Justin Shonga, Former Orlando Pirates Player, Dies at 26 in Zambian Hospital

Justin Shonga, Former Orlando Pirates Player, Dies at 26 in Zambian Hospital

Former Orlando Pirates forward Justin Shonga has passed away. The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) confirmed the sad news, announcing that Shonga died on Sunday evening in a Zambian hospital after a brief illness.

The Passing of a Star

According to a statement from the FAZ, Shonga’s death was confirmed by Zambia Police Deputy Spokesperson Dan Mwale. Shonga passed away at Sikanze Military Hospital after battling a short illness. His untimely death has left the football community in mourning.

A Journey Through Clubs

Shonga’s career had taken him across several continents and clubs. Most recently, he played for Najran FC in Saudi Arabia, where he signed a short-term contract to wrap up the 2023/24 season. Before that, his career had seen many ups and downs.

A Star with Orlando Pirates

Shonga joined Orlando Pirates in 2017 from Zambian Super League side Nkwazi FC. During his three years with the Buccaneers, he made 70 appearances, scoring 16 goals and providing 16 assists. Under Serbian coach Milutin Sredojević, Shonga was a key player for the team. However, he left the club at the end of the 2019/20 season in search of new opportunities.

The Nomadic Life of a Footballer

After departing from Orlando Pirates, Shonga’s career took him to various clubs. In October 2020, he joined Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, but his stay was brief. By January 2021, he had moved to Cape Town City FC, only to leave in October the same year for Egyptian giants Ismaily SC. His time in Egypt was short-lived, and he returned to the PSL in January 2022 with Sekhukhune United, parting ways six months later.

Returning Home and Moving Abroad Again

After a period of being unattached, Shonga returned to his roots, rejoining Nkwazi FC in September 2022. His career then saw another international move, first to FC Gagra in Georgia in July 2023, and then to Saudi Arabia’s Najran FC in January this year.

A Proud Zambian National

Shonga was not only a club player but also made significant contributions to the Zambian national team. He debuted in June 2017 and earned 15 caps, scoring seven times for the 2012 AFCON winners.

Remembering Justin Shonga

Justin Shonga’s passing is a great loss to the football world. His journey through various clubs and his dedication to the sport left a lasting impact. Fans and colleagues remember him for his skill, his contributions on the field, and his role in breaking barriers for Zambian footballers internationally. The football community mourns the loss of a talented and dedicated player, whose legacy will be remembered for years to come.

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