Hikabwa D. Chipande teaches African History and Sports at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. He obtained his Diploma in Education from Nkrumah Teachers’ College in Kabwe, Zambia and his BSc and MSc from the Norwegian School of Sport Science in Oslo, Norway. Hikabwa obtained his PhD from Michigan State University in USA. His research work focuses on the relationships between popular culture: football (soccer), sport, politics and social change. Hikabwa is Managing Editor for the Zambia Social Science Journal; he actively participates in the running of sports in Zambia and also undertakes consultancy work in Zambia focusing on sport and Physical Education.
Football and the changing experiences of African mineworkers on the Zambian Copperbelt, 1930s to 1960s
The rapid expansion of the industrial Copperbelt in the early 1920s attracted thousands of Africans from within and beyond colonial Zambia who came in search of wage labour on the area’s many flourishing mines. By the 1930s, over 30 000 African mineworkers were employed by the Roan Antelope Mines in Luanshya. In an attempt to exert control over the ‘appropriate’ form of leisure activities that their African employees practiced, mine managers introduced Western pastime activities such as football and physical drill in the early 1930s. This paper builds on the few existing academic works on the tension between Europeans and Africans in the conceptualization of leisure arguing that Africans opposed the imposition of Europeans leisure activities by interpreting them as part of ‘work’ and demanding monetary payment as a precondition for their participation in them. The paper uses archival and newspaper sources to argue that African miners in the Roan Antelope Mines in Luanshya actually appreciated some Europeans pastimes like football as seen in how they appropriated and played the game in their communities. If corporate officials sought to use football as a way of imposing their control and civilising values, Africans sought to play it for pleasure and were determined to retain autonomy in the running of the game. More broadly, this study builds on the scholarship on the social history of football in Africa and tensions between commercial interests and ordinary workers in colonial Africa.