FJT, The Original Bally 1

By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba

It was shortly after the acquittal of Second President, Dr. Frederick Chiluba in August 2009, that veteran journalist and media consultant, Edem Djokotoe called me up.

Edem Djokotoe

When we met, Edem advised me:

“Emmanuel you have done a good job fighting for the cause of Dr. Chiluba. But you now have a big job to clean his name and rebrand him. Let people have a new perspective of him. Change his image, literally from his choice of clothes to his public image”.

We discussed how Dr. Chiluba could revive his Institute and devote time to giving academic university lectures on Democracy as he was considered the father of Democracy in Africa.

“But change those suits and shoes”. Edem insisted.

He said this because Chiluba’s suits and shoes had been subject of court processes and a source of negative propaganda against him by his political opponents.

I took the advise seriously.

We quickly made some of Dr. Chiluba’s public appearances with him dressed in casual clothes and sneakers! A rare occurence!

I also took Dr. Chiluba to uncharacteristic events beyond church events, funerals and weddings.

For example, we took him to the official opening of a sports shop at Woodlands Shopping Complex and he was dressed in a casual shirt!

We also took him to watch football at the O’Hagans Sports Club Bar situated at Manda Hill Shopping Mall donning an arsenal football club replica t-shirt with inscriptions at the back: “Bally 1”.


Chiluba already had popular existing nick-names such as FTJ, FJT, King Fred, Kateka, etc.

We had come up with various names but settled on three top ones which were: “Igwe”, “Bally” and “Kateka”.

All the names were suggested by his children.

I ruled out the name Kateka(ruler) because he was already called as such.

I also over ruled the name Igwe too.

Although popular because of the influx of popular Nigerian movies, I rejected it because it carried an admiration for a foreign but contraversial culture.

Bally seemed appropriate especially that it was widely used by young people to fondly refer to fathers or uncles.

His arsenal replica tshirt was branded “Bally 1″.

After his appearance at O’Hagans, the media were excited with this new nick-name and people would meet me, greet me and proceed to greet Dr. Chiluba by saying:”Bally 1 alishani?”

It was a hit with a lot of young people.

So before you appropriate great ideas, at least bother to give credit!

FJT was the orginal Bally 1.



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