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Zambia's Davies Nkausu runs with his national flag after winning the African Cup of Nations final soccer match against Ivory Coast at the Stade de l'Amitie in Libreville, Gabon, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Caption: Zambia’s Davies Nkausu runs with his national flag after winning the African Cup of Nations final soccer match against Ivory Coast at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, Gabon, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Sunday evening, I stayed glued to my Facebook feed reading reactions and analyses from my childhood friends. Zambia, the country of my birth, was competing against Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations for soccer. The game was made more special as the Copper Bullets — the name of our soccer team — was playing in Gabon, where 19 years ago, a plane carrying our soccer team crashed, killing all on board.

I wasn’t able to watch the game, so relied on Facebook, stats on goal.com and Twitter to stay abreast of the action. When I learned we were in the penalty phase, all the posts in Facebook feed got tense. I could feel all my friends holding their breath around the world.

SCORE NOW!!!!
Mweene…you got these…come on!
I hate penalty kicks…. They make me so nervous!!!!
Many of my friends in who were showing up in my Facebook feed no longer live in Zambia, so this was our communal way of cheering on Zambia together. Friends from Australia, England, Zambia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and all over the U.S. were sharing their updates with their friends. I had never seen any experience like it before. And when Zambia won 8-7, my feed erupted with updates showing a range of emotion.
ZAMBIA.
Tears.
Way to go Zambia!!!
CHAMPIONZ OF AFRICA 2012
I had never experienced something of that magnitude before where all the people I know from my childhood converged on one platform to cheer on our beloved country’s soccer team. Social media made that happen.