988 at Chamboli Secondary School where he enrolled for Grade 10 and part of Grade 11.

It was during his hays days at Chamboli Secondary when then coach Spider Chibale who was Kabwe Warriors and Nitrogen Stars Football Club player made to change from a marauding striker to a cunning no nonsense tough defender following a an ankle injury and creating a down earth player with a bright future.

He completed secondary school education called Grade 12, today at Kafue Secondary School, where he was appointed school prefect and house captain for Aggrey House.

Football Career:

Professional football has known Jethrow Matalise as a tough tested defender typical of a military man since playing at Nitrogen Stars Football Club.

In 1989, the Kafue Division One side was tutored by coach George Mwangoli, who strengthened his defending skills after being converted from a striking winger after being poached from Bata Blue Stars.

It was at Nitrogen Stars Football Club that he met the late prolific striker, Kevin Mutale, one of the soccer heroes and heroines, who perished in the 1993 plane crash in Gabon, then playing in the under 16 team in Kafue District.

Matalise’s soccer heydays got to the climax being instrumental in helping Nitrogen Football Club get promotion to the Zambian high flight ‘Super League’ in 1991.

In the same year, 1991, Matalise left Kafue to join the Zambia Army sponsored Green Buffaloes Football Club as a multi- talented defender, who could switch from right back to central defender.

In 1992, the future Chongwe United Football Club coach added value and depth to Green Buffaloes Football Club, as the soldiers emerged one of the best admirable teams conceding less goals.

This superb performance earned him a call up in the FAZ Midlands Select Best players and later drafted in the Under 23 National Team.

In 1994, Matalise gained more experienced and defensive flare that earned him appointment as Green Buffaloes Football Club Captain for four (4) years till 1998, making him one of the extra ordinary players and a high achiever.

The legendary status came into being in the same material year when his team won a silver medal in Zimbabwe, during the All Military Games called (CISM).

Rural Back Ground Plots Football Academy Coach Jethrow Matalise in Lusaka Zambia

He narrated that Zimbabwe, who hosted the tournament led the log table by goal difference and qualified for the finals in Burkina Faso, but failed to travel to Burkina Faso due to logistical issues and decided to ask Green Buffaloes Football Club Army Commander in Zambia, requesting the Zambian side to represent Zimbabwe in the finals being the second best team, but the army sports administrators refused the offer since the team did not prepare adequately.

During the Zimbabwe outing, GBFC managed to be runners up or second best team then tutored by Coach Danniel Yobe, Jack Simbule, the late Obby Kapita, Bernard Mutale, Peter Banda Peter Tembo, Miltone Muke and the late Jones Chilengi.

Other notable players mentioned are Lieutenant Thomas Bwalya, the current GBFC Director of Sports, Chewe “Bomber” Mulenga, the late Maybin Chisanga, Boniface “Killer” Chanda and the former Under 20 Captain Boston Malama.

In 1986, the in-form army sponsored team “called GBCF meaning “Go Boys Conquer and Fight” travelled to Botswana for the BONANZA tournament in Gaborone and won a Gold medal after defeating hosts Botswana Defence Forces team 2-1 with goals courtesy of Daniel Kafwimbe and Aubrey Ngolukila.

In the same year, Matalise was drafted into the National Team after impressing in the Midlands Select National Team but a knee injury, excused him from playing the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in South Africa.

Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Andrew Kamanga inside Woodlands Stadium

“You see, I think I missed out on an opportunity of my life time to play in the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), when I sustained a knee injury.  I pulled out myself for fear of disappointing Zambians in a crucial tournament,” recollected Matalise as he mentioned Shy Kumwenda, Kabamba Kalande, Ronald Mukosha, Chris Mapataki, and  the Zambian of Asian origin Sadat,  as one of the players he played with in the1996 team.

Marriage Life :

In 1993, Matalise kissed goodbye to bachelorhood in Lusaka and married Joyce Musonda, a niece to the late Lieutenant Colonel J. Mwelwa, formerly Commandant at Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka, then residing within Arakan Barracks.

The retired Staff Sargent has been happily married now 25 years and has 5 healthy children and one granddaughter.

Coaching Career:

In 1997 Jethro Matalise embarked on yet another journey on new challenges in his career this time around football tutor, where he kicked off as being the assistant coach for Riflemen and was led by Polson Phiri as head coach.

Matalise started learning the ropes of practical coaching by observing head coach Phiri’s philosophy at Riflemen for 3 years.

In the year 2000 his coaching career took an upward swing to maturity and was appointed head coach for the army side until he retired in 2016.


Earlier, in 2010, months before retiring from Riflemen Football Club, Matalise obtained the Football Association of Zambia license (D) coaching certification and in the year 2011.

In the 2016, the Staff Sergeant did additional theory of the beautiful game in readiness of bigger and tricky challenges and garnered a Confederation of African Football (CAF) License (B).

Christopher Katongo with Great Kalusha Bwalya win 2012 Afcon

The eager retired Staff Sergeant assured the author that in case of clarification of his coaching credentials, the former Technical Director at Football House, Coach Honour Janza, who once tutored the Zambia National Soccer Team can serve as a referee, thus allaying fears of being an impersonator.

It was in the same year 2016 that coach Matalise called it a day and decided to retire from the Army and relocated back to his roots at the farm in Chongwe Shishengola village in Manyika area.

Matalise’s coaching career and experience reached a climax in 2017 after relocating to his motherland in Chongwe District, awakening youths as head coach for Chongwe United Football Club .

The former Green Buffaloes Football Club (GBFC) Captain, initially relocated to Chongwe District, East of Zambia’s capital city Lusaka, with intentions of setting up a Soccer Academy, to consolidate grassroots football in Zambia.

“You see initially my sole purpose of relocating to my roots is too set up a strong base of grassroots soccer , that has been my childhood dream, I want the future to take over a stable and strong football background on our path way as Zambians to be a football super powers in Africa and give formidable competition to the rest of the world as we speak am ready to take up and coach any big team in Africa,be it ZESCO Football Club , Nkana Power Dynamos, the bankers ZANACO Football Club, Buildcon Football Club, ‘wounded’ Green Buffaloes or Lusaka Dynamos, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, Zamalek of Egypt, Cotton Sport of Ivory Coast and others,” Coach Matalise passionately eyed greener pastures.

It was in the 2017 that he used a 21-year-old soccer career to help Chongwe United Football Club win promotion to Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) Division 3 from the lower tier Super Amateur league within Lusaka Province.

The satisfied and excited looking coach Matalise also disclosed that the upcoming midfield maestro Thomas Zulu who is currently a holding midfielder is his product from Chongwe United who is on loan at Kafue Celtics football club.

The Staff Sergeant bragged that with a milestone achievement of promoting Chongwe United Football Club to FAZ Division 3 and leading Green Buffaloes for four (4) years and gaining experience after coaching army division one side Riflemen Football Club, he qualifies to be in the upcoming “Ashton Kelly Bunda Collaboration Media International Sports Museum” for Legends (AKBCMISM).


Coach Matalise wants to complete a high level Confederation of African football (CAF) coaching course license (A) and Supreme level CAF Professional license.

With vast 21-year-ood soccer coaching knowledge and experience Mataise is ready for new challenges in the at National Team level in Africa.

Who Inspires him?:

Asked as to who inspires him , the Ex-Serviceman responded tagged Power Dynamos Kelvin Kaindu, tutor of Platinum Stars Football Club in Zimbabwe.

“Kaindu stands out having risen after acquiring the UEFA license (B) with the Norwich Soccer School certification in the United Kingdom (UK),” said Matalise.

Rural Back Ground Plots Football Academy Coach Jethrow Matalise

Kaindu once played for the Ministry of Health (MOF) Football Club and Garden Stars in 1993 and move on to play for Lusaka Dynamos in1994 to 1995 and the joined league title winners Zanaco Football Club and later signed on by Zimbabwe’s High Landers Football Club.

Matalise equally mentioned ZESCO Football Club Head Coach “Chicken George Lwandamina as one of his mentors and former Green Buffaloes Football Club George Chikokola, as one of the ‘Soccer Gurus’ credited with drilling an illustrious career.

Abroad, Coach Matalise said Manchester United Football Club Manager Jose Mourihnio, Manchester City Football Club Head Coach, the Spanish Joseph “Pep” Guardiola as worthwhile mentors.

Ponga Liwewe

The humble forward looking and creative soccer coach appealed for support from Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) President Andrew Kamanga and outgoing FAZ General Secretary Ponga Liwewe,, peers, Youth,Sport and Child Development Minister Moses Mawere, General Education Minister David Mabumba, Community Development Minister Emerine Kabanshi and corporate entities to build a Football Academy, as the sport is considered as an industry employing millions of people and thus putting money in a footballers pocket.

Hobbies :

Canon Dennis Philip Liwewe

In his spare time, Coach Matalise loves to read widely as literature helps gather knowledge from all aspects life and since childhood has fallen in love music that soothes him.

Apart from reading and music, the Staff Sergeant watches war movies likened to the game of football with two opposing teams on the battle zone, fighting for their rights, wining territories that are according to the late Canon Dennis Liwewe, one of the best Soccer Commentators, voted by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) way back in the 1970s.

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