Former Orlando Pirates and Zambia star dies

The football world mourns the passing of a former Orlando Pirates and Zambian star, sending shockwaves through the sporting world.

A pall fell over Zambia as the Football Association confirmed the tragic passing of Justin Shonga, a player who made his mark during his time at Orlando Pirates.

According to FAZ, the 27-year-old succumbed to a brief illness and passed away at Sikanze Military Hospital in Lusaka.

FAZ’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF PASSING OF FORMER ORLANDO PIRATES FORWARD

“Former Zambia National Team midfielder Justin Shonga has died,” reads a statement posted the FAZ Facebook page.

“Zambia Police Deputy Spokesperson Dan Mwale has confirmed in an interview with the FAZ Media Team. Mwale said Shonga died at Sikanze Military Hospital after a short illness.”

Shonga was in the books of Najran FC of Saudi Arabia having signed a short-term deal for the side at the beginning of the year. His contract expired at the end of the season.

A free agent at the time of his passing, Shonga was reportedly attracting interest. One of the clubs linked with him was Al Wahda, a team previously coached by Pitso Mosimane in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, there was also a club from Qatar that wanted to sign the free-kick specialist.

HOW SHONGA ROSE TO FAME IN SOUTH AFRICA

Few recognized the name “Shonga” when he joined the Buccaneers from Nkwazi in the 2017/18 season. However, he became one of the fan-favourites after he hit the ground running.

Shonga made his mark in his first season at the Soweto club, scoring four goals in 23 appearances across all competitions.

He was later joined at Pirates by his countryman Augustine Mulenga, and together they formed a remarkable partnership on the field.

Over his entire spell with the Sea Robbers, Shonga notched an impressive 16 goals and 16 assists in 77 matches.

After parting ways with Ezimnyama Ngenkani in 2020, he went on to join Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila, spending less than six months at the club prior to moving on to Cape Town City.

Shonga's stay at Cape Town City was short-lived. He left the Citizens in the same year and signed for the Egyptian club Ismaily. However, his stint there was also brief, lasting only until the first round of the season before he moved on to Sekhukhune United.

He then went back to Nkwazi, a club he played for before he came for greener pastures to South Agrica.

Shonga also turned out for FC Gagra before making a move to Najran SC.

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.