The Returns
September 2, 2021
An Outrage
September 4, 2021

The Caring Legend

Abraham Nkole relaxing at home

By Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (September 1st 2021)


Last month Mufulira Wanderers and Zambia legend Abraham Nkole found out that he was entitled to free healthcare for the rest of his life. He immediately encouraged teammates and opponents alike to register for NHIMA (the National Health Insurance Management Authority) which runs the National Health Insurance Scheme. (Nkole encourages former footballers over 65 to register for NHIMA) (Nkole urges all Zambians over 65 to register for NHIMA)


But what is NHIMA? It is a health insurance scheme initiated by the government of former President Edgar Lungu in 2019. Zambians can contribute part of their earnings to join the scheme and that entitles them to free healthcare. Children under 5 are eligible for free healthcare under the scheme.

I have been to Zambia several times – the aim was largely the same. The Liberation Era footballers in particular were elderly – they had made a great contribution to breaking down white supremacy through their football skills before independence was achieved in October 1964. They had medical needs that were not being catered for. They needed medicines that they were not receiving.

Sadly, many suffered in relative silence, unaware that NHIMA existed and that there was a vital part that applied to them.


Every Zambian citizen who was over 65 years old was entitled to free membership of NHIMA, which allowed them to register their spouse, whatever her/his age, and up to five children from that marriage aged under 18 years old.

Those entitled to NHIMA through that were entitled to free assessment of their medical needs and in the case of the over 65-year-old and spouse to free healthcare for the rest of their lives. This includes operations if required, but only at NHIMA accredited hospitals.

Abraham Nkole was convinced. He went to the Ronald Ross Hospital in Mufulira. The scheme was explained to him by Anita Kambi when she registered him for NHIMA. It was an easy process – see the video below. (Anita Kambi registers Abraham Nkole for NHIMA and explains the scheme to him).

The Programme

Confirmation of his registration, including his NHIMA number was rapidly sent to the phone number that he provided while he was being registered.

Nkole was delighted. He wants others to enjoy the benefits of this scheme, so he became part of the Zambian Sports Legends Foundation’s programme to get former players and all Zambians entitled to enjoy the benefits of the scheme to register. (Abraham Nkole’s comments after he registered for NHIMA)

He has encouraged Mufulira Wanderers teammates, Michael Kapembwa, Thomas Bwalya, Benson Musonda and Baron Mung’oma to register for the scheme. Former miners have contacted him about the scheme and registered for NHIMA due to his drive to help Zambians over 65 to get their entitlement to free healthcare.

Former Roan United and Zambia legend supports the registration drive as well. He assisted former teammate Nicodemus Noble Mwansa to register and visited Patrick Nkole – already registered – in Ndola.

The 87-years young Mufulira Mine Team legend, McLean Kabwe, was the first to be registered and have a medical assessment through NHIMA. Mufulira Wanderers and Zambia icon, Ackim Musenge has also been registered and had an assessment. Former Green Buffalos and Zambia skipper, Emmy Musonda, has also registered for NHIMA.

Musonda was badly injured in a crash caused by the team’s driver attempting an ill-advised overtaking manoeuvre. Musonda could not care for his needs, developed diabetes and suffered amputation above the knee. Now, his medical needs will be provided for him free for the rest of his life. There are many others sporting or not who can be assisted by registering for NHIMA.

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