Former Bidvest Wits winger Clifford Mulenga has speculated what he feels might have resulted in Lazarous Kambole flopping at Kaizer Chiefs.
Kambole was released by Chiefs in July 2022 to end a three-season spell at the club. During his time at Naturena, the Zambian forward managed to score just two goals.
This is after he had arrived at the club amid high expectations following some good exploits in the Caf Champions League with Zesco United. But he failed to live up to his billing at Amakhosi.
Mulenga feels his compatriot might have felt unwelcome at Chiefs which could have made it difficult for him to settle down.
The former SuperSport United winger slams South African players for what he alleges to be a hostile “attitude” towards their foreign teammates.
“When Kambole joined Kaizer Chiefs there were big expectations on him,” Mulenga told Touchline News.
“Players adapt differently to new environments. Kambole had just moved to a new country and joined one of the biggest clubs in African football. And it took him a long time to adapt to the new environment.
“The attitude of South African players is different and you need to be aware of that. South African players have a different attitude towards Zambian players and those things can be a big factor.”
The outspoken Mulenga says he is speaking from experience as he mentions himself as an example of struggling to settle into the Premier Soccer League culture.
“When I first came to South Africa it took me a long time to adapt,” said Mulenga. “I got to know the culture and mentality of South African people in general.
“People used to tease me on the way I spoke. I made friends with the late Dumisani Masilela – may his soul rest in peace – and George Maluleka who advised me to understand the culture first.
“They said once I did that I would fit in. When you speak English to some players they will respond in IsiZulu or SeSotho and as a foreign player that can affect you. I went through that too. James Chamanga, Collins Mbesuma and David Nkausu all experienced that. Maybe that is what happened with Kambole at Chiefs.”
After leaving Chiefs, Kambole joined Tanzanian giants Young Africans but was loaned out to former club Zesco. Interestingly, he suddenly found his scoring boots upon joining the Zambian heavyweights.
This has raised questions about why he lost his scoring touch at Chiefs but is now back to his best. Amakhosi’s style of play might have not suited Kambole who played under three coaches Ernst Middendorp, Gavin Hunt and Stuat Baxter in his three seasons at Naturena.
Kambole would be keen to keep on with his scoring form and earn a return to the Zambian national team.