COMMONWEALTH Games gold medalist Muzala Samukonga says the love and support he has received from Zambians has motivated him to work hard in future.
Speaking after receiving a two bedroomed house in Lilayi worth K850 ,000 and monetary donations over K500,000 at the Luncheon at State House, Thursday, Samukonga said what he achieved at the Commonwealth was the beginning of his career.
The sprinter also received various support that included 100 bags of cement ,an Apple iPhone, groceries worth K750,000 from 260 brands and various products support from Coca Cola and trade kings.
He said the support he had received was mind blowing and nothing he expected when he minted gold in the 400 meters race in Birmingham.
“I feel great .You know I don’t even know what to say. Thank you to everyone that has been supporting me. Thank you for the love. I didn’t expect such. It means a lot to me and it will push me to work even harder as a pay back to the Zambian people,” he said.
Samukonga said Zambians should bare with him for his emotions as he was not used being the center of attention or being in the limelight.
“For me this is all new, people wanting to talk to you. Cameras on me, I am not used. I was not born a celebrity. I was born a runner and that’s the only thing I know how to do best. I apologise because emotions get the better of [me] and I fail to control them,” he said.
Samukonga added that he would maintain his discipline and not be swayed away by his new found fame.
“For me being disciplined is part of me. All this is new but it can never change the person that I am. I will continue working harder to achiever greater things. I can’t let down the people of Zambia, they have shown me so much love and support,” he said.
Samukonga added that he was also very happy that he had made his parents proud.
“My parents are proud of me, you have no idea. In fact they are more than proud and I won’t disappoint them,” said Samukonga.
Samukonga was last week ranked 16th in the World, second in Africa and Commonwealth Countries after his performance at the Games.
And Copper Queens defender Margaret Belemu hailed President Hichilema for hosting sportsmen and women after their achievements at the Women Africa Cup of Nations, Commonwealth Games and Chess Olympiads.
In her vote of thanks on behalf of athletes , Belemu thanked the Head of State for hosting the athletes for a luncheon that opened doors for the business community to pledge sponsorship for various excelling sports people.
Belemu pleaded for increased support for the Copper Queens as they prepared for the FIFA World Cup campaign pencilled for Australia/New Zealand in June next year.
“Everyone knows that the bigger journey begins now with preparations for the FIFA World Cup to be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia. The level of investment in preparing for the World Cup will be greater and we expect that once again through your support we will be fully supported,” said Belemu.
Government fully funded the WAFCON campaign for the first time and has pledged to also finance the FIFA World Cup campaign through a revised Memorandum of Understanding with FAZ.