The Zambians in Aotearoa Association in New Zealand organized a traditional lunch to honor and celebrate the qualification of the Zambia Women’s National Team, known as the Copper Queens, for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Zambian community in New Zealand had the opportunity to connect with the Copper Queens and provided them with traditional hospitality during the event. The delegation, led by Col. Priscilla Katoba, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) women’s national representative, expressed their gratitude for the warm reception.
The team enjoyed Zambia’s staple food, Nshima, and expressed their surprise and appreciation for the gesture. Col. Katoba noted that the lunch served as a morale booster for the players, as they felt motivated and supported by the Zambian community in Aotearoa.
Dr. Munanga Mwandila, chairperson of the Zambians in Aotearoa Association, expressed his excitement and pride in welcoming the Copper Queens to New Zealand. He emphasized the strong bond within the Zambian community and their commitment to supporting the team during the World Cup. Mwandila highlighted the diverse support they expect, not only from Zambians but also from Africans, Kiwis, and other ethnicities who are interested in attending the games.
Lushomo Thebe, president of the Waikato Students Union, described the occasion as a dream come true for Zambian citizens residing in New Zealand. Thebe expressed immense joy and gratitude to the Copper Queens for bringing pride and happiness to the Zambian community. She emphasized the importance of having strong support in the stands and assured the team that they would have enthusiastic backing during their matches.
The Zambian Women’s National Team, competing as part of Group C, will face Japan, Spain, and Costa Rica in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, will take place from July 20 to August 20, 2023.
The celebration hosted by the Zambians in Aotearoa Association demonstrates the unity and support of the Zambian community in New Zealand as they come together to cheer on their beloved Copper Queens on their historic World Cup journey.