Afcon

WHICH FANS CAN LOOK AHEAD WITH OPTIMISM?

The first round of matches are almost complete but a few are still to be played. From the ones which I have watched, I know some fans will be very optimistic about their teams.



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WHICH FANS CAN LOOK AHEAD WITH OPTIMISM?

14 September 2020

The first round of matches are almost complete but a few are still to be played. From the ones which I have watched, I know some fans will be very optimistic about their teams. Others however will be will be filled with trepidation although it is early days yet.

I watched Liverpool going toe to toe with Leeds United. It might turn out to be one of the classics of the season. Leeds United refused to be cowed by the defending champions, thrice equalising until a reckless challenge led to a second penalty which Mo Salah gleefully buried. 4-3 the final result!
(Mo Salah)

Will Liverpool be able to defend their title? Many pundits are worried that the players will run out of legs because of Jurgen Klopp's preferred high press. Liverpool have been playing this way with the same sqaud for close to four years so tiredness is likely to catch up with them. But Klopp recently declared, "We will not defend the title, we will attack it!" Well the man is not for turning, he will not change his style.

I was impressed by Mo, he now looks fitter and hungrier and even less selfish. Yesterday he tried to play in strike partner Saido Mane on more than one occasion. If this new found selflessness endures through the season, then the Reds might be in with a shout for retaining the title.

(Willian and Aubameyang)

Arsenal continue to improve under Arteta and good things are promising. In Aubamayeng, they have a captain and a striker who will bury the chances. In Gabriel they have a defender who looks solid and gives everyone some confidence. And in the returning Mohamed Elneny, they have a more mature and accomplished player. He is definitely an upgrade of young Matteo Gouendezi. Will it be happy days for the Gunners fans? Well, I think a top 4 finish and the mandatory FA Cup will make everyone happy.

At the time of going to press, Manchester United, Chelsea, Sheffield United, potential top four contenders had not played. But I watched a new look Everton playing against Tottenham Hotspur.
(Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Mina)

Everton look like they have done some good business. Allan and Dacoure are the kind of midfielders who will give them a good chance to sneak into the top 4. If they keep James Rodriguez fit, then he will sprinkle some gold dust on to this team. Everton fans must be excited and in Carlo Ancelloti, they have a seasoned manager. I hope their result against Tottenham was not a flash in the pan. One result does not make a season but this was an impressive performance.

As for Tottenham, they have their work cut out. A lot improvement is needed if they are to gate crush the top 4. Will Jose Mourinho find a solution before Daniel Levy loses his patience? Only time will tell.

Leicester City will always entertain under Rodgers and yesterday they did. A routine 3-0 win over WBA confirmed their status as one of the heavyweights of the EPL.

Which fans will be filled with trepidation. The usual suspects, WBA, Fulham and West Ham will give their fans sleepless nights. While fans of the first two might be resigned to the inevitable relegation dog fight, it is the West Ham fans who will have anxiety combined with frustration.

West Ham fans boast that they are the Academy Of Football but year in and year out they fight relegation. A betting man or woman might put their money on David Moyes to be the first manager to lose his job.The eject button is likey to be pressed soon! Those who own the club are not the most patient! Poor Moyes, each defeat adds one more wrinkle fo his aging face!

It promises to be an exciting season. Hopefully the fans will be allowed back soon. With the new signings on board, many fans can look to the future with optimism. For others like yoyo clubs WBA and Fulham, the struggle it seems will continue!

Hopefully Covid 19 will not derail the season. We love football!

by Lot Chitakasha


THE SHOCKING KITS DEBATE!

It is that word again, SAGA! I remember my first encounter with it way back in the 1980's by reading the Sport page of the Herald Newspaper. Then it was the CHIMUTANDA SAGA! The flawed genius who was Archford Chimutanda had turned down a National team call up.



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THE SHOCKING KITS DEBATE!

10 September 2020

Football teams seem to be competing to have the most shocking kits as the new season commences on 12 September 2020. Teams have unveiled their second and third kits and to say they have stretched their creativeness is an understatement. They have taken liberties with these kits and fans opinions are divided.

In one camp are those who are prepared to give the teams the benefit of the doubt. One fan said, "it is just like football boots, they used to be all black, now they are multi coloured and fans enjoy them.." Others however are not amused. "A mutilation of the clubs identity!" some have argued!

(Manchester City 3rd kit)

Both camps might be raising some valid points. I am more inclined towards those who suggest that creativeness with second or third kits should not be restrained. These kits are meant to accommodate those fans who might have unique tastes. Some prefer colours such as pink and clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United have tended to accommodate this. Without necessarily gender stereotyping, I can say such colours can appeal to female fans. This has the potential to bring in more fans from diverse backgrounds.

(Manchester United 3rd kit)

The Manchester United kit especially has come under harsh criticism. It is fair to say that it has become the butt of jokes with Zebras and prisoners in black and white jumpers accompanying most postings of the new kit on Social media. Some have defended the kit by suggesting that an anti racist message is embedded in the design. This however has not been verified and I do not think it has anything to do with the current BlackLivesMatter campaign. Instead the designer Adidas has suggested that the kit is a "Celebration of 110 years of stripes at Old Trafford...". The claim that the kit puts across an anti-racist message should be dismissed. After all the design started two years ago long before the current anti racism campaign came into full force.

I think the the kit will generate interest. Fans have been away for close to six months and anything to keep them engaged is welcome. I however hope that they mix up the kit and wear black shorts with that top. A complete set of the kit indeed does not look easy on the eye. I wonder how it will come out on TV.

Yes, fans will continue to talk and as they say any publicity is good publicity. I accept, the new kits will take some time to get used to but one thing is certain, they will be difficult to ignore. That in itself is a success! Those of a conservative persuasion when it comes to kits can always buy the home kit!

It is a win win situation!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KODE!!

From an African football perspective, the 1990 World Cup held in Italy was a game changer for the continent. As such, I often find myself reminiscing about this pivotal year in African football history.



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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KODE!!

5 September 2020

Joe Mugabe turned 51 this week and I wish him many more. "Kode from Mabvuku", as he is popularly known in Zimbabwe football circles belongs to that special breed of midfielders who can be termed as "diminutive Generals" in the middle park. The old adage "dynamite comes in small packages" fits Kode like a glove and in this description he is in the royal company of many such masters of the midfield battles.

Kode hated to lose. Kode played with his heart. Indeed, Kode left everything on the pitch. These qualities served him well for the 15 or so years that he was at Caps United. Despite his dimunitive stature, it was rare for him to be overun in midfield battles even against opponents who were twice his size like Shepherd Muradzikwa for example.

Joe's career is an endorsement of a well structured junior policy which produced many stars. His junior years were spent at Caps United a team he later served with distinction in his senior career. What a stellar career he had, he is a true legend of the club!

His career is also an endorsement of schools football. School always nurtured talent and I had the privilege of watching Joe way back in 1986. Yours truly with my star studded Harare High School team had qualified for what was then the Dunlop High School tournament. Our team had the likes of Stanley "Tyson" Chmwanza, Stuart "Jomo" Takawira, Willard Magorimbo the Captain Louis Sande among other young stars who went on to have fruitful careers in Zimbabwe.

Despite having these quality players, we played most of our matches without the fans. Where were the fans? Well most of them were watching the Churchill high School matches and guess who was the star attraction? A then 16 year old Joe Mugabe! The young star was already box office at this level and was getting rave reviews from many.. "pane mupfanha we Churchill anonzi Joe akapenga..!" fans were saying. And indeed this early appraisal proved right. He rose from a High school star to dominate the Zimbabwe football fraternity. My respect and I can boldly declare, I was privileged to see the journey begin.

Let me use the occasion of the "The Diminutive General's" birthday to also celebrate some of the midfielders who fall in this category.

Kenneth Jere of Dynamos here was nicknamed Computer. He was of small stature but he dominated most midfield battles. What a player, a Dynamos legend!

We all know about Benjamin Nkonjera the "little General". He was a ball winner and never conceded ground in any midfield battle. Maybe he did not make as many forward passes as he was supposed to but what a fighter he was.

Another who fits the "dynamite in small packages" description is Memory "Mwendamberi" Mucherahowa the Dynamos former captain for 13 years. Incidentally Memory happens to be the best friend of our esteemed birthday boy who has inspired this article. Friends off the pitch, fierce rivals on it. The derbies between Dynamos and Caps United often turned to be the battle for midfield supremacy between Mwendamberi and Kode. We were spoiled, for close to 15 years at the peak of the two's powers they enthralled fans with their midfield mastery. When Memory Mucherahowa was head-butted before a crucial Africa Champions league final in 1998, Dynamos became rudderless. Without their influential skipper, they lost the match 4-2 to Asec Mimossa of Ivory Coast. This incident reinforced the value of the "little general" to the team.

(Memory in blue fighting for the ball with Joe)

And yes, who can forget Max Ruza of Shabanie (where I think he played his best football) and later Black Rhinos. "The man with the smallest pair of shoes, size 6", erstwhile football commentator Charles "CNN" Mabika used to say. Yes he was small but Max Ruza was a midfield general. He ran and ran for ninety minutes, never gave an inch to the opponent and never accepted defeat. He had a big heart and in football this often compensates for lack of a big physical stature. My respect, it is a shame that I could not find a picture of him in action.

I say long live to Kode even as I remember some of the "diminutive generals" in the middle of the park. Unfortunately both Jere and Nkonjera now lie in the cold earth but they left us with cherished memories.

Legends!


Afcon(New England Top courtesy of footyheadlines.com)

NEW KIT FOR ENGLAND

England has launched a new kit which will be worn by the Three Lions at the Euros in 2021. The kit borrows heavily from the Umbro kit which was used by England at the 1998 World Cup campaign in France.



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NEW KIT FOR ENGLAND

3 September 2020

England has launched a new kit which will be worn by the Three Lions at the Euros in 2021. The kit borrows heavily from the Umbro kit which was used by England at the 1998 World Cup campaign in France. According to respected football magazine FourFourTwo, the new kit pays homage 1998.

Scott Munroe while being excited about the new kit which he described as bold readily admitted to have borrowed the idea from 1998 campaign. He said, "The home kit features an intentional reference to the France 1998 kit, the many fans we consulted seemed to be in love with this team!"

This is the power of nostalgia and I think for many England fans, the run and goal by Michael Owen against Argentine might have cemented their love for the team. That was a great goal and simply unforgettable, a permanent deposit in the memory bank. Nike seems to have wasted little opportunity in exploiting this nostalgia to market the kit. Of course, the tournament ended in tears, England did what they do best, lost on penalties to their nemesis Argentina. The defeat was compounded by the impetuous kick by David Beckham which led to a red card. Many still wonder what could have happened if Beckham had stayed on.

(Michael Owen in old England kit)

Inspired by the Nike idea in their design of this new kit, I make reference to our great continent and picked the iconic kits which I think bring great memories not just for the great results, and the great players involved.

My first picture shows my all time favourite Bafana Bafana (South Africa) player John "Shoues" Moshoue in full flight. He was a great player and that kit reminds me of his midfield masterclass against Ghana and Cameroon in the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations which Bafana Bafana won. The team had a great tournament and for that, this kit deserves a revisit one day when a new kit is made. It is iconic.

(John "Shoues" Moshoue)

Next on my list, I give a double portion of Rashid Yekini's iconic moment as he celebrated Nigeria's first ever goal at the World Cup in 1994 (USA). What a moment that was, Nigeria and Africa was united in joy! I have also added a picture of that great team, iconic team and a classical kit! If Nigeria kit designers ever feel nostalgic, this should be their first port of call.

(Rashid Yekini)



(Nigeria)

The Ghana kit, well I have included it purely for aesthetic reasons and of course because of the icon who is Abedi Pele. A golden generation of players who included Tony Yeboah wore this kit. Unfortunately big egos intervened with the team ethos and scuppered any chances the Black Stars might have had on the field of play. What a wasted generation!!

(Abede Pele)

If Cameroon decide to go retro they should go back to Italia 1990 for inspiration. Who can forget that run to the quarter final spearheaded by the ageless Rodger Milla. Who can forget the waist wiggling celebrations by the corner flag. Those were cheished moments for Cameroon and Africa as a whole.

(Cameroon)

And yes, for our Nation Zimbabwe, the Dream team era united a nation. Success was elusive but while the campaign lasted, the ride was good. For purely aesthetic reasons, I will dare to suggest this kit used by the team in their first match against Sout Africa. It was a match which set the tempo and left me with indelible memories of that goal by Peter Ndlovu. Dear reader, you have to watch that one to believe it.

(Zimbabwe Dream Team)

Yes nostalgia is powerful and even sports giant Nike is aware of that. My list is not exhaustive but it offers a glimpse into some of the iconic kits that African Nations have used. Cherished!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

THE MESSI SAGA!

It is that word again, SAGA! I remember my first encounter with it way back in the 1980's by reading the Sport page of the Herald Newspaper. Then it was the CHIMUTANDA SAGA! The flawed genius who was Archford Chimutanda had turned down a National team call up.



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THE MESSI SAGA!

2 September 2020

It is that word again, SAGA! I remember my first encounter with it way back in the 1980's by reading the Sport page of the Herald Newspaper. Then it was the CHIMUTANDA SAGA! The flawed genius who was Archford Chimutanda had turned down a National team call up and the Football leaders of the day led by Frank Valdermaca had responded by banning him from football activities. Archie's grievances were genuine, he had a simple demand. "Insure me first and I will play!" It was eventually resolved but left me with a new word for my vocabulary.. SAGA.

Another saga is unfolding at the Nou Camp. Football genius, magician, legend, star, I have run out of superlatives. Lionel Messi is demanding a divorce from a football marriage which has lasted close to twenty years. He is fed up and is seeking pastures anew. But Barcelona will not budge.

When Jaap Stam was sold to AC Milan in 2001, Roy Keane the then Manchester United captain was both crude and brutal in his assessment of the situation. He said "Stam has just discovered that players are just expensive peices of meat, they have little power if a club wants to sell.." That was typical Keane at his brutal best.

It is true to say Messi thinks he has the power to move as a free agent. He believes the 700 Million Euros buyout clause is no longer valid since the season has expired. On technicality Barcelona are saying he should have given notice to leave on the 10 of June, he was ten days late in doing so. On that basis, they are demanding that he stays or the money has to be paid.

Like Roy Keane said, Barcelona are demanding their pound of flesh. They want Lionel but will gladly let him go for the astronomic fee of 700 million Euros. I think the later scenario will make them happy for they do not want to keep an unhappy player.

It is a depressing situation for the Barcelona fans. It is a depressing situation for the player. And yes for the neutrals watching from a distance, it is a sad situation.

Barcelona and Messi seemed like a match made in heaven. For the past 20 years especially at the peak of his powers, Messi made Barca tick. He put in some devastating performances and waved his magic wand to rescue many matches. And now it has come to this!

Eventually a solution will be found, most likely a financial one. Barcelona and its embattled President Jose Maria Bartomeu will get their pound of flesh proving once more the crude assertion by the firebrand Irishman Roy Keane, "players are just expensive pieces of meat.."

How sad!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

MEMORY LANE-THE 1990 WORLD CUP

From an African football perspective, the 1990 World Cup held in Italy was a game changer for the continent. As such, I often find myself reminiscing about this pivotal year in African football history.



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MEMORY LANE-THE 1990 WORLD CUP

26 August 2020

From an African football perspective, the 1990 World Cup held in Italy was a game changer for the continent. As such, I often find myself reminiscing about this pivotal year in African football history. But that is not all I remember about this World Cup tournament, there were many subplots and I will highlight them in this discussion.

The Cameroon team which arrived in Italy was not star studded. In fact, most of the players were locally based and and a few were playing in France. As if to reinforce this point, the Nation's President General Paul Biya had to persuade semi retired legend Roger Milla to join the party. Milla was playing his football in the French island of Reunion when the call from the highest office came. He duly agreed. It proved to be an inspired decision by the President who was then in the infancy of his long rulership of the West African Country. He has now clocked 38 years and the title Life President can rightly be added to his name!

Cameroon shocked Argentine with an Oman Biyik header, then beat Romania with two goals from the President's choice, Roger Milla. They then lost to Russia by a big 4-0 scoreline but had done enough to qualify for the second round where they met Columbia. In this match, Cameroon and Roger Milla wrote a new script for Africa. Two goals from the veteran striker meant that Cameroon had done what no other African team had ever done. They had reached the quarter final of the World Cup.

Milla introduced the waist wriggling celebration by the corner flag which became iconic the world over. His four goals had announced Africa's arrival on the big stage. Yes in 1982, Algeria had also played some great football as they beat West Germany but this was different. This time there was no plot to stop the progress of an African team, Cameroon had controlled the results and now they had to face England.

I was working in Chipinge, Mt.Selinda and I vividly recall this match. Cameroon played great football, Roger Milla again had a huge impact on the match. He was fouled for the equalising penalty then he played a sublime move with Eugene Okeke who buried home a great goal past Peter Shilton. 2-1 Cameroon and by extension Africa was leading with 8 minutes to go. It was a nail biting finish for all us crammed in expatriate teacher Fowder who was hosting us in his crowded dining room. Ironically, the host was the only one rooting for England.

I wanted the match to end but lo and behold, two penalties put paid to Cameroon and Africa's hopes. Heartbreak!! But Fifa had noticed and decided to give Africa an extra slot at the World Cup. We now had 3 a small step towards the current 5. Thank you the Indomitable Lions, you made us proud!!

Lest I forget, yes the Benjamin Massing tackle on Cannigia in the first match, well, well, the less said about that the better. It was the fly on the ointment because of its sheer brutality.

(Paul Gascoigne)

What about the other subplots. I will be brief. Paul Gascgoine wept. He wept because he had been given a yellow card and would have missed the final. And when he wept, he became an instant English hero. Never before have tears made someone so loved by the whole Nation. It became known as "Gazzamania!". Sadly this tournament was to be his last which is incredible since he was only 23. England expected more, the world expected more, sadly it never came.

And yes, Maradona divided a Nation. When Argentine faced hosts Italy in Naples, Maradona went headlong into the great political divide in Italy. The North looking down on the South and Maradona reminded them of this. He called upon the South to support Argentine. The Southerners faced a dilemma but in the end they captured it well in one banner.

(Diego Maradona)

"Maradona in our hearts, Italy in our Songs..." Yes they loved Maradona because he put their city Naples on the football map. They even cheered him when he came onto the pitch but they had a moral duty to support their Fatherland. Maradona was not done yet, he plunged the dagger into their hearts by scoring the winning penalty. Italy had been kicked out of their own party. Many never forgave Maradona. Some say it marked the beginning of the end for him.

In the end West Germany won the cup. "The Kaiser" Franz Beckenbauer wrote his own piece of history becoming only the second legend after Mario Zagallo to win the World Cup as a player and Manager. They have since been joined by Didier Deschamps of France.

But for African fans, the 1990 World Cup will always be about Cameroon and about the ageing Sphinx who rose from the ashes to earn Africa a third slot.. Roger Milla.

Cherished memories!!


Afcon

BAYERN ARE KINGS AGAIN!!

Bayern did just enough to win to clinch the UEFA Champions league trophy and in doing added another star to their shirt. The man who plunged the dagger into the PSG hearts is a former Parisian himself, Kingsley Coman.



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BAYERN ARE KINGS AGAIN!!

24 August 2020

Bayern did just enough to win to clinch the UEFA Champions league trophy and in doing added another star to their shirt. The man who plunged the dagger into the PSG hearts is a former Parisian himself, Kingsley Coman. He headed home a sumptuous cross from versatile defender Joshua Kimmich. It was the best moment of quality in the match.

The match did not live up to the swashbuckling approach which many pundits had predicted. Because of the attacking talent on display, many expected a free flowing attacking match but it turned out to be a cagey affair. Bayern controlled the possession and PSG hoped to hit them on the break.

To say PSG had chances to win the match will be an understatement. They were wasteful with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Di Maria and Marquinhos all having good chances. On all occasion Neur proved to be the difference, twice saving the ball with his heels to keep Bayern in the game. With better clinical finishing, PSG would have given themselves a big chance to upset Bayern.

Mbappe, Neymar and Di Maria, on paper are among the best attacking trio in world football. Yesterday they drew a blank, they lacked the conviction and ruthlessness needed at this level of the game. Mbappe loooked overawed which is surprising for a World Cup winner. I was expecting much more. If he is to inherit the crown which the ageing Messi and Ronaldo are relinquishing, then he has to do more and it is in such matches that he can make that big claim.

In the end, Bayern as a team rose to the occasion. They are winners and they did what winners do.. find a solution. After 7 years of absence from the winner's podium, they are back. Well done to them. They are a strong team and a strong team needs an astute coach.

Han Dierter-Flick came in the Bayern Munich set up as a caretaker coach. He gave those who make decisions at this club an easy task to make, he produced the results. Now he has succeeded where even the great Pep Gurdiola failed. He delivered the Big One, the Champions League trophy. What a remarkable achievement. The masterstroke yesterday was to play Kingsley Coman ahead of Perisic, it paid dividends because Coman clinched the winner. He is indeed a mastermind...

(Neymar)

For PSG, it is back to the drawing board. For Mbappe, he has to keep working hard and keep the hunger! For Neymar, the less he cries after matches the better, he can do that by simply influencing matches when he has the chance. Like that opportunity he had to score, he blew it!

Once more congratulations to Bayern!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

Champions League Final!

This is the big trophy, the one that Jose Mourinho called "The One with Big ears!". It is the ultimate trophy for those clubs which want to be counted among the best in Europe.



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Champions League Final!

23 August 2020

This is the big trophy, the one that Jose Mourinho called "The One with Big ears!". It is the ultimate trophy for those clubs which want to be counted among the best in Europe. Some great clubs like PSG and Arsenal have been trying to lay their hand on this coveted trophy, some great players have tried to win it too without to no avail. Players like the gap toothed great Ronaldo of Brazil who retired without that cherished medal!

The match between PSG who are exploring virgin territory and perennial winners Bayern Munich will be fascinating at various levels.

For starters, PSG have been obsessed with this trophy since the take over by the QSI group. Their President Nasser Al Khelaifi made his intentions clear from the start. According to some sources, they have spend US 1 billion to achieve this goal. Is the massive investment about to be rewarded? Sunday will tell!

Further, there will be two German coaches in the final, Thomas Tuchel of PSG and Hans Dierter-Flick of Bayern. It will be interesting to see how their respective football philosophies which emanate from the same background will shape the outcome of this match. Whatever happens, German football fans will be happy with this achievement on a coaching level.

On the playing field the story is even more interesting. The story of Alphonso Davies will melt even a heart of stone. He was born in a refugee camp called Buduburam in Ghana by Liberian parents Victoria and Debeah Davies. The move to Canada at the age of five changed his life. With his parents working shifts, Alphonso had to grow very fast. He took up the responsibility if looking after his two siblings. Soon his football career took off with Vancouver Whitecaps. The club nurtured him and before long, he moved to Bayern and now he is about win his first Champions League medal. Simply remarkable! What an inspiring story for all the young people and their parents who are stuck in refugee camps somewhere. Anything is possible and the young man has shown the way.

(Serge Gnabry)

Another interesting sub plot is that of Serge Gnarby. This from a man who was deemed not good enough by coaches like Tony Pulis at WBA. He only gave him 12 minutes of First Team football. His reason, "you could knock him out with a feather, he was not strong enough..!" he said. Even the usually astute when it comes to identifying young talent Arsene Wenger seemed to have missed this one. He sold him for £4m to Werder Bremen. What a loss. Serge has been on fire and has already scored 9 Champion league goals this term. It goes to show that with enough focus and hard work a young player can overcome the pain of rejection and reach the very top. It is another remarkable story!

(Kylian Mbappe)

And yes Mbappe is another exciting young talent. At 21 he is already a World Cup Winner. Will he add the Champions League medal to his collection of prestigious medals. Again we can only wait for tomorrow.

This will be a good match. I will enjoy it, not only because of the football but also the stories of some of the protagonists in the drama. The power of sport to change lives will be reinforced especially through the story of Alphonso Davies.

And lest we forget, add Neymar and Robert Lewandoski to the stage and we have a final to behold.

May the best team win!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

The Great Statue Debate.

Manchester City plan to honour retired club legends Vincent Kompany and David Silva by erecting statues in their honour outside Etihad Stadium.



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The Great Statue Debate.

20 August 2020

Manchester City plan to honour retired club legends Vincent Kompany and David Silva by erecting statues in their honour outside Etihad Stadium. This move must be applauded as it shows how much the club holds them in high esteem. The move has however torched a heated debate because of the omission of one man to complete the triumvirate. That man is Yaya Toure!

Many fans especially with an African background think that Yaya was hard done by the failure to acknowledge his contribution to the revival of Manchester City as a new force in World Football today. For here is a man who arrived when the team was rebuilding and trying to rejoin the high table of football heavyweights. His first telling contribution was the goal he scored in the FA Cup final to end the club's 35 wait for a major trophy. He did not end there. He played a pivotal role in that final day drama filled match against QPR to secure a first the Championship for the team after a 44 year wait.

Over the course of 8 years, he made 230 appearances, scored 59 goals, made countless assists and above all won 3 league Championships, 1 FA cup, 2 league Cups and 2 Charity Cups. Looking at these achievements, it seemed a no brainer for the legend to be honoured as proposed by club owner Sheikh Mansour.

(David Silva)

David Silva made 309 appearances, scored 60 goals and won 4 league Championships, 2 FA cups, 5 Football league Cups and 3 Charity Shields.

Vincent Kompany the Captain played 265 times for the club, won 4 league titles, 3 FA cups, 4 football league cups and 2 Charity Shields for good measure.

A balanced assessment reveals that nothing much separates the three legends who have come to define Manchester City since the Oil money started pouring in. In terms of performances, I feel that Yaya was slightly ahead, he drove City to dizzy heights. He brought the belief back and the trophies that followed showed his massive impact. David Silva, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany can be spoken together in the same sentence.They defined the modern Manchester City!

(Vincent Kompany)

So indeed when there was news of honouring the other two and there no mention of Yaya, eyebrows were raised. Accusations of racism were raised. Yaya is being ignored because he is African many claimed. What about Vincent Kompany? those who defended the decison argued. Vincent is black and has African roots too. This seemed to put the matter to bed, no racism then? Well i am not too sure but let me not pursue that for now.

Why then did Manchester City decide to ignore Yaya in this honour's list. Some have postulated that Yaya did not qualify because he did not play long enough at City. They say the 8 years fall short of the 10 years which is the magical number for such honours.

I however think that is not true. Thierry Henry, the Arsenal legend spend 8 years at Arsenal but has his statue outside the Emirates. That punches a big hole in the 10 year rule stipulation as postulated by others.

I think erecting of statues is discretionary and clubs make decisions based on what they want to capture and cherish. Sheikh Mansour said something telling...

"David's statue will act as lasting reminder of the wonderful moments that he gave us not only as a footballer but as an inspiring AMBASSADOR who represented the football club with great dignity at all times.." the billionaire owner said.

So it is not just the football, it is about being a good boy as well about the ambassadorial role. This in my view was the undoing of Yaya Toure.

Great player yes but in the view of the owner, rebellious. He had many run inns with the club ranging from "the forgotten birthday cake" to the confrontation with coach Pep Gurdiola. For daring to speak out, Yaya has been snubbed.

It is a discretionary decison and has little to do with football impact. How unfortunate, because as far as the football is concerned, Yaya is a Manchester City Legend!

My respect!!


Afcon

WAY FORWARD FOR BARCA!!

"Roma has risen from their ruins, Manolas the Greek God in Rome, The Unthinkable unfolds before our eyes.. Incredible scenes, but they deserve it Roma. Barcelona has bottled it!!"



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WAY FORWARD FOR BARCA!!

15 August 2020

"Roma has risen from their ruins, Manolas the Greek God in Rome, The Unthinkable unfolds before our eyes.. Incredible scenes, but they deserve it Roma. Barcelona has bottled it!!"

This was Peter Drury the legendary football commentator at his poetic best. Barcelona had indeed bottled it, shooting themselves in the foot by allowing Roma to recover from a 4-1 first leg defeat at the Nou Camp, to score 3 goals at the Stadio Olympico in Rome to tie the match and proceed on the away goal rule.

As fans we enjoyed the poetry in the commentary but Barcelona fans knew that something was not right. More was to come! Carrying a 3-0 advantage to Anfield in 2019, Barcelona collapsed and lost 4-0 to crush out of the tournament again. The Spanish media was furious dismissing the players as a bunch of failures.

Well, they had not seen anything yet. Come 2020, Barcelona versus Bayern Munich in Lisbon, 8-2 the final result! No words can adequately describe this annihilation and many media houses gave the Barcelona players a zero mark out of 10.Harsh? I do not think so, the criticism is warranted. The Barcelona players who are representing such a proud club. "Mes que un club.. More than a club" are not covering themselves in glory with such results! I can only say, this club deserves better. They cannot allow such anarchy and humiliation to become part of their football DNA and culture. Something must change, lessons must be learnt, a proper introspection is needed. Something good must emerge from these ashes of defeat.

The fans, the pundits and the experts all agree that there is need for an overhaul. Many fingers are pointing at Messi. A fresh start means Messi and the old guard like Pique must be shipped out. I agree to an extent. It will be a symbolic gesture. Messi is 33 years old and has been Mr. Barcelona for over a decade now. He is expected to deliver as he has done in the past.

But he is only human and he needs help. I suggest that he stays for another two years but good decisions must be made to bring in good players to help him. Mbappe can be tempted, Adama Traore already has Barca blood in him. In defence an overhaul is needed and players like Vidal who talk the talk but never walk the walk must be shipped out. Pique too!

The solution for Barca lies also within. The template of their success is the famed La Masia Academy. They need to revisit this foundation and bring in players who fit the Barcelona culture. I was surprised by some of the signings they have made in the last 5 years.. It is not the Barcelona way.

And yes, they must appoint the right manager. Who better to revive the Barcelona identity than Xavi?

Barcelona must bring Xavi back.."Mes que un club.."

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

SUCCESS HAS MANY FATHERS!

It is indeed an old adage, Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. The development of Adama Traore into one of the most exciting young players of his generation helps to confirm this ageless truth.



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SUCCESS HAS MANY FATHERS!

14 August 2020

It is indeed an old adage, Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. The development of Adama Traore into one of the most exciting young players of his generation helps to confirm this ageless truth. Many people have contributed to the player that he has become with a generous valuation of £100 m. What a journey it has been for the young man.

According to Sky Sports, everyone knew that Traore had bags of talent from his days at the famed Barcelona Academy. He even had seven minutes of first team football in the regal company of Messi and Neymar. Somehow he found himself sold to Aston Villa where he struggled for confidence.

Enter Tony Pulis the Middlesbrough manager. "I made him my best friend and cajoled the confidence in him. I showed him trust and told him to stay wide, put in the crosses but also try to cut inside and shoot with his left leg. He did not have the confidence to use his left leg but I encouraged him to keep trying. He started improving!" Tony said. Indeed that friendship and cuddle helped.

Middlesbrough and Tony Pulis did not end there. They roped in Darren Campbell the Olympic gold medalist to help Adama.

"I went to him and said, you do not know how good you are, I am here to help you. A car has 6 gears, Traore was always in 6 gear. I told him to slow down, to move from 100 per cent to 80 percent, this would help him with his decision making!" said the former sprinter.

Indeed Adama needed to make better decisions with the ball after any dribble or storming run. Those who have watched him this season can attest that he has improved in this regard!

The improvement journey was completed when Wolves signed him for £18m. The Manager Nuno Espirito specifically targeted Adama. "I can improve him!" he declared. And boy has he improved him. Adama is now the complete Ferrari that he has always threatened to be. It has been dramatic to say the least!!

When I watched a clip of his brainstorming run against Sevilla in the Europa league semi final which was ended by a foul earning Wolves a penalty, I could not help but admire at the skill, determination, power, pace and the intelligence all compressed in that run. The last quality excited me, Traore has added intelligence to his style, for indeed power and pace might not be enough. Intelligence is key!!



I hope he keeps improving and all those who have helped him can be very pleased with their work. Respect to Tony Pulis, I never thought I would say that.. I disliked him for setting up his teams to bully Arsenal off the park especially at Stoke City.

But on Adama, he fathered the success..!

All the best to the Mali and maybe Spanish international. I hope he chooses Mali!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

Alex Dyer - Wishing Him The Best!!

Any follower of the Scottish Premier League will be tempted to dismiss it as a two horse race. The competition seems to begin and end with The Glasgow derby, Celtic vs Rangers.



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Alex Dyer - Wishing Him The Best!!

13 August 2020

Any follower of the Scottish Premier League will be tempted to dismiss it as a two horse race. The competition seems to begin and end with The Glasgow derby, Celtic vs Rangers. Such an appreciation of the league will miss the fact that there are a number of good things that are also happening. One of them is Alex Dyer and it is to him that I dedicate this brief article.

The debate about Black and Ethnic Minorities representation in the top leagues of Europe is a never ending. This is because, despite providing many players in these leagues, very few of them go on to be administrators and managers at the highest level. A lot of promises have been made to improve the situation but the figures remain unimpressive.

Many BAME former players have been disillusioned and some have given up on the game they love. Paul Ince is one such, after a promising career at MK Dons and an ill advised move to Blackburn then Blackpool, he has all but disappeared from the radar. It is a shame!!

When I watched Celtic playing Kilmarnock on Sunday, I was encouraged to see the cool demeanour of Alex Dyer, the manager Kilmarnock as he went toe to toe with Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager. He knew he was up against it as his side faced the Scottish Champions. After falling behind, his team fought back to salvage a draw.

In the post match interview, he said something insightful. "I knew that if we stayed in the game, we had a chance!" Indeed the team stayed in the game and got their just rewards.

And staying in the game is what the manager has done. After going through 14 teams as a player, he started off his post playing career as a PE teacher in London. Chris Powell the former Charlton and Huddersfield coach gave him opportunities before Steve Clarke the now Scottish coach roped him in at Kilmarnock. When he was appointed as Manager of Scotland, he took him along as assistant too. So yes, it has been a long journey with humble beginnings, and indeed he has stayed in the game. That is all black and ethnic minority coaches can do! Stay in the game!!

All the best to Alex Dyer, I hope he can get the results to make a lasting impact in the Scottish league and hopefully even beyond!!


Afcon

   Adam in a tussle with David Sengu

A GREAT FOOTBALLER AND A GOOD MAN!

On 16 December 2012 a dark cloud descended upon the Zimbabwe football fratenity. Adam "Admsky" Ndlovu who was travelling for a legends match in Victoria Falls died in a car crush together with a fellow passenger Nomclo Tshili.



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A GREAT FOOTBALLER AND A GOOD MAN!

9 August 2020

On 16 December 2012 a dark cloud descended upon the Zimbabwe football fratenity. Adam "Admsky" Ndlovu who was travelling for a legends match in Victoria Falls died in a car crush together with a fellow passenger Nomclo Tshili. His young brother Peter was also in the car and fortunately survived the accident.

Like many fans, I mourned the death of the former lethal Highlanders, SC Kriens, SR Delmont, FC Zurich, Free State Stars striker. He was also a great striker for the Zimbabwe Under 23 and Senior team. Adam was popular across the football divide in a sport which often divides fans along club loyalties. He played with a smile etched on his face and was also known for his unique goal celebrations. One such celebration will forever be deposited in my memory bank. After scoring a header from a well worked free kick, he perfomed a "machine gun" celebration. One had to see it to enjoy it!. That was Adam for you, he scored goals and he celebrated them in his own unique way!

I learnt something about Adam today as I listened to Harrington Shereni the former Caps United, Air Zimbabwe, Dynamos, SR Delmont and Nantes utility player who was in a discussion with Alois Bunjira the former lethal striker turned football pundit. I have always known Adam to be a great man but Shereni said something more.

Here is what Shereni said.. "Adam came to me and said, let us go to Switzerland. I did not believe him because he was often playing practical jokes on everyone. But surprise surprise, he arranged everything, made the team buy me a ticket and boom, I was ready for Switzerland.. Adam made it so easy! "

As if that was not enough, in Switzerland where Shereni joined SR Delemont, Adam took over the role of big brother and "manager".

Harrington Shereni

"Adam was well respected at the team, he pushed the President to expedite my signing and I had a very good contract. He arranged for me to have a three bedroom apartment... He really looked out for me in Switzerland!" added Shereni.

"Why did you need a three bedroom apartment?", the always eager and inquisitive Alois Bunjira wanted to know. Shereni said something interesting in response to this.

Adam explained his reasoning thus, "Sekuru (his way of addressing Shereni.. these people are sitting pretty, let us enjoy the benefits too!!" This thinking clearly showed how Adam wished only the best for Harlington, he wanted him to enjoy the benefits availabe. He helped Shereni to settle down. Simply fantastic!!

We have a saying in Zimbabwe.. "munhu akanaka haararame/a good person does not live long!!" Well that statement rings true of Adam Ndlovu. He was indeed a good footballer but above all a great man. He was Ubuntu personified!! It is the kind of thinking that we all need!

My respect to "Adamsky" continue to rest in peace Legend!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

I USED TO GET HIGH.. BUNJIRA.

The great Diego Maradona is a man credited with dragging Napoli single handedly to the high table of Italian Football. The Two league titles and a UEFA Cup among other trophies which Napoli won can truly be credited to the maestro. He created goals, he scored goals, many of them. Then in 1986 he took his form to the international stage.



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I USED TO GET HIGH.. BUNJIRA.

1 August 2020

The great Diego Maradona is a man credited with dragging Napoli single handedly to the high table of Italian Football. The Two league titles and a UEFA Cup among other trophies which Napoli won can truly be credited to the maestro. He created goals, he scored goals, many of them. Then in 1986 he took his form to the international stage.

Maradona delivered the coveted World Cup to Argentina. He was in devastating form, literally unstoppable! He scored two goals which are now part of football folklore, one controversial, the other a work of art, of beauty. "The Hand of God" as he initially called it before modifying it to "The Hand of Maradona with the help of God!" made him the eternal enemy of the English. They have not forgiven him 34 years later. But they give grudging respect to the way he danced through their team on his way to the second goal.. It was a moment of pure football magic from the genius. What a goal!!

But despite all these exhilarating performances, Maradona still felt that something was missing. He searched for satisfaction elsewhere and he found it in drugs.

His descent into drug addiction is well documented. It cost him the 1994 World Cup in America, it cost him his career at Napoli. And yes, it nearly killed him. At one point it took the intervention of a loyal friend, a man who also divided opinion in political circles Fidel Castro, president of Cuba to save his life. I personally think that without this intervention, Maradona would have died.

Yes Maradona looked for satisfaction outside of football. Not so Zimbabwe football legend Alois Bunjira though he admitted recently on his Facebook page that he used to get high..

"Scoring goals used to make me high, it was like a drug. The excitement generated by scoring is unbelievable, I celebrated every goal and often got a yellow card for throwing away my shirt. I did not care because I enjoyed it so much.."

Indeed the man we knew as Kriss Kross in Zimbabwe used to bang in the goals. Goals were his drug, he was addicted. A good addiction!! Not so the great man himself, Diego Maradona.. the goals were not enough, the exhilarating performances were not enough. He looked for more and it nearly killed him. What a shame!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

ORLANDO PIRATES SUPER FAN DIES.

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of one of South Africa's most popular football fan Mandla "Mgijimi" Sindane. Orlando Pirates Football club is one of the most supported clubs in South Africa and even in Zimbabwe.



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ORLANDO PIRATES SUPER FAN DIES.

30 July 2020

It is with great sadness that I learnt of the death of one of South Africa's most popular football fan Mandla "Mgijimi" Sindane.

Orlando Pirates Football club is one of the most supported clubs in South Africa and even in Zimbabwe. Many in Zimbabwe who support Highlanders also support Pirates, the two are regarded as sister clubs. Many Zimbabweans are now resident in South Africa. The death of this man was hugely felt by Zimbabwean football fans also. For Mgijimi, Orlando Pirates was his first love.

Robert Marawa the respected football pundit from South Africa said, "He loved Pirates with a passion, his was genuine love, our football will not be the same without him. He will be sorely missed.. Hamba kahle mfowethu...!"

(Mandla 'Mgijimi' Sindane)

In his last tweet before his death from heart attack on Tuesday , Mgijimi said.. "We miss football, stadiums are empty... Covid 19 must fall.!"

Yes Covid 19,will fall but sadly the SUPER FAN will not be there to celebrate by watching his favourite team, the "Bucaneers" as Orlando Pirates are known.

I say, "Hamba kahle mfowethu... the memories are cherished!

Fans make football!


Afcon

ZIMBABWE WILL BE SUPPORTING ARSENAL!!

We have come full circle! As Zimbabweans, we started the 2019/20 EPL season united in our desire to see Marvellous Nakamba sign for Aston Villa. The transfer process seemed to drag on for ever but when it happened we all celebrated!



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ZIMBABWE WILL BE SUPPORTING ARSENAL!!

23 July 2020

We have come full circle! As Zimbabweans, we started the 2019/20 EPL season united in our desire to see Marvellous Nakamba sign for Aston Villa. The transfer process seemed to drag on for ever but when it happened we all celebrated!

We finish the 2019/20 EPL season again united in collective anxiety. Aston Villa, our boy's mother club play West Ham away on Sunday. They need a victory or a draw to extend their stay in one of the richest leagues in the world. Yet that might not be enough and they might need a little help from the Emirates Stadium in London. Their direct rival in this survival battle is Watford who are also desperate for a win.

If Watford win and Villa draw or lose, Villa will go down. This is why for Zimbabweans it will be "Munhu vese ku Arsenal!" If Arsenal who gave Villa the lifeline by losing to them on Tuesday go on to beat Watford and confirm their relegation status, then The Gunners will have done a double favour to Villa and Zimbabwe at large. We will end the season in celebration!

As such, even those among us who show little interest in this London fallen giants will take them to heart. We will all be thankful!

Indeed this is a tight survival battle. Watford will come out fighting, Troy Deeney always do well vs Arsenal. Will he bully the Gunners defence as he usually does? Time will tell.

Yes, we might have ruled out Villa too early! Well Arsenal resuscitated them, they might complete the resurrection on Sunday!

COYG.. COME ON VILLA!.. It is not over until it is over!!

by Lot Chitakasha

The Pass Penalty

This penalty routine has been attempted by a few legends!
1. Rik Coppens and Andres Piters, 1957 in a match between Belgium and Iceland... scored.
2. Mike Trebilock and John Newman, 1964 playing for Plymouth.. scored.



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The Pass Penalty

21 July 2020

This penalty routine has been attempted by a few legends!
1. Rik Coppens and Andres Piters, 1957 in a match between Belgium and Iceland... scored.
2. Mike Trebilock and John Newman, 1964 playing for Plymouth.. scored.
3. Johan Cruyf and Jesper playing for Ajax.1982.. scored
4. Robert Pires and Thierry Henry playing for Arsenal 2005... they missed!
5. Messi and Suarez playing for Barcelona 2016...scored.
6. The one below.. Dynamos.. I am not sure about the players here..

But the list must be longer for according to Charles Mabika, Dynamos players Kuda Muchemeyi and George "Mastermind" Shaya did this in 1979. So our list they should be on no. 3, way above the great Johan Cruyf.

Legendary CNN credits The Mastermind for pulling off the trick, he called his teamates and told them the plan. It took everyone by surprise, it had never been done before in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia).

This episode confirmed The Mastermind as The Mastermind in name and in deed! He was a mastermind on the pitch!

Makes me wonder.. how did he find out about it? . Televisions were scarce, videos too, so how did The Mastermind find out about this penalty trick?. Perhaps he knew the rule, that makes it even more amazing, it showed that he was a wide reader... My respect!

Let me end this with a qoute from another Dynamos legend, Moses Chunga. While coaching Chiredzi, he said.

"I want to groom young players. I tried to do that at the 7 million club but it was not possible because the club has 7 million coaches...!"

Ha ha ha... the legendary Bambo.

Vanhu vanoti Bambo vanowanza but this video all but vindicates him. One of the 7 million coaches can clearly be heard saying.. "Itai zva Messi na Suarez, Itai zva Messi na Suarez.. "

Unfortunately the lads listened, it was a monumental blunder. Va Zivengwa Dondo vanoti "Zano pangwa uine rako..!"

Football Lessons!!

PS: my book is available on Amazon and will be available in Zimbabwe soon. I talk a lot about The Mastermind, you will enjoy it!! Thank you for the support!!

by Lot Chitakasha

MAKEPEKEPE SONG!

I know a rendition of the Song, You will never walk alone! raises the emotions at Anfield Rd, the home of Liverpool. I admit, the song has the message, the lyrics are powerful, they encourage.



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MAKEPEKEPE SONG!

20 July 2020

I know a rendition of the Song, You will never walk alone! raises the emotions at Anfield Rd, the home of Liverpool.

I admit, the song has the message, the lyrics are powerful, they encourage... What a song!

Well the Makepeke song might be a bit thin on lyrics but the rhythm is unbelievable!

First-Cut Memoirs.., this book covers some of these issues.

It is a must read!!


Afcon

CONGRATULATIONS LEEDS UNITED!!

I have a soft spot for Leeds United and yesterday I was so happy when they clinched their place back into the English Premiership.



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CONGRATULATIONS LEEDS UNITED!!

18 July 2020

I have a soft spot for Leeds United and yesterday I was so happy when they clinched their place back into the English Premiership.

It has been a long absence from the high table of football for Leeds United since their relegation in 2004, that is 16 years of anguish for the football mad fans of this metropolitan city, Leeds. The fans still packed Elland Road but the real deal, the team's place among the the elite of the game that they craved seemed elusive. A lot happened during that long absence, administration due to mounting debts, eccentric owners, coaches fired at the click of a finger. Frustration mounted with each passing year but Hope refused to die. The fans still believed!

Then they appointed Marcelo Biesla, the Argentine coach also known as "El Loco!" The Mad One. He is is indeed mad, football mad. He is a football thinker, who believes that there are 30 formations in football and players should know them all. His preferred formation however is 3-3-1-3. Dear friends only the most astute of tacticians can appreciate this one.

A number of football thinkers have emerged from the football mad nation of Argentine. Ceasar Menotti the World Cup winner in 1978 is one them. He believed that "football is about taking risks, the only way to stop risks is to stop playing..", he once said. He was a football purist. Then there was Carlos Bilardo, a proponent what came to be known as "antifootball". He did not hesitate to use the dark arts to win football matches boldly declaring, "Football matches are there to be won, nothing else..!" He won the World Cup in 1986 and reached the final in 1990.I like it when a nation produces football thinkers, coaches who try to advance their philosophy. It makes the football debate rich!

Marcelo Biesla emerged from this rigid dichotomy of football philosophies which dominated Argentine football. He evolved his style, playing at tempo non stop. Last year when Leeds United ran out of steam towards the end, this high energy style was blamed. But the man refused to change and now he has been duly rewarded! He is a cult hero in Leeds, the fans simply love him.

Yes I am happy for Leeds United. The man who made me appreciate the club was Tony Yeboah.. Anthony to use his full name. Those two goals he scored in 1995, one against Liverpool, the other against Wimbledon will forever be etched on my football memory. Just those two goals made me love Leeds United. Before Tony, I did not know much about this great club. Since then, I have always checked their results!

And yes, they later signed Lucas Radebe and "Chippa" Masinga. It strengthened my interest!

A deep love?, not really, a soft spot, yes! And for that I thank Tony Yeboah, I call him "The Master Blaster..!" He was the man!!

All the Best in the EPL!! I will be checking the results.

by Lot Chitakasha

FIRST CUT: Memoirs of a Football Fan

This is the book which captures my journey into football fandom. Let me be that lizard.. Lol.. it is a good book. Please get a copy.



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FIRST CUT: Memoirs of a Football Fan

16 July 2020

This is the book which captures my journey into football fandom.

Let me be that lizard.. Lol.. it is a good book. Please get a copy. At the moment it is available on Amazon but I will make copies available in the motherland.

Thank you for the support!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

WRITE YOUR OWN STORY- ADE AKINFENWA!

"Football is about opinions but the only opinion which matters is the one you have of yourself!" declared heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa soon after helping his club Wycombe Wanderers to clinch promotion into the English Championship.



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WRITE YOUR OWN STORY- ADE AKINFENWA!

15 July 2020

"Football is about opinions but the only opinion which matters is the one you have of yourself!" declared heavyweight striker Adebayo Akinfenwa soon after helping his club Wycombe Wanderers to clinch promotion into the English Championship. Indeed Ade in his long playing career in the lower leagues has defied the odds and has written his own story. He has refused to listen to other people's opinions about his abilities as a footballer but instead has written his own narrative.

For one who was often labelled as "too fat and too big to play football!", the striker has had an amazing career. In football parlance he is what many might call a journey man. They say "a rolling stone gathers no moss" but Ade defies even that age old adage. He has certainly gathered some moss. Wherever he has played his legendary status has been enhanced, he has contributed culminating in the latest promotion with Wycombe Wanderers.

The striker has been through thirteen clubs, yes thirteen! Check the list, FK Atlantas, Barry Town, Boston United, Leyton Orient(1 appearance), Rushden and Diamonds(0 apperances) Doncaster Rovers, Torquay United, Swansea City, Millwall, Northampton Town, Gillingham, AfC Wimbledon and currently Wycombe Wanderers. He has toiled in the lower leagues and he has always played to his strengths. I have watched a few of his matches, his movement might appear cumbersome but that does not define his play. He often uses his strength to win headers, the flicked header is his trademark. This creates opportunities for teammates making him a vital cog to any team which plays for. He is very effective at corner kicks or when his team plays the long ball forward. One can be rest assured that he will win the header.

Football romantics might frown at this style. Is it beautiful? Maybe not. Is it effective? Yes, without a doubt. With this simple and effective style, Ade has etched his name into the annals of English football. He has truly earned his legendary status.

When we were growing up playing street football, the "Fat one" was often stuck in goal. Well any young man who finds himself dismissed as too fat to play, can look up to Ade for inspiration. The man has made the most of his qualites and those who dimsissed him can only look on in envy at what he has achieved, 600 career apperances and a decent 200 goals!

"Write your own story..!" well we have to give it to him. The legend has surely done so both literally (he penned a book:The Beast-My Story!) and figuratively, he has worked hard to change perceptions.

His story will definitely inspire many both young and old especially the youngsters who might be struggling with weight issues!

Well done "heavyweight legend!"


THE ANGUISH OF A FOOTBALL FAN!

It was the legendary Sunday "Mhofu" Marimo who once said, "Timu yemasapota haidyiwe.. the supporters team can never be beaten..!" He was speaking tongue in cheek because he added sarcastically, "It will not lose because, the team never plays.."



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THE ANGUISH OF A FOOTBALL FAN!

14 July 2020

It was the legendary Sunday "Mhofu" Marimo who once said, "Timu yemasapota haidyiwe.. the supporters team can never be beaten..!" He was speaking tongue in cheek because he added sarcastically, "It will not lose because, the team never plays.."

The veteran coach might have been speaking on behalf of all coaches who often feel that fans can be too vocal in their desire to see certain players in the team. Coaches believe that they know their players best and as such must be allowed to pick the team. This is totally understandable, they are paid to coach. Win or lose, the buck stops with them. They are responsible for the results!

Fans however can feel aggrieved by the decisions which are made by the coaches. More often than not, chants of "You do not know what you are doing!!" are heard from the stands. In Zimbabwe the common statement is "Coach akadhakwa.. the coach is drunk.." It is metaphor to suggest that the coach is clueless. Fans generally think they know better.

The world over, the coaches have to develop a thick skin and ignore the criticism which come their way. The fans on the other hand have to live with the frustration which come with the perceived failure by coaches to pick the right players. It is never easy for the fans because they invest emotionally in the team and a bad result can affect their health.

Fans also place some bets for the team to win, a deemed poor selection by the coach can leave some holes in their pockets.

The above video captures the anguish of a fan during a Premier league match in Zimbabwe. He is aggrieved by the poor selection and his anger is palpable!

A Love - hate relationship, that is what it is. As we say in Zimbabwe football lingo.. "Football can kill you..!"

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

AT TALE OF FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE!

It was such a shame that the fans were not there to witness this moment! Covid 19 deprived them of the chance to applaud David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United striker's day of glory.



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AT TALE OF FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE!

12 July 2020

It was such a shame that the fans were not there to witness this moment! Covid 19 deprived them of the chance to applaud David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United striker's day of glory. He finally scored in the premiership after 35 games at the grand old age of 32 (he made his debut at 31). It is a beautiful football story all round!

Strikers are judged on goals and a goal drought can affect the confidence. The coach also can be forced by fans to drop a non scoring striker. But there are strikers who bring everything else into the game though goals might be hard to come by. Remember our own legend Benjani Mwaruwari at Portsmouth, he went for fourteen matches without one. The fans were not hard on him because they recognised something more, his hard work for the team. They coined a song.. "Benjani Benjani, he is from Zimbabwe, he will score one day..!" And score he eventually did against Wigan Athletic then went further to get a hatrick against Reading. He became a folk hero at Pompey. His hardwork had finally been rewarded.

Back to our hero of the day, David McGoldrick. The story begins with the faith shown in him by his coach Chris Wilder who brought him from Ipswich and trusted him to lead his strike force in the EPL. As the goal drought persisted the coach told the Guardian newspaper how he reassured his misfiring striker.

"I had five minutes with David in the dressing room away from everyone else, I told him how key he was to us.. He wants to score, it will come.. We play better with David in the team.." said the shrewd coach. David had missed a glut of chances while playing against Wolves. This was great man management indeed, he showed the faith!

Yes, it is also a tale of perseverance. McGoldrick kept going even when he was beginning to doubt his luck. Even VAR seemed to be conspiring against him when a "goal" he scored against Tottenham Hotspurs was chalked for the most marginal of offside decisions. It became known as "The Toe length offside goal.. ", it was that close.



Yesterday, David had his day, he broke his duck with two goals against Chelsea. His perseverance paid off and he repaid the faith shown in him by his coach.

Both men reminded us of the values we all cherish in football and life in general, loyalty, trust and above all hard work and perseverance!

Well done!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES!!

This picture is loaded, it speaks a thousand words, it speaks to every one with a football heart. It speaks of a journey - a journey of a thousand miles, a journey which starts with the first step!



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THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES!!

12 July 2020

This picture is loaded, it speaks a thousand words, it speaks to every one with a football heart. It speaks of a journey - a journey of a thousand miles, a journey which starts with the first step! All Football leaders, pay heed, the message should not fall on rocky ground!!

I will not spoil it with a long script.. Let those with eyes to see, see, those with ears hear!

God bless Africa, Nkosi Sikelela Africa!!


Epl

CAN A TEAM BE BORN AGAIN?

Recent statements made by a "Dynamos insider" and board Chairman Bernard Mariot-Lusengo made me remember that Nicodemus question "How can a man be born again when he is old...?". It is a question which I find fascinating. It is a question which does not only address the aspiring Christian convert but a question which touches on any facet of life. For indeed, for progress to be made, there is need for rebirth, the old life, the old way must give way to the new.



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CAN A TEAM BE BORN AGAIN?

9 July 2020

Recent statements made by a "Dynamos insider" and board Chairman Bernard Mariot-Lusengo made me remember that Nicodemus question "How can a man be born again when he is old...?". It is a question which I find fascinating. It is a question which does not only address the aspiring Christian convert but a question which touches on any facet of life. For indeed, for progress to be made, there is need for rebirth, the old life, the old way must give way to the new. Belatedly, Dynamos at the grand old age of 57 seem to be going through their own rebirth. Let me explain why?

The death of Biggie Zuze recently robbed Dynamos of one of her most gallant sons. The midfield dynamo rose from the small town of Bindura, came to the capital Harare, saw and conquered. His contribution to the Dynamos cause etched him into the annals of Zimbabwe football history. He earned the respect of all, friend and foe alike.

It came as no surprise therefore when the Dynamos faithfuls thronged Chipadze stadium, the launchpad of Biggie's career to pay their respects. Even the Mayor of Bindura Town Council promised to name the now dilapidated stadium after the departed legend. I will be watching closely to see if that comes to fruition.

Back to our born again Dynamos. Speaking to The Herald, the "Dynamos insider" promised that the club will perpetuate Biggie's legacy.

"Biggie was working with his brother Garikayi to establish an academy in Bindura. He wanted to pay fees for the underprivileged... we want to make sure that this legacy will not die. Biggie was also building a family home Stoneridge and we will help to finish this project...!"

Wow.. if "the insider" is to be taken at his word, then this is a true rebirth! Dynamos Football club is promising to do things differently.

Life long board chairman, Bernard Mariot-Lusengo attributed all this to the man he referred to as the "Biblical Isaiah..", Isaiah Mupfurutsa.

"We now have a great leader, he is the biblical Isaiah, his executive has brought unity..." It was a ringing endorsement from the sly old fox.

"Can a man be born again?" Nicodemus asked. Well let me say, "Can a team be born again?" Cynics will dismiss the latest pronouncements as" words,words, words". They might even dismiss me as being naive by justifying these utterances by penning this article. I hope they are wrong.

If the death of Biggie Zuze has led to a rebirth at the Nation's biggest club, then his death was not in vain. As the good old book clearly states "there is a time for everything under the sun.."

Maybe Dynamos's time to perpetuate the legacy of its legends has come, beginning with Biggie Zuze. Many other Legends will be following  developments keenly!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

THE PRESTIGIOUS 100 GOALS STRIKERS' CLUB!

Jamie Vardy is being celebrated in the English premiership this week. His journey has been remarkable. For this is a player who was playing non league football at the age of 25, made his EPL debut at the age of 27 and now six years later he has joined an elite group of strikers who have reached 100 goals in the EPL.



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THE PRESTIGIOUS 100 GOALS STRIKERS' CLUB!

7 July 2020

Jamie Vardy is being celebrated in the English premiership this week. His journey has been remarkable. For this is a player who was playing non league football at the age of 25, made his EPL debut at the age of 27 and now six years later he has joined an elite group of strikers who have reached 100 goals in the EPL. It is an exclusive group and the excitement is understandable. This is an amazing achievement for the late bloomer!

On Saturday 4 July 2020, on a day when England emerged fully from three months of lockdown, with pubs, restaurants and yes churches opening, Vardy added his name to the 100 goal strikers' club. He scored two goals, the first one, a generous assist from error prone defender Mamadou Sakho of Crystal Palace! I wonder when he will run out of mistakes this lad, he is always an accident waiting to happen. Vardy 's second goal, however was well taken, holding the line before latching on to a through ball and finishing with aplomb. The man is a finisher and a true legend at Leicester. His story from non league to the very top is the stuff of dreams, a Hollywood script in the waiting!

As I joined in the celebrations of one who has worked hard to earn his recognition, my mind trekked back to the motherland Zimbabwe. They say if you see an old woman stop in the middle of her dance to point again and again in one direction, you should know that something happened there which shook the roots of her heart. I love Zimbabwe football and all the history which come with it! So dear reader, let me point you to one of Zimbabwe's best strikers who I think can say with confidence he also reached the 100 goal mark easily!

Maronga Nyangela was called the Bomber, and yes he bombed the opposition goal mercilessly. I have singled him out for this article because his statistics are easily traceable.

In an interview with The Standard newspaper, Maronga talked about his exploits. From what I gleaned in that interview I can say he scored 19 goals in 1983, 28 in 1986 (the year that Moses Chunga scored 46!!), 29 in 1987 and 24 in 1994 when he was joint top scorer with Adam Ndlovu(MHSRIP). These figures alone bring him into the elite 100 goals strikers club.

(Maronga Nyangela)

I am confident that he surpassed this number since the above goals mentioned are from his standout seasons. What about those seasons when he was feeding on scraps, he scored a few thereby adding to the tally. It is important to note that he played from 1983 to 1996 so he definitely scored many more.

The challenge in Zimbabwe is record keeping. There were many strikers who scored goals by the hatful, but it is difficult to know exactly how many.

I know Shackman Tauro was known as "Mr. Goals" but how many did he score in his long football journey-200? We can only speculate.

We should work hard to recover these records, fortunately for Maronga, his recent interview helped me to confirm him as one of Zimbabwe's elite 100 goals plus striker.

This is remarkable and once more well done Jamie Vardy, you deserve the recognition and the plaudits! Many of your fellow strikers in Zimbabwe are not celebrated thus, how unfortunate!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

THE NEW MR. GOALS!

"Small teams we thrash!" That was the declaration once made by the affable and bulky coach Ashton Nyazika, the man we all knew as "Papa". His team star studded Black Rhinos had just played minnows Jumbo Giants in a Zifa Cup preliminary round and beat them by a rugby scoreline. Was it 17 nil?, I cannot say with certainty pardon me, the grey matter is getting grey! Some amnesia is understandable!




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THE NEW MR. GOALS!

5 July 2020

"Small teams we thrash!" That was the declaration once made by the affable and bulky coach Ashton Nyazika, the man we all knew as "Papa". His team star studded Black Rhinos had just played minnows Jumbo Giants in a Zifa Cup preliminary round and beat them by a rugby scoreline. Was it 17 nil?, I cannot say with certainty pardon me, the grey matter is getting grey! Some amnesia is understandable!

This was one among many declarations made by the ever confident Nyazika. Before one match against Sunrise FC of Seychelles in an African Champions league match he made a bold declaration, "If we lose this match, I will resign!" Black Rhinos went on to lose the match and "Papa" never one to hold his peace and leak his wounds in silence, had to find a way to explain the glitch and the non resignation. "I was misquoted" he said nonchalantly!

He was a larger than life character "Papa" and he is sorely missed by the Zimbabwe football fraternity, MHSRIP!

I was reminiscing about Papa as I read about Tino Kadewere, the Zimbabwe hot shot striker's latest exploits in France. He scored four goals as his new team Lyon hammered Swiss amateur side US Port-Valais by twelve goals to nil in a friendly.

In football they say "You beat what the opposition which is in front of you.." That is exactly what Lyon FC did and the goal hungry Tino helped himself to a generous serving of goals. This was a proper thrashing of the minnows.. echoes of Papa!

In the French second division, Tino scored twenty goals in twenty four matches! This was an incredible return which earned him the life changing move to Lyon. My hope is that this rich vein of scoring form will continue and those four goals will be the firm foundation to build on to a stellar career with Lyon!

Yes, Bambo Moses Chunga, the man known as the "Razorman" during his playing days prophesied this many years ago. When asked by a reporter who he thought would come close to matching his form among the new generation of players he did not hesitate.

"Tino Kadewere!" Bambo said, "He has everything!" Well it seems the Legend saw well into the future, we mere mortals are just beginning to see this football prophecy come to pass!

All the best Tino, may your prolific form continue!


Epl

ARE WE TOO EDUCATED FOR OUR CHALLENGES?

I remember mukoma Shakie or Bla Shakie as many in the Star Bar called him. Star Bar, what a misnomer, the place was anything but a star bar. It was a dingy old smoke filled drinking hole in Rezende street. It sat opposite th Charge Office, another misnomer, one among many which Zimbabweans seem to specialise in.



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ARE WE TOO EDUCATED FOR OUR CHALLENGES?

3 July 2020

I remember mukoma Shakie or Bla Shakie as many in the Star Bar called him. Star Bar, what a misnomer, the place was anything but a star bar. It was a dingy old smoke filled drinking hole in Rezende street. It sat opposite th Charge Office, another misnomer, one among many which Zimbabweans seem to specialise in. Who calls a Police Station a" charge office" but perhaps in Zimbabwe it is suitable. You only go to the Police station to be charged.

Well the Star Bar was like Bla Shakie's second home. He literally lived there, getting in when it opened its doors and only departing when he had to rush and get the last lift back home in Norton. The place also teemed with CIDs another legendary Zimbabwean misnomer. Only Zimbaweans say "So and so is a CID (Central Investigation Department! They ascribe a whole department to one person!

Well being situated close to the so called Charge Office, it followed that members of the above department often sneaked out during office hours to down one cold one, which often became two or three. If they over indulged, well they had a ready excuse.. " gathering information.." and what better place to do so than in a bar!

I often got into the Star Bar to kill time while waiting for the rush hour to ease off before getting the lift home. That is how I came to meet Bla Shakie.

Bla Shakie was an excombatant and when he was really drunk, he would pull up his shirt sleeves to show the scars of war. He was fiercely loyal to the ruling Zanu Pf party and often defended its policies.

But sometimes he too complained about how things continued to deteriorate especially when it was time for him to go home. The transport queue at times stretched for a kilometre. Trying to get home was a nightmare! He wanted the situation to improve. "Munozviti makadzidza, gadzirisai ka zvinhu... You say you are educated, fix the problem!" he would say.

Yes, Zimbabwe and education. I remember back in the early 80's when we used to do the Nigerian joke.. "If you throw a stone in the street in Nigeria, you will hit a graduate..!" That was then, now we can make the same claim.. "if you throw a stone in the street, you will hit a graduate..!"

We have become the most educated in Africa. And yet the most simple things in our country do not seem to work. How then is this status of "most educated Nation" helping us?

The long running saga of our sports facilities is a good example. Every now and again, we are promised state of the art facilities but nothing seems to happen. Money has been availed for these renovations but nothing comes of it. Money therefore is not the big issue here.

What is it then? Mukoma Shakie used to say "you are the educated, make things work.." Indeed a Nation blessed with so many educated people should be doing better.

I hope one day!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

MAJUTA "JUJUJU" MPOFU, THE MAN WHO INSPIRED A GENERATION!

I have been reading a lot on Zimbabwe football history. In one of my forages into the glorious past of our football, I bumped into an article by veteran scribe Lovemore Dube of the Chronicle.



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MAJUTA "JUJUJU" MPOFU, THE MAN WHO INSPIRED A GENERATION!

1 July 2020

I have been reading a lot on Zimbabwe football history. In one of my forages into the glorious past of our football, I bumped into an article by veteran scribe Lovemore Dube of the Chronicle. It was on this man but sadly it was about his death.

"The evil that man do lives after them but the good is often interred with their bones.." to borrow from the luminary, William Shakespeare. Well with regards with the man under discussion, Majuta Mpofu, this statement can be turned on its head. The good that he did has continued to live after him and dear reader, I know of no evil that might have.

Only the Good deeds live after the man, because the man was a dribbling wizard par excellence. Many who witnessed his array of ball skills confess and confirm that he was one of the most technically gifted players of his era. Let me borrow from Mukoma Lovemore Dube who waxed lyrically in his report, "His ability to subtract defenders in numbers made him the darling of fans.." he wrote.

That is exactly what Majuta used to do, "subtract defenders" "eliminate them" with his endless bags of tricks. Respected football historian and analyst Munya Murombe added, "Majuta was dribbling skills personified, I watched him play and i can declare, there was no better dribbler..! "Now when the Football Fox as Munya is well known in football circles speak like this, you have to accept it as football gospel, undiluted!

Yes, "the good lives after him" because according to reports, Majuta also inspired a new generation of dribblers among them Boy Ndlovu and Francis Paketh. This was during his coaching stint with the exciting Bulawayo Wanderers of the 1980's. Majuta had moved from his boyhood club, Highlanders and decided to coach city rivals Mazhinya as Wanderers were known. It was there that he imparted his bag of tricks into the emerging Boy "The Menace" Ndlovu and Francis. Boy went on to be a terror to defenders, he had the natural talent but Majuta encouraged him to dribble and boy did Boy take that advice to heart. He became one of the best!

The only dent on the great man' s CV was the fact that he was so attached to his job with the Fire Brigade in Bulawayo. This loyalty scuppered moves to Brazil and later to Kaiser Chiefs in South Africa. He was too comfortable. Apparently he was also into boxing and he was just happy to impart these skills to the youth of Bulawayo.

Yes and let me speculate. Zimbabweans are fond of slang words, slang words separate the street smarts from the country bumpkins. The more slang words one can use, the more they gain the respect of peers especially in the "location" or "ghetto"

In street language, "Kujuta" is to trick, to pull a fast one on an unsuspecting victim. The person who leaves a trail of victims with their endless tricks is known as a "majuta". That person can not be trusted.

Did the term emanate from this legend's first name. I cannot say with certainty but indeed his endless tricks on the pitch might have inspired this slang word. "Kujutwa" to fall for a fast one just like Majuta "jujuju" Mpofu used to bamboozle opponents on the green in our various Stadiums!

My massive respect to the Legend.. MHSRIP!

by Lot Chitakasha

GOOD DRIBBLING OR GOOD CLOSING DOWN? YOUR TAKE!

Polish born mentor Wieslaw Grabowski often divides opinion in the Zimbabwe football fratenity with some accusing him of exporting raw football talent to enrich himself. But in Alois "Gazza" Bunjira he has a loyal discipile who literally worships his football knowledge.



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GOOD DRIBBLING OR GOOD CLOSING DOWN? YOUR TAKE!

29 June 2020

I have shared this video on a number of platforms. This was a match between perennial rivals Zimbabwe in green and South Africa in gold. The responses to this John "Shoues/Dancing Shoes" Mashoeu, the South Africa midfield maestro's moment of magic have been insightful. They show how we can see the same incident in a match and interpret it differently. As fans we never see one incident in the same way. This is why football is truly the "beautiful game", there is room for every opinion.

Let me give you the different schools of thought with regards to this phase of play.

1. Many have applauded Shoes's deft footwork there, they have also applauded his awareness that the opponent is determined and will not give up easily, as such he did not seek to prove a point. Having dribbled the player once, the temptation was there to make a repeat move and try to humiliate the opponent. Many skilful players often do that, they tend to play to the gallery. Moshoeu however decided to quickly pass the ball. Good play by Shoes, he showed the difference between just a good dribbler and an effective one. He retained possession, passed the ball and moved into space.

2. Another perspective is that yes " Shoes" dribbled but the dribbled player, Usman "Huchi" recovered, showed determination and forced " Shoes" back. As such this was good "closing down of play" and it allowed his defence to recover. His biggest achievement was to stop "Shoes" from attacking or playing the forward pass. John "Shoes" Moshoeu was renowned for his foward passes, incisive and often an invitation for the strikers to score. Being forced to play the back pass by the tenacity and determination of Usman was therefore mission accomplished...

I must admit that when I first watched this video, I was bamboozled like Usman in the video by Moshoeu's deft footwork and I almost forgot to appreciate the work done by Usman in stopping the attack. It took the perceptive analysis of such football luminaries like Japhet Mparutsa, Mzitho Bongani Mkhize and Magarika Dzvairo to alert me to this side of the coin. An eye opener.

What is your take..?

Allow me a brief appreciation of the two protagonists in this clip.

John "Shoes" Moshoeu - I regard him as among the best attacking midfielders to emerge from the African football terrain. He played for various clubs in South Africa including giants Kaiser Chiefs and also Turkey for Fenerbache among other Turkish clubs. "Shoes" as he was popularly known was the embodiment of the skilful, quick thinking and attacking midfielder. When South Africa won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, he had a blinder of a tournament! I fell in love with him. He played well into his forties and when asked by a reporter about retirement he said, "I am not cheese, i do not get mouldy with age.." I totally agree, if anything, like good wine, Shoes got better with age! He died of cancer at the age of 49,MHSRIP!

Usman Misi - known by many in Zimbabwe as "Huchi". In the Shona language "Huchi" means "Honey..", yes he was that sweet!

He was an accomplished dribbler himself and in the clip he was given a taste of his own medicine. With the ball at his feet however, Misi was devastating. He was so skilful and also used his pace to leave defenders for dead. In Zimbabwe I rate him as among the best dribblers to grace our stadiums. He was skilful and effective!

In Zimbabwe he played for Darryn T together with the likes of Stewart Murisa, Alois Bunjira and Engelbert Dinha. This was a team full of youthful players and they were indeed devastating. In one cup final they hammered Caps United an established team 4 - 1. It was a result which sent shock waves in the Zimbabwe Football fraternity. The boys had become men!

Usman played also for Orlando Pirates and Sokol Pniewy in Poland. He was a great player but injury curtailed his career.

Unfortunately he died at the age of 45, he was back in Zim. MHSRIP!

Cherished memories... My respect to the departed legends!


Epl

THE LIVERPOOL SERMON!!

It is generally accepted that Liverpool Football Club has the largest fan base among Zimbabweans. Yes, Manchester United and even Arsenal fans among our kith and kin might try to argue otherwise but I do not think they can win this debate. There are many Scousers among Zimbabweans, the number of Mancunians and Gunners pales in comparison.



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THE LIVERPOOL SERMON!!

27 June 2020

It is generally accepted that Liverpool Football Club has the largest fan base among Zimbabweans. Yes, Manchester United and even Arsenal fans among our kith and kin might try to argue otherwise but I do not think they can win this debate. There are many Scousers among Zimbabweans, the number of Mancunians and Gunners pales in comparison.

The crowning of Liverpool Football Club as English Premier League Champions has been widely celebrated among Zimbabweans. Football is a global game and successful clubs have fans across the globe. In the case of Liverpool, the appeal among Zimbabweans is understandable and can easily be explained.

Growing up in the 80's, I always heard about Liverpool Football Club. I am sure those who support Liverpool have their own good reasons but I think Bruce Grobelaar, the flamboyant and eccentric Zimbabwe goalkeeper who established himself as the best goalkeeper of his era played a big part in building this love. He helped to make Liverpool a dominant force in the 80's and the team became embedded in the collective psyche of many who grew up in this era. This love has been passed on to the younger generation who together with those aging fans have been patient enough to wait. Their patience has been rewarded.

Players such as John Barnes, a black representative so to speak, (In the 80's we were always on the lookout for those team with black players), Ian Rush, Kenny Dalgish and Kevin Keegan also helped to cement this love back then. Some of our football nicknames were actually borrowed from these legends. Rahman Gumbo the then Eagles and Highlanders hotshot was called "Rush", Bonface Makuruzo of Black Aces was known as "Keegan" while there were many young boys who called themselves Barnes. I have a friend Charles Makuwerere, his first born son is called Craig. This is in honour to the former tearaway winger of the 80's Craig Johnston. So yes, this love is genuine and it has withstood the test of time. My brother Godwin Chin'onzo can attest to this, Liverpool Football Club occupies a special place in his heart! It is true love.

Congratulations therefore are in order to all Liverpullians at home and abroad. Yes, You will never walk alone!

As a Nation we love our football, we are also very religious and Christianity among other religions is a dominant force. We are a Nation of preachers, prophets and followers and this brings me to the title of this article.

"Liverpool Football Club was in the football wilderness for 30 years, 10 more years and they would have matched the record set by the children of Israel in the desert! But God intervened, the wait is over, they now have their crown. This is the big one, forget the FA Cup, forget the Champions league, this was always the cherished one. They have been patient, persistent, they refused to give up, they kept the faith, they kept the hope! Here is a good lesson today, what is it that you are facing? Do not give up, be patient, keep the hope and above all keep the Faith.. can someone shout Amen... " the smartly clad Prophet will shout! The congregates will respond with a thunderous "Amen!!!"

Yes The Liverpool sermon, there is so much to learn from this journey, a journey built on a foundation of Faith and Hope. Once more my congratulations!

Sisonke.

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

DEATH HAS ROBBED US!

One of the most bizzare and tragic incident on the African football terrain happened in the vast country of DR Congo in 1998.
Two lower league regional clubs, Bena Tshandi and Basanga were engaged in battle when lightning struck. According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, this bolt from the blue left eleven players dead on the pitch.



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DEATH HAS ROBBED US!

26 June 2020

I have learnt with profound shock about the death of former Dynamos midfield kingpin Biggie Zuze nicknamed "Bindura" who passed on yesterday. Death has visited the Dynamos family once again as this comes hardly three months after the death of club superfan Freddy Pasuwa Mugadza. The grim reaper has been relentless. The death of the likeable Zuze is a another huge blow to the football fraternity at large.

Biggie who arrived at Dynamos in the 1980's was one of the few players from small towns who managed to have a huge impact at Dynamos. This was no easy feat because Dynamos is a huge club with demanding fans. As Kingstone Rinemhota once intimated, "Vietnam" or "Chaunga" both terms which refer to the vocal Dynamos fans can make or break a player's career. They can uplift you but if they do not take you to heart they can haunt you out of the club. Kingstone nicknamed "The Cockpit" should know because he struggled at Dynamos.

Biggie who arrived from the small town of Bindura made an immediate impact and "Vietnam" quickly came with a nickname "Bindura!" His performances paved the way for his younger brother Garikayi Zuze later to be nicknamed "Bindura Part 2." The two carried the small town's flag high at the popular club! This was impressive because others have come with big reputations and failed to click. Think of Charles "Chola" Chirwa, but that is a topic worth exploring in a separate article.

I watched Biggie Zuze at his energetic best. He was a workaholic in the middle of the park. Tenacious is the word to describe him. He did not give an inch in most midfield battles and usually came up on top.

Biggie Zuze on the ball, playing against Highlanders (on the right)

"As a Caps United fan I dreaded meeting Dynamos with Biggie in imperious form. I remember one match when he gave my hero Joel "Mwalimu" Shambo a torrid time in midfield. He gave him little breathing space to work his magic. It was one of those rare occasions when "The Headmaster" as we called Shambo had a quiet match. Biggie neutralised him! What a player he was!

Biggie who was also an upcoming coach was also known for his work ethic. Many attest to his dedication to duty as he worked tirelessly to uplift football in Zimbabwe. His stint at Triangle where he worked with Zambian coach Kelvin "KK" Kaiundu was fruitful. He managed to win a trophy. At Dynamos, this season promised great things but fate intervened for Biggie. He will not be there to reap the fruits if his labour when football in Zimbabwe eventually resumes after the Covid 19 induced break. Sad!

I join the football loving family of Zimbabwe in saying "Go well Nzou, Bindura Biggie Zuze, you fought a good fight, thank you for the memories..!"

To the Zuze family I say "Sisonke!"

by Lot Chitakasha

highlanders

BUNJIRA PAYS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO GRABOWSKI

Polish born mentor Wieslaw Grabowski often divides opinion in the Zimbabwe football fratenity with some accusing him of exporting raw football talent to enrich himself. But in Alois "Gazza" Bunjira he has a loyal discipile who literally worships his football knowledge.



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BUNJIRA PAYS GLOWING TRIBUTE TO GRABOWSKI

24 June 2020

Polish born mentor Wieslaw Grabowski often divides opinion in the Zimbabwe football fratenity with some accusing him of exporting raw football talent to enrich himself. But in Alois "Gazza" Bunjira he has a loyal discipile who literally worships his football knowledge.

"When i joined Darryn T senior team and started working with Grabowski, it was like joining the University of football!" said Bunjira in a recent interview with SM TV.

In the football hotbed of Chitungwiza, a dormitory town 35 km from the capital Harare, many talented footballers have emerged. The list is long and will demand a separate article. Grabowski the eagle eyed talent spotter, some say agent, while others say football businessman realised the big opportunity to be exploited. Subsequently many talented youngsters passed through his hands. Talk of Alois Bunjira, Stewart Murisa, Norman Mapeza, Gift Muzadzi, Lloyd Chitembwe, Musareka Janitalla all from this dusty Town were quickly roped into the Darryn T project. These boys grew to be men under the guidance of the coach and became full internationals. Financially yes it was also good for the coach.

Many have tried to give credit to junior coach Never Gombera for spotting and polishing these rough diamonds. Not so Bunjira!

"Yes Gombera spotted me when I was playing for Black Rhinos under 16, I spend 2 years under his tutelage but to be honest i do not credit him much for my football development. Technically he did not help me, what he did was to put me in an organised set up.. that is all.. " stressed Alois.

The technical soundness was drilled by Grabowski.

"For one hour, he would tell me to hit the ball first time on the volley with my left leg. The next hour he would ask me to do it with the right until I was comfortable with both legs. Sometimes we spend the whole training session juggling with tennis balls. This made us so comfortbale with the ball. When we played, the technique became second nature...! " he said glowingly.

Bunjira believes that Grabowski was also scientific in his approach. He taught me how to hit the ball to create maximum force, not to lean back when shooting and he also gave the players confidence when facing the big guns."

"He never allowed us to go for warm up, we warmed up in the dressing room, his reason.. Warming up in front of a big crowd would intimidate us.. we just came up when we were ready..."

I have also talked to many players who passed through his hands, they all attest to this. Grabowski gave them confidence. He taught them to play without fear. He also trusted young players.

"When the senior players boycotted training, he got rid of them and told us to play.. we played and we rewarded him with the Castle Cup in 1992! It was a great achievement..!"

Indeed, the Polish mentor might have his own flaws but you have to give him credit for polishing up many rough diamonds from the football rich town of Chitungwiza. Alois Bunjira 's interview is testimony of that.

Quotable qoutes from The Polish Mentor over the years!

1 "Go down Kruvha (he loved that word, it is his other contribution to Zim football, please do not say to the mother in law..) do not be Mr. Strong, go down and get a penalty.." He was urging George "Tyson" Nechironga go down in the box after being fouled.

2. "This is criminal defending...!" He was unhappy with his team's defending.

3. "Mickey mouse refereeing, it is criminal.." frustrated by poor officiating, he once gave the referee a Red Card to show his anger.

4. Fed up with the poor organisation at Zifa especially for National team assignments, he said.. "It is like hitting our head against wall kruvha, Zifa is mickey mouse..!"

Credit for some of the qoutes goes to mukoma Japhet Mparutsa, he played a under the coach.

Main interview credit Slyvester Tapfumaneyi.


Epl

MUSANHU SHOOTS FROM THE HIP!

Tn the new edition of the blockbuster SOUL OF SEVEN MILLION DREAMS, The Memory Mucherahowa Story, former popular defender Chamu "Baresi" Musanhu was brutally honest as he made his assessment of Captain Memory "Mwendamberi" Mucherahowa 's leadership qualities.The the then young defender who graduated into the Dynamos senior team at 18 years had a few hard words to say about his former captain.



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MUSANHU SHOOTS FROM THE HIP!

22 June 2020

In the new edition of the blockbuster SOUL OF SEVEN MILLION DREAMS, The Memory Mucherahowa Story, former popular defender Chamu "Baresi" Musanhu was brutally honest as he made his assessment of Captain Memory "Mwendamberi" Mucherahowa 's leadership qualities.

The the then young defender who graduated into the Dynamos senior team at 18 years had a few hard words to say about his former captain.

" Like most players, i felt that Memory was betraying the other players, never at one time did he stand up for junior players to get better renumeration, that is when i decided to represent myself.." he said.

While acknowledging Memo's massive talent, leadership on the pitch and the will to win, Chamu was far from impressed by the Captain' s willingness to stand up for the players. He actually felt Francis Shonhayi could have been a better leader since he always stood with the players . Mucherahowa on the other hand sided with the executive all the time.

"Mucherahowa was brilliant on the pitch and we always looked up to him when things were not going on well, but when it came to representing us, i think he let us down. This is not to say he never tried to represent us but because of the power he yielded, he should have done more!... he always seemed to be siding with the executive and this frustrated us.. the late Francis Shonhayi was different, he was not afraid to show his affliation.. " added Musanhu.

Indeed, Chamu like all the Dynamos players, the Captain included is still disgruntled because of the broken promises of 1998 when Dynamos reached the Champions League Final. The players expected rich rewards, houses, cars but this proved to be a pipe dream. Chamu feels that with a better representation from the Captain and the Coach Sunday Chidzambwa, the Shaya led executive would have honoured the promises they made to the players.

"Mucherahowa and Chidzambwa yielded so much power and it is our belief that if they had stood for our rights from the beginning, we could have got what we were promised in 1998.." concluded Chamu.

Yes Chamu shoots from the hip. Memory talks a lot about the struggles that they endured he, thinks he did his best and that he was a good leader but indeed it is good hear another voice from within. Chamu Musanhu provides that!

SOUL OF SEVEN MILLION SOULS... The revised edition is loaded. It is a must have for those who seek to understand the institution called Dynamos and all the protagonists who have sought to advance its cause!...

And yes the fact that Memory allowed such a critical contribution of his leadership qualites to be included in his own biography, shows the leadership qualities which many in leadership positions can learn from. It is not always easy to take criticism on the chin like this! Captain Memo allowed his former teammate to voice his disgruntlement.

That is leadership!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

When Lightning struck!

IOne of the most bizzare and tragic incident on the African football terrain happened in the vast country of DR Congo in 1998.

Two lower league regional clubs, Bena Tshandi and Basanga were engaged in battle when lightning struck. According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, this bolt from the blue left eleven players dead on the pitch.



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When Lightning struck!

20 June 2020

One of the most bizzare and tragic incident on the African football terrain happened in the vast country of DR Congo in 1998.

Two lower league regional clubs, Bena Tshandi and Basanga were engaged in battle when lightning struck. According to an article in the Guardian newspaper, this bolt from the blue left eleven players dead on the pitch. How tragic! And how bizzare! The 11 players were all from the same team, all eleven players were wearing the same uniform, that of Bena Tshandi! This was tragic, bizzare and set tongues wagging.

In a continent where superstitious beliefs are part and parcel of everyday life, the rush to ascribe this dreadful incident to the realms of the spiritual is understandable. It is nothing new especially in DR Congo, a country once called Zaire. In 1974 when they qualifed for the World Cup becoming the first sub saharan African Nation to do so, they included something more than just players in their travelling entourage. They reserved seats on the plane for nine traditional doctors to help with their cause. Did that work? Dear reader, just check their results which included a 9 nil drubbing by Yugoslavia. A goal for each of the esteemed doctors!

It is not strange therefore that the death of the Ben Tshandi players was consigned to realms of witchcraft. It seemed to be the only way to explain this tragic incident!!

I had my own experience with the deadly power of this bolt from the blue. Back in 2002 as workmates we decided to play football during the weekends. These matches were pencilled for Saturday afternoons, to stretch out the stiff muscles. It was also an opportunity to bond as members of staff outside of working hours. We used Zengeza 1 High school football pitches, as staff members we had free accsess.

One Saturday afternoon we met and started playing. Suddenly there was a downpour! In our wisdom or lack of it, we decided to continue playing in the hope that the thunderstorm would soon pass. It can happen in Africa, a sudden thunderstorm and twenty minutes later it will be over! We continued to enjoy the game in the rain!

The storm did pass butv not before a sudden bolt of lightning illuminated the sky. Our instincts made us take cover by lying on the waterlogged pitch. We were shaken but unharmed. Without further ado, we decided to end the match! We had been warned by nature.

Some two kilometres away in the industrial sites of Chitungwiza, a group of congregates were gathered singing, praising and worshipping God.

Members of the Apostilic sect do not believe in building churches. They suscribe to the philosophy that God is too big to be housed in a building constructed by mere mortals. They prefer to worship him in the open preferably under a tree.

That bolt of lightning which made us scour for cover, proceeded to do much more damage to our beloved congregates. If my memory serves me right, 8 members were killed! What a tragedy!
We only came to know about this during the evening news.. That is when we knew that death had paid us a visit but decided to travel on. Not so our worshipping brothers and sisters, death was not so sparing!

Tragedies!

by Lot Chitakasha

highlanders

"I LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES!" - MUSAREKA

"Chairman!"... that is what he calls me despite my humble protestations which are based on the fact that there can only be one Chairman, the now departed legend, Freddy Pasuwa Mugadza. He went with the title of Chairman, and as we say in football parlance, the jersey is retired!

But legend Musareka aka Shaun De Lucho cannot avoid that title in addressing me.


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"I LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES!" - MUSAREKA

14 June 2020

"Chairman!"... that is what he calls me despite my humble protestations which are based on the fact that there can only be one Chairman, the now departed legend, Freddy Pasuwa Mugadza. He went with the title of Chairman, and as we say in football parlance, the jersey is retired!

But legend Musareka aka Shaun De Lucho cannot avoid that title in addressing me. For the sake of progress, I take it. "Chairman, I am a determined person, I am patient, I do not give up and I am always looking for opportunities..!" he begins.

This conversation was triggered by my curiosity and the ensuing question, "You are always wearing Adidas attire top to bottom, is it the love of the brand or have you become a brand ambassador?" I prompted.

Musa opened up on how it all happened. " I am generally a likeable and lovable character, so one day I went into an Adidas Sports Shop. I was dressed in an Adidas tracksuit. One thing led to the other and the manager offered me an irresistible deal, 60% off any product that I buy from the shop, he was giving me the chance to market their products at a discounted price, I grabbed the offer..!"

Since then, Musa has become an Ambassador for the popular brand and it is fair to say he is benefitting a lot by getting discounted labels.

Musareka who played for Darryn T, Dynamos, Masvingo, Shooting Stars and had stints in Mauritius and Poland is now based in Germany. He is also the Ambassador of The Homeless World Cup. Apart from that he is also coaching junior football in Germany. He intends to acquire his Germany B licence this year before proceeding to the full licence.



"I intend to get fully qualified so that one day, when I go back to Zimbabwe, I will be ready. We can change our football terrain, if we run football professionally, many young people will benefit.." said Musa. "I have established links here, I will link talented youngsters with good football people!", he added.

When talking to Musa, the qualities that shine through are his determination and confidence that he can achieve anything.

"I have street wisdom, when I worked under Grabowski, he made me confident, he made me realise that i can go anywhere and achieve what I set out to achieve. If today I decide that I want to be the President of Zifa in future, nothing can stop me. This is that confidence that I have and for that i give credit to Grabowski.. " he said confidently.

Indeed Musa is an interesting personality, his positivity always shine through. I find this to be encouraging because often the story of our former footballers is one of negativity and a desperate cry for help. I can only say all the best to Musa, the man who has big dreams about the future of our football.

Sisonke!


Epl

Football Ambassadors Part 2!

There was an outcry when I penned that article on Football Ambassadors. Many felt that i left them hanging and therefore did not do full justice to this very important subject. I have therefore decided to make a follow up and i hope this will go a long way to make amends.



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Football Ambassadors Part 2!

17 June 2020

There was an outcry when i penned that article on Football Ambassadors. Many felt that i left them hanging and therefore did not do full justice to this very important subject. I have therefore decided to make a follow up and i hope this will go a long way to make amends.

1.George "Zambia ' Mbwando- He departed Zimbabwe after delivering some scintillating performances for his team Blackpool and found himself in Germany. He joined 3rd Division side Lubeck and helped them to gain promotion into the Germany second tier as Champions in 2002. This was a remarkable achievement . He later joined Alemanna Aachen Football Club and was a losing finalist in the German Cup in 2004. A case of so near, yet so far, the winners medal eluded him but what an experience! He however made amends by winning the Sparkasse Cup in 2005 with Jahn Regensburg a second division club. When he later joined Ingolstadt in 2008, he gained a second promotion. On retirement, he earned some coaching badges and managed to get lower league club FC Boehmfield promoted. Yes it seems George had the midas promotion touch both as a player and coach. Hopefully he will be back coaching soon as more opportunities open in the wake of the new demands to have more black coaches in the European leagues. The legend is well qualified!

2.Harrington Shereni - the boy from the football rich lowveld town of Chiredzi. He moved to France where he played for Guingamp and FC Nantes, a club which he captained. What an honour for the hardworking leftback.

3.Esrom Nyandoro- highly regarded and respected in South Africa where he played for Mamelodi Sundowns.

4.Innocent Chikoya from Manning Rangers to popular South African club, Orlando Pirates, he is highly respected. One commentator said.. "The best leftback i have watched in recent years, noone crossed the ball better from a leftback position than Inno.. he was phenomenal!" He won the league with Orlando Pirates.

5.John Mbidzo.. I had the privilege of watching John as young boy and it was evident that he was destined for great things. He went to South Africa and played for many clubs including Santos. One South African fan said about John " He was a true pro, disciplined, committed and versatile. He was comfortable as a rightback and defensive midfielder.. He was a model pro and represented Zimbabwe well.." I agree with the sentiments!

6.Wilferd and William Mugeyi.. The talented twins. Wilfred was a gifted striker who is a club legend at Umtata Bush Bucks. He took SA football by storm winning three awards in 1996/1997, The PSL player of the year, The Players Player of the year and the top goal scorer of the year with 23 goals. What an impact.

His twin brother William is also highly respected and earned a reputation for scoring directly from corner kicks and free kicks.

7.Rabson Muchichwa, nicknamed Sarafina, he is a club legend at Kaiser Chiefs and they still celebrate him there.

8. Mike Maringa - nicknamed "Go Dutch.." he made a respectable contribution to the Kaizer Chiefs cause before a knee injury curtailed his further involvement. Many in South Africa still talk about his passing ability. He won a trophy with Chiefs!

9. Marshall Munetsi- the French based midfielder who plays for Reims. I see a bit of Yaya Toure in him but he can be a Viera. For he young man who is already mixing it up with the likes of Brazil Superstar Neymar who is at PSG, the sky is not even the limit. I predict that he will make a big career move soon if he keeps working!

10.Farai Mbidzo.. we called him "Mr. Perfect" for his inch perfect long range passes. He moved to German and played alongside George Mbwando at VFB Lubeck where he remains a folk hero. His legendary status has been enhanced after retirement as he took up a new cause.. Spreading love and unity through music. He is now the lead singer of a Reggae outfit called Oneness.. the message is contained in the name!

I know there are many who have represented us and continue to do so in various Nations but time and space limits me. Any omissions are not out of disrespect...

My respect!!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

Football Ambassadors!

I guess it will be the mother of all quiz questions if it was to be asked.. Who is Zimbabwe's ambassador to Britain? Maybe Britain is too far, let us come closer home, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa?.


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Football Ambassadors!

16 June 2020

I guess it will be the mother of all quiz questions if it was to be asked.. Who is Zimbabwe's ambassador to Britain? Maybe Britain is too far, let us come closer home, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa?. I think many will struggle to come up with an answer to these questions. It will be a different case if one was to ask, Who are Zimbabwe's football Ambassadors around the globe?. To this question there will be a ready answer! How interesting!

Today, let me pay tribute to the Football Ambassadors who have raised the Zimbabwe flag with pride in various nations.

1. Bruce Grobbelaar- Known as "The Jungleman" a tribute to his African roots(perceptions) and "The Clown Prince" for his eccentric behaviour on the pitch, he raised the flag high at Liverpool. 6 Championship, 3 FA Cups, 1 European Cup and many other honours makes him the greatest ambassasor for the Nation on the Sporting front. He also brought a cultural dimension to Anfield.. "i urinated on the pitch to help Liverpool win the title..." Well well, as Liverpool prepare to lift their first title in 30 years, the name Bruce might just be part of the celebrations!

2.Peter Ndlovu, 13 years in England and still they failed to pronounce his name.." N love.. " they called him. And yes, they loved him, he terrorised defenders with pace, trickery on the run, twists and turns... and goals. He was not the most prolific but when he scored, he scored some beautiful goals!! "The Flying Elephant", The Bulawayo Bullet.. ".. his love for the country remained undiluted during his long sojourn in England.

3. Benjani Maruwaru.." The Undertaker.. ". He went to South Africa and conquered, went to Switzerland and left his mark, in France he earned accolades and in England they still sing his name at Portsmouth Football Club.. "Benjani Benjani, he is from Zimbabwe, he will score one day.." They appreciated his hard work and this hard work earned him a big move to moneybags Manchester City. The icing on the cake was the goal he scored in the Manchester derby, one of the biggest derbies in world football! He is a big brand, he should not be scaling walls to get into a stadium in Zimbabwe. It is an abomination!

4. Moses Chunga.. The Razorman, he took Belgium by storm and the fans voted him among the best players of the century for his club Aaslt Football Club. He received an honour from the mayor of the town for his services to the team and the city!

5. Tinashe "Father" Nengomasha, closer home, across the border in SA, Nengomasha is known as "The General" for his commanding performances for Kaiser Chiefs. And when i mention Kaiser Chiefs i am reminded of the pioneer who earned the trust of this great club and allowed others to follow.. Ebson Sugar Muguyo. He was inducted in the Kaiser Chiefs Hall of fame. What an impact.

I will be brief, for brevity is the soul of wit.However it will be amiss not to mention the likes of Norman Mapeza (Turkey), Costa Nhamoinesu (Czech Republic), Nyasha Mushekwi (China), Cephas Chimedza (Belgium), Khama Billiat, (SA) Knowledge Musona, the current Zimbabwe National team captain (Belgium), Marvellous Nakamba (England) and current hotshot Tino Kadewere in France.

The list is long and i cannot mention them all due to limitations of space. The above among others have raised the Zimbabwe flag high..

My respect.

by Lot Chitakasha

highlanders

Zimbabwe's football hard hitters

"I have had enough!", said Manzungu.Many players in the Zimbabwe Football fratenity are renowned for packing a punch with their legs.


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Zimbabwe's football hard hitters

14 June 2020

"I have had enough!", said Manzungu. Many players in the Zimbabwe Football fratenity are renowned for packing a punch with their legs. This list of hard hitters are spread throughout the generations who have graced our Stadiums. Those who easily come to mind include Shaw" Kojak " Handriade who made his reputation will a 40 meter hammer shot for Dynamos in 1976. This was the match which made The Crown Prince of South African Football Jomo Sono cry as his team Orlando Pirates lost to a George Shaya inspired Dynamos.

The list should also include players like David Muchineripi, his thunderbolt against Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier in 1980 is still mentioned by the elders of the game. He waa nicknamed "Fembera Fembera" for his unpredictable shots. David "Chikwama" Mwanza, Shepherd "Dragline" Muradzikwa, Elvis "Chuchu" Chiweshe, Misheck ", Nyere" Makota, David Zulu and yes Maxwell "Marhino" Dube must dine on this high table of hammer shots legends.

During a match between Black Rhinos and Chapungu Football Club in. Defence forces match at Rufaro Stadium Maxwell Dube showed why he was such a feared striker at his peak. Chapungu were awarded a freekick and up stepped the bulky MaRhino. He drilled the shot straight at Masimba Manzungu who was in goal for Rhinos. The brave Simba saved it but took a while to get back to his feet because of tge impact of the shot. Ten ninutes, another foul, same spot and up stepped, you guessed who.. MaRhino again.

He released another thunderbolt and again the brave goalkeeper managed to hold it clean. But something interesting then happened, he threw the ball out of play, stood up, took his gloves off and started walking towards the touchline. He had enough of Dube's shots. His coach Droment "Blackman" Chirova had to persuade him to go back and finish the match. Steve "Mukwasha", Vickers the commentator for the match could be heard saying.. " Masimba cannot take it anymore, he has had enough..." It was an unforgettable incident for Masimba and watching fans!


Nakamba

The Nakamba Transfer.. Lessons learnt!

Thumbs up to Zimbabweans for celebrating this move by the young man. With each passing day, many fans were getting anxious but eventually the deal went through. Zimbabweans have a reputation for having PHDs.. yes Academic ones but also Pull Him/Her Down... But amazingly on this, we were together, biting our nails, waiting anxiously for Nakamba to sign and for Villa to confirm. I did not see any malicious post! This is the spirit we should always have, Nakamba's success became our success.


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The Nakamba Transfer.. Lessons learnt!

1 August 2019

Thumbs up to Zimbabweans for celebrating this move by the young man. With each passing day, many fans were getting anxious but eventually the deal went through. Zimbabweans have a reputation for having PHDs.. yes Academic ones but also Pull Him/Her Down... But amazingly on this, we were together, biting our nails, waiting anxiously for Nakamba to sign and for Villa to confirm. I did not see any malicious post! This is the spirit we should always have, Nakamba's success became our success. Indeed there were raging debates about where he belongs, Hwange or Bulawayo, Bosso or Bantu. Who was responsible for his development for indeed Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. Put simply i say Hwange will be proud of the boy, Bulawayo will be equally proud of him, Bosso was the first step on the ladder and Bantu Rovers propelled him to fields afar. All deserve credit and Zimbabwe can be proud.

The zeal we showed to see the deal go through proves a number of things. As a Nation we regard ourselves as a Football Nation. We feel that our players should be in the best leagues. But we have been starved of success.Nakamba has made it, Hadebe made it in Turkey. These moves were not by accident, someone took a deliberate effort to focus on development. If we do that many more will come and we will not suffer from collective anxiety as we wait for a deal to go through.Once again well done to Marvellous, Teenage and their mentor Methembe Ndlovu.. Sisonke!

by Lot Danai Chitakasha

Afcon

Football memories!

The curtain came down on what has turned to be an interesting, dramatic and often error strewn Afcon tournament(often from the men between the sticks.. The goalkeepers). Our Warriors... I am reminded of mukoma Franco Hobodo's song... "Kana mumba musina mari, mitaura haiperi..." Two words became synonymous with the Warriors campaign.. "

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Football memories!

12 June 2020

I had a playground friend Kaguda, we played football together in the 80's. Kaguda 's father was a long distance truck driver plying the Harare - Joburg route. On his monthly travels, he always brought Drum magazine. Kaguda was the direct beneficiary of this magazine and as his friends we enjoyed the benefits as well. Kaguda would read through the Sports page. All the heroes of the SA league were covered. Jomo Sono, Teenage Dladla, Marks Maponyane, Zacharia Lamola, Wagga Wagga and many more. Any new name that caught his fancy, Kaguda called himself. He called himself" Teenage, Go man Go, Computer Lamola" all in one sentence. He cheered himself as he ran with the ball, shouting all these names of SA top stars. Of course he also talked about Zim players but it was the SA players who fascinated him. He loved them! As friends we had no choice but to find out who these players were. DRUM magazine provided the answers. I even managed to persuade Kaguda to part with a pin up of Zachariah Lamola, i kept it in my room for ages. Yes, we never watched these legends play but Kaguda through his access to Drum magazine made us fall in love with SA football way back in the 80's.

by Lot Chitakasha

Norway

Captain Musona!

I hope he picks himself up.. First goal yes 2nd minute just make sure and tip it over the bar.. Second goal defence was dissected and the striker was even cheeky enough to try an outfooter, 3 rd goal again defence dissected but he could have come out early, fourth goal, aah well when it is not your night it is not your night.Was he ready for the match? ..



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Captain Musona!

1 July 2019

I hope he picks himself up.. First goal yes 2nd minute just make sure and tip it over the bar.. Second goal defence was dissected and the striker was even cheeky enough to try an outfooter, 3 rd goal again defence dissected but he could have come out early, fourth goal, aah well when it is not your night it is not your night.Was he ready for the match? .. No, last minute injury brougt him in. Echoes of John Sibanda and that comment by Mahwii, "i saw fear in his eyes..." Afcon is proving to be a graveyard for careers instead of it being a launching pad for bigger things. Remember Charles Muroyiwa, what about young Tate( his devpt stalled) will Chipezeze join this list.I hope not, i stand with him just like i stood with Tatenda Mukuruva. These young men need our support. I hope they both bounce back.Stay strong Chipezeze and yes lest we forget Captain Khama, let us criticise, let us not villify!


Norway

Support your African teams! A challenge from Professor Lumumba

Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba is a renowned Pan Africanist. He seeks to put Africa at the centre of his political, social and economic discourse. His world outlook is rooted in Afrocentrism and he argues his case with both intellectual and passionate conviction..For this, he has earned the respect of many. But there is an area where he will struggle to find converts.




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Support your African teams! A challenge from Professor Lumumba

2 December 2018

Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba is a renowned Pan Africanist. He seeks to put Africa at the centre of his political, social and economic discourse. His world outlook is rooted in Afrocentrism and he argues his case with both intellectual and passionate conviction..For this, he has earned the respect of many. But there is an area where he will struggle to find converts. It is the area of football and I will explain why in this article.In a speech, “When I look at Africa!”, he bemoans the deeply entrenched habit by Africans of lacking pride in their own things but developing a voracious appetite for all things foreign.“ When I look at Africa, I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think if they were to come back. What would Kwame Nkurumah, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere or Patrice Lumumba see? They will be confronted with an Africa whose young people perish in the seas trying to reach Europe.“They will be confronted with an Africa whose young people are not proud of their identity, young men who entertain themselves by watching Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona, not Gor Mahia, Yanga, Mfulira Wanderers, Power Dynamos…NO..”

The speech packs a punch and it set me thinking. Are we captured mentally? For in that speech this is what the good Professor declares, “We are a captured people!” But can we vomit this obsession with European football and start taking pride in our own local teams?Again this is what Professor Lumumba demands that we do. It is a big ask but let us have this discussion. Sometimes, the best way to answer a question is to change the question.Let me put it this way, can we match our undiluted love for the great European football clubs with our unequivocal support for our own African giants?For indeed, we have great clubs in Africa from Cape to Cairo. Al Ahly, Zamalek, Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko, Canon Yaounde, Asec Mimosa, Esperance, Raja Casablanca, Young Africans, Simba Stars, Gor Mhia, AfC Leopard, DC Motema Pembe, TP Mazembe, AS Vita, Power Dynamos, Orlando Pirates, Kaiser Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and indeed Dynamos , Highlanders. Caps United, the new kid on the block, FC Platinum.

These clubs have interesting histories, histories that make one gush with pride. Why do we not show as much interest in these clubs as we do with the European clubs?If it is derbies that we are looking for then Africa has that in abundance. Caps United versus Dynamos always sets the heart racing. Orlando Pirate versus Kaiser Chiefs is one of the great derbies of the world which can command an 80 000 crowd. Al Ahly versus Zamalek commands a 120 000 crowd.If it is football rivalry that we seek then Dynamos and Highlanders have that in abundance. What about Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, what a rivalry! These clubs might command a huge following in their respective countries but ask any African outside their countries and they hardly know about the players of these clubs.Ask any African about the African champions league and you will be lucky to get a straight answer on the winners. The same question asked about the European Champion league will elicit a ready answer. Our knowledge of African football indeed pales in comparison to our knowledge of European football.

by Lot Chitakasha

Norway

Support your African teams! A challenge from Professor Lumumba Part 2

It is this attitude by Africans which draws the ire of Professor Lumumba and I think his anger is justified. I am also guilty as charged. I hardly know any Zamalek player unless that player happens to move abroad. However, there was a time when we only had snippets of European football through such shows as Road to Wembley and Big League Football and the large dosage of our football consumption was local and African.



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Support your African teams! A challenge from Professor Lumumba Part 2

2 December 2018

It is this attitude by Africans which draws the ire of Professor Lumumba and I think his anger is justified. I am also guilty as charged. I hardly know any Zamalek player unless that player happens to move abroad. However, there was a time when we only had snippets of European football through such shows as Road to Wembley and Big League Football and the large dosage of our football consumption was local and African.We knew about Liverpool and Manchester but very little about Real Madrid and Barcelona. I knew about Shooting Stars, Jet of Algeria, Lupopo, AfC Leopards and even the unfortunate Dinamo Defima, hammered 8-1 by Caps United but bequeathing to us the Dynamos nickname Dynamos Dembare.

The football terrain changed with the access to sports channels and sports bars which are now ubiquitous in most nations. Local football suddenly lost its appeal, supplanted by our love of the foreign clubs. The Barcelonas and Real Madrids took over and now we are hooked.For me the first cut is the deepest. I have always supported Caps United from the early 80’s and my first understanding of football was through watching this team at its peak. I also love Arsenal and I cemented my love for them during the Nwaku Kanu era.My flirtation had started by watching Ian Wright banging them in, it was good to see how he always played with a smile. Since listening to Professor Lumumba’s speech, I have come to realise that it not possible to stop people from following these big European clubs.The best the good Professor can do is to persuade them especially the young ones to also read more about African clubs. There is so much to learn and love about these clubs. What I fail to understand is a complete dislike of African football and an obsession with the European clubs and players.A short story will strengthen my view. It is a true story. Two Nigerian men working in India started a football discussion,” who is better Ronaldo or Messi?” The discussion degenerated into a fist fight.

One of the African brothers, feeling humiliated by the punches raining on him picked up a stone and hit the other one on the head. The man collapsed and died. An unnecessary death if you ask me, over Ronaldo and Messi. This I cannot stomach.Aliko Dangote the Nigerian billionaire with an estimated fortune of US 14, 1 billion made largely in Africa is desperate to invest in football. He has set his eyes on Arsenal, but I have always wondered why not revive Shooting Stars, Kano Pillars or Enungu Rangers?These clubs are sleeping giants and can do with a little cash injection. But Africa’s richest son would rather invest in London. Where is the love? Do they not say charity begins at home? Professor Lumumba’s speech indeed packs a punch.It does raise some pertinent questions. From fashion, food, education, health and indeed football, he asks, why Africans are not proud of their own things. His answer, “ we are captured” , it is a damning, uncomfortable answer but an answer which must think about seriously as Africans.

by Lot Chitakasha

Norway

The FIFA World Cup lessons for Zimbabwe

They came, saw and they conquered! France departed Russia with the cherished trophy. The next edition of their National Shirts will have one more star, denoting that they are world champions a second time. They still have a lot of catching up with Brazil, winners a record five times, but they can be happy with the progress that they are making.



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The FIFA World Cup lessons for Zimbabwe

16 September 2018

They came, saw and they conquered! France departed Russia with the cherished trophy. The next edition of their National Shirts will have one more star, denoting that they are world champions a second time. They still have a lot of catching up with Brazil, winners a record five times, but they can be happy with the progress that they are making. Considering that it was a Frenchman Jules Rimet who first mooted the idea of a World cup, football did actually come home, and the dynamic Paul Pogba was quick to remind the English fans of this, “It is coming home!” he sang. But what lessons can we take home as Zimbabwe? I try to answer that question in this article.For starters, full credit must be given to Russia for organising a near perfect tournament. It was a template for the cooperation between government and the football authorities. Fears of football hooliganism, racism and xenophobia turned out to be exaggerated. For me, the lesson was simple, cooperation brings success. I remember the last time that Zimbabwe tried to host a tournament. In 2000 we suffered the ignominy of having the hosting rights withdrawn for us. Apparently, CAF under Issa Hayatou who did not see eye to eye with then Zifa President Leo Mugabe, were not happy with the progress we were making.After one inspection, The CAF team delivered a damning verdict about the state of our facilities and with that our dreams went up in smoke. Many fans are still angry, but the truth is that we have not improved our stadia. The National Sports Stadium remains a concrete giant, it needs to be dragged into the modern era, Rufaro Stadium is still Rufaro, while Barbourfields despite being well maintained still needs to be modernised. We seem to have given up on Gwanzura and Sakubva stadiums, they are a heart wrenching sight an eye sore. Without government, City and Rural councils’ cooperation, modernising our facilities will remain a pipe dream. Mandava and Boabab stadiums owned by FC Platinum and Ngezi FC, might be our saving grace but as a Nation, we need to do more. Russia has shown us the way.

On the field of play, there were lessons too. The final match was a masterclass on tactics. Croatia sought to dominate the ball, France waited for their moment and were effective in taking their chances. Paul Pogba delivered, Antoine Griezmann was ice cool under pressure and the lively, pacey and incisive Kylian Mbappe, became the first teenager after Pele to score in a world cup final. Paul Hayward, the Daily Telegraph writer waxed lyrical about the young man,” the teenage has pace, poise and panache, he is a potent weapon for this French team….” I would not agree with him more.I picked two lessons from the French team. The French players are products of the Clairefontaine Technical School, it is the National football school of excellence. Other academies dotted around France also contribute to the player development. The players are well coached and although as Africa we might want to lay claim to some of these players, the hard truth is that they are French products. They are products of a well organised football system something that most African Nations, Zimbabwe included have failed to do. In Zimbabwe, we live everything to chance, but accidental success is rare in football. Everything must be planned, deliberate.France also have a lot of youth coaches and these are expected to follow a clear development path as they work with the young players. The Federation was also patient with Didier Deschamps and they gave him time to build a team. The near miss of Euro 2016 was soon forgotten as he delivered the big one. Coaches need time and this we must learn as a Nation. Indeed, football success must be by design, not by accident. The small nation of Iceland is another case study for any football fan. In an article entitled The Dark Norse, How Iceland grew into a soccer force, Sean Gregory intimates that “Iceland ‘s success is the culmination of a 20-year investment in soccer programme. This included building affordable and accessible facilities across the country and educating hundreds of youth coaches to teach the game properly..”

Sean further adds that 15 years ago, Iceland did not have any Youth Coaches with Grade A or B licences but currently they have 716. This eliminates the participation of volunteers who are usually not qualified and parents who usually scream at their children. Young players are therefore given the correct football syllabus by qualified personnel.We need this in Zimbabwe. I always give the example of The Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield. These grounds can be turned into a centre of excellence for grassroots football. A minimum investment is needed but the benefits will be immense. I have also argued that former legends of the game should be empowered with coaching qualifications. These will then go into schools and impart the knowledge. The impact will be amazing. The government should work closely with Zifa, they should also bring the private sector on board. Iceland also operates a sport for all philosophy, no child is left behind. To keep it interesting they encourage the youngsters to do multiple disciplines like basketball and hockey. This builds their confidence.Organised sport participation has immense benefits for the young. It is linked with improved academic performance, better self esteem and reduces childhood smoking and alcohol use. Tinashe Mushangwe a staunch Warriors supporter believes that adopting the Iceland model will turn around the sporting and football fortunes of our nation, about this he has no doubts. I am also a fan of this small football nation and its development programme.


Epl

English Football ...Tribute to the African greats !

The British Empire used to touch all four corners of the globe. English became the lingua franca, the international language of choice. Cecil John Rhodes the hated colonialist and business tycoon boasted, “Remember you are an Englishman and have consequently won the first prize in the lottery of life..” Although the empire comprises Wales, Scotland and England, it is the latter which takes pride of place in this marriage.




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English Football ...Tribute to the African greats !

16 September 2018

The British Empire used to touch all four corners of the globe. English became the lingua franca, the international language of choice. Cecil John Rhodes the hated colonialist and business tycoon boasted, “Remember you are an Englishman and have consequently won the first prize in the lottery of life..” Although the empire comprises Wales, Scotland and England, it is the latter which takes pride of place in this marriage. In fact many people think that England is Britain, obviously the Welsh and the Scottish are not amused by this.The Empire has since broken up, many former colonies have reclaimed their independence. However , something else has come on board, the British game or to narrow it down, the English Premiership. The popularity of this league has ensured that the English dominance in world affairs cannot be deleted. In many parts of the world including Africa, it has been accepted as the best league and the most watched. Africa has contributed to this massive growth and in this article , I pay tribute to the players who have made this possible.I listened to Professor Lumumba, a man renowned for his anti-corruption crusades in his native Kenya and Africa at large. He is a man who seeks to put Africa at the centre of all discussions on developments issues. He is a committed Pan Africanist. In one of his speeches he castigated Africans and African youths in particular for their total rejection of everything African and the unthinking consumption of everything foreign. This extents to education, music and sport. He berated them for lacking pride in Mfulira Wanderers, Gor Mahia, Dynamos, Yanga, Assec Mimosa but knowing every detail about Arsenal, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea among other world football giants. He bemoaned what he called a new form of cultural imperialism, the capture of the African mind by this dominance of the European football.

I have massive respect for the Professor but on this one , I think he is fighting a losing battle. In Shona we have an idiom..Chakabaya chikatyokera, literally translated to mean that a habit is deeply imbedded in the DNA it cannot be broken. This is the case with our addiction to English and European football in general, it is a mindset which is difficult to shift. Having said this , let me therefore celebrate the players whom I feel have illuminated the English premiership in the process making us very proud as Africans. As Zimbabwe, we can be very proud of our contribution to this brand.They called Bruce Grobelaar, the Jungleman because of his journey from the then Rhodesia to Canada before establishing himself as one of Liverpool’s greatest goalkeepers. He was a flamboyant and eccentric goalkeeper credited with establishing Liverpool’s dominance in the 1980’s and early 90’s . He won 6 league title,3 F A cups , 3 league cups one European cup . He remains a Liverpool legend despite the match fixing scandals that followed him later. In between his busy schedule, he did not forget the nation. He played in the Dream Team and took them within a whisker of qualification for Afcon and the World Cup. I have great memories of this era.Peter “Nsunkusonke” Ndlovu was known as the Flying Elephant( his totem) during his playing days at Coventry, Birmingham, Huddersfield, Sheffield United. Commentators struggled to pronounce his name calling him Peter N..DLOVU, but his mesmerising skills made them run out of superlatives. For 13 years, Peter terrorised defenders in England and even managed to bury a hat trick at Anfield road which is a record in itself. He was also the first African player to play in the new English Premier League when the powers that be decided to move from the old first division. Peter was simply unstoppable on his day, drawing comparison to the Manchester united genius, George Best. As a proud Zimbabwean, I am so proud of what he achieved but I often wonder why the top four clubs of the time never signed him. He definitely deserved better.

Benjamin Maruwaru, nicknamed the Undertaker was a hard working striker who played for Portsmouth, Manchester City and Blackburn. Among Zimbabwean fans he divides opinion with some attributing his success down to luck and being at the right place at the right time. However, I beg to differ, the legend was talented and complemented it with hard work. In England I often read the Mirror, Sun and Guardian newspapers and I try to compare the ratings that they give players after every match. Benjani ‘s mark never strayed far from a seven out of ten, a very good mark by any stretch of the imagination. I respect the career that he had in England.Due to the challenge of space, I will mention briefly the stars from other African nations who helped to grow this league. Lucas Radebe played and captained Leeds United. They regard him highly and a musical group was named after his original team, Kaiser Chiefs. The group still exists. This was like a big thank you to the team for producing such as star. He was nicknamed the Chief for his defensive solidity. South Africa also gave the league Phillemon “Chippa” Masinga,Shaun Bartlett, Mark Fish, Aaaron Mokoena , Steve Pienaar and a retiring Ben Mcarthy. The nation can be proud of this contribution.Nigeria has had many stars who have contributed immensely to the growth of this league. The nation produced Nwanko Kanu, a man who played football at his own pace. He never seemed to be in a hurry and redefined the art of moving gracefully across a football pitch with that languid and unique style. He played a massive role in the Arsenal Invincibles of 2003/4 hence his place in the history of English football is ensured. Nigeria also blessed the league with Joseph Yobo who captained Everton and Daniel “The Bull” Amoakachi, the first one million pound player when he signed for Everton. The list also includes Yakubu, Celestine Babayaro, Obi Mikel and Obafemi Martins.

by Lot Chitakasha

Zim skills

Football Skills The Zimbabwe Way.

I have always wondered if a case can be made for techniques and special skills that are closely linked to our football legends. The purpose of this article is to explore whether such an argument can be sustained.Most football fans are familiar with such techniques like the Panenka penalty technique, Cruyff turn, Makelele role and Zidane turn or shuffle. These skills are named after the football legends who first introduced them to the global game and have become part football folklore.



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Football Skills The Zimbabwe Way.

24 August 2018

I have always wondered if a case can be made for techniques and special skills that are closely linked to our football legends. The purpose of this article is to explore whether such an argument can be sustained.Most football fans are familiar with such techniques like the Panenka penalty technique, Cruyff turn, Makelele role and Zidane turn or shuffle. These skills are named after the football legends who first introduced them to the global game and have become part football folklore. The panenka is a by product of Antonin Panenka, the Czech star who first introduced it at the European championships in 1976. He deceived the keeper with a simple chip down the middle of the goal and the legend of the panenka penalty was born. Johan Cruyff bamboozled his defender with one piece of skill in the 1974 World Cup giving birth to the Cruyff turn. Claude Makelele mastered the midfield defensive role that everyone started talking about the makelele role. Zidane had a repertoire of skills but the one he did most became known as the zidane turn. Through these skills the world of football has been enriched and the language has expanded.What about our local game? Can we aptly name a technique after a player because of the way they mastered it. I would like to posit that that we can. The fact that we have not done so speaks volume about the lack of serious in documentation of our local football. In Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular the academic study of sport is often neglected. However, if we are going to assert our contribution to the global game especially in the field of academia, then such research should be taken seriously.

Some people might dismiss this as a fruitless endeavour, the proverbial chasing of the wind but I beg to differ. Football is a global game, introduced to Africa through colonialism. It is also true that the Africanisation of the game is at its peak with an unprecedented number of African players on the global stage. These players bring to the game their African experiences, personalities, skills and values.One good example in this regard was the 1990 World Cup when the Indomitable Lions took the world by storm. The performances were great but what stood out were the celebrations of Roger Milla by the corner flag after each goal. This transmitted the joy and exuberance of the African game which everyone even in Europe still remembers. Robert Kidiaba the DRC national goalkeeper is another who has redefined the art of goal celebration with his bum shuffle. The 2010 World Cup is also a good example as the Vuvuzela took over and showed a new way of supporting football. These examples clearly show the uniquely African contribution to the game and in Zimbabwe we need to start sharing our special contribution to the world of football. A discussion of the special skills of our legends can be a good starting point.I was reading an article in the Herald about Khama Billiat, the young Sundowns F C and Zimbabwe national team striker. He talked about his special scoring technique, the chinyaride otherwise known as the scissors kick. This technique was the trademark of the late Shakeman “Chinyaride” Tauro. He was the ultimate goal scorer and the scissors kick was one of the skills that he used often. By acknowledging this technique Khama was basically paying homage to the special abilities of this legend. We can safely talk of the chinyaride kick as the Tauro kick without fear of embarrassing ourselves just like we can talk about the Milla celebration highlighted above.

Football fans, commentators and writers alike in Zimbabwe will agree that the case of Archford Chimutanda will always be a case of unfulfilled talent. He was a talented footballer who lacked the commitment to turn his immense talent into the glittering career that it deserved. He will however be remembered for the out foot pass. Many players use the inside of the foot to pass the ball, this gives them more control of the ball, but Archie was different. With remarkable ease he used this technique again and again. If he had done this in front of a global audience the technique could have been named after him.For close to fifteen years, Japhet “Short Cat” Mparutsa dominated the goalkeeping position for Dynamos, Black Rhinos, Darryn T, Celtics and the National team. A lot has been written about his immense abilities but one skill will always stand out, the one handed save as he tipped the ball over the bar. For a man of such short stature, his agility was incredible as he tipped shot after shot over the bar. He literally introduced this technique to the local game and for that I would argue for the Mparutsa one handed save.Moses Chunga is regarded by many as the second greatest player to emerge from Zimbabwe after the great man himself, George “ Mastermind” Shaya. In fact it is a toss of the coin between him and Peter Ndlovu but that is an argument for another day. Moses had a bagful of skills but one will always stand out, the Stepover. Moses introduced this in 1983 when he exploded onto the local scene. One experience will live in my memory forever.Caps United were up against the old enemy, Dynamos. Moses picked the ball on the halfway line and ventured into Caps territory. Up against him was Clever Muzuva, a tough tackling defender. Moses started his step over, one after another he advanced. Two players mastered the feinted back heel in Zimbabwe football, Joel Shambo and Llyod Mutasa. Joel Shambo had so many skills I would need a whole page to describe them. Let me therefore talk about Samaita as Mutasa was fondly known. Mutasa made this skill his trade mark and coupled with his impeccable body swerve it made him one of the most effective midfielders of his generation. This amazingly simple skill is one of the most effective ways to create space for a midfielder but surprisingly not many players use it. It is a dying art which should be resurrected, the Mutasa false back heel.

Other skills that seem to have died are the Mashinkila gallop and the nutmeg of which Boy Ndhlovu was the master. The Mashinkila gallop performed by Willard Khumalo especially in the centre circle had one effect, it raised the spirits of the crowd especially when the ground had become too quiet. Boy Ndlovu terrorised defenders with the nutmeg, he was simply the master of this skill. The Madhodha dribble is another which died with its founder. This skill was Edward Katvere’s speciality. He would offer the ball and withdraw it in one swift movement, leaving defenders on their knees. Graham “Iron man” was a victim of this skill on many occasions and he would end up being booked for persistent fouling. We definitely need to revisit these skills for they made football a joy and these legends can be used as a reference point in our discussions.Many other skills have been used by our players but I want to rest my case with the above. As clearly presented, there is a strong argument for our legends to be associated with particular special techniques that they mastered. My hope is for a coaching a manual that accepts the global techniques but also incorporates these local techniques, only then can we take pride of place on the high table of football nations.

by Lot Chitakasha

Chidzingira

Timothy Dzingira Chirozvani on Football, Juju and Diaspora Blues.

The name Timothy Dzingira now known as Chirozvani might not be a household name in the Zimbabwe football fraternity. Ask any ordinary fan to mention the top footballers of the1990’s and early 2000 and Chirozvani will be lucky to get a mention. It is like that, there are players who make a contribution but slip through the radar without so much attention being given to them. The list is long and that will call for a separate article, unsung heroes I call them.



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Timothy Dzingira Chirozvani on Football, Juju and Diaspora Blues.

24 August 2018

The name Timothy Dzingira now known as Chirozvani might not be a household name in the Zimbabwe football fraternity. Ask any ordinary fan to mention the top footballers of the1990’s and early 2000 and Chirozvani will be lucky to get a mention. It is like that, there are players who make a contribution but slip through the radar without so much attention being given to them. The list is long and that will call for a separate article, unsung heroes I call them. Timothy did service for Black Rhinos, Darryn T, Tongogara, flamboyant Blackpool and Caps United. He could have played for Amazulu but the loan move fell through. For such a player to rarely get a mention in the football discourse of our nation is an anomaly which this article will seek to correct.But how did it all begin, who is Timothy Dzingira Chirozvani? Timothy was born in Chirumumanzu in 1973 and started his football career at the local primary school. During the school holidays, he would travel to Harare, to the football hotbed of Mbare. Here, he would play for the Black Rhinos juniors. For his secondary education, he moved to St. Peters in Mbare and this gave him the chance to pursue his football career seriously. The well established Black Rhinos junior structures from the under 14,16 and 18 level allowed him to develop his football skills in a professional set up.“I have Black Rhinos to thank, their junior structures allowed me to mix up with top juniors such as Edzai Kasinauyo, Allan Gwaze, Jomo Kembo, Owen Mtkwa and Lameck Lazaro to mention a few,” Timothy recalls with pride. It was however very tough for him to break into the first team because there were many good players ahead of him. Players such as Nesbert Saruchera, Cosmos Kabote, Manilo Mutimba blocked his path into the first team. The best option was for him to move and this he did in 1992, joining Darryn T.

Darryn T was a big step forward for Timothy. “My coach in the reserve side was Mudhara Chita Antonio, he took one look at me and one session later he decided that I was good enough for the first team.” Timothy pays tribute to senior players John Phiri,Wonder Timoti, Raphael Kawondera and other junior players like Alois Bunjira, Stuart Mrisa, Norman Mapeza and Lloyd Chitembwe who made him feel welcome. This build up his confidence and he is proud that he played in the John Madzima Trophy which they unfortunately lost to Highlanders.The competition at Darryn T was stiff and it was difficult to command a regular jersey. “I was developing itchy feet, I guess I am like that, the desire to move is in my DNA. By a stroke of luck, a senior army officer watched one of our training sessions. He was on a scouting mission for Tongogara FC. He was impressed and asked me to join. The promise of a job, a monthly salary and winning bonuses turned my head, I did not hesitate and the next day I had packed my bags for Kwekwe.” This was the beginning of long fruitful relationship with Tongogara, a relationship which saw him captaining the team for three years from 1995 to 1997.At Tongogara, Timothy partnered Charles Muroyiwa in the heart of defence. “We had a good understanding with Charle, in fact he is the one who gave me the captaincy, he was getting on in years and he decided that I was ready to lead the team. I gladly accepted.” Tongogara were a very competitive outfit with good players such as Ishmael Meki, Nelson Kuretu, Nedson Muchuchu, Malvern Matselele, Oliver Juro and a young Brighton Chandisaita. The coaches, Thomas Chipembere and Peter Mazarire later Benedict “Grinder” Moyo were good coaches who tried their best to keep the club afloat. However, because of the stiff competition in the league, Tongogara were always fighting relegation, this had a toll on Timothy, he decided to move again.

Flamboyant Blackpool was his next port of call. The club was under the tutorship of Ashton “Papa” Nyazika who was quickly impressed by Timothy’s dedication that he partnered him in defence with Clifton “Somalia” Kadurira. Timothy also speaks highly of Joel Shambo who coached him at the club, “A great man, always encouraging and giving tips about how to improve, death robbed us of a great coach…” he said with sadness written all over his face. He also captained the club for a season.Zimbabwe football is replete with stories of juju use. It was Memory Mucherahova who lifted the lid on this taboo subject. Any truth to this? I asked Timothy. He chuckled and with a knowing smile, he said “At Tongogara, we would go up Gomo raMasare, that mountain made popular by the Zig Zag Band, for some rituals. On our way back, we were told not to look back, this was near impossible in a team of twentyfive players, someone would look back, when we then lost a match we would blame the one who looked back…” “At Blackpool FC, the Directors did not believe in juju. One day the players said we were lacking in luck and asked me to talk to the Directors. They wanted extra help to change our luck. Chris Sambo did not protest, he went away and brought a weird looking item for us to use. Tell the guys not to open it, just rub it on your forehead, we did and surprise, surprise, we beat Hwange in their fortress, at the Colliery Stadium.”So the juju worked, I wondered? “That is only part of the story, after the match I wanted to give the juju back to Mr. Sambo. He said no, keep it and bring at training on Tuesday. Out of curiosity, I decided to open the item. What do I find in there? some used oil, I laughed to myself, Mr. Sambo had pulled a fast one on us! The result had confirmed one thing to me, juju is only for the placebo effect, we believed it and it worked but there was no juju..what an eye opener for me…!” he said with that streetwise look of his, the look of a man who has seen it all in football. After his stint at Blackpool, Timothy moved to Caps United who were then under the tutorship of Nelson Matongorere. “Matongorere had vast knowledge of the game, he was very tactical. I rate him highly together with Benedict Moyo, they were very technical but results did not always come their way..but vanotaura bhora(they talk football).” Timothy is happy that he played in one cup final at Caps United, a final they lost to the Willard Khumalo coached Lanchashire Steel. “That final still haunts me, I was at fault for the first goal scored by Luke Petros, I should have done better…”

Timothy talks about his strengths as a player. “I was good on one versus one situations, a good tackler and a good leader, I was a good motivator. A good defender must always talk…” Any regrets? “Failure to represent the Nation, I was called for the under 23 squads but never got game time, I do not think the coaches gave me a fair crack of the whip..” His disappointment is evident. Timothy would have joined mega rich Amazulu owned by Delma Lupepe but the army did not allow further loan moves. He went back Tongogara but received a call from a cousin in the UK who invited him to come over. “I jumped at the offer,I later realised that there were many challenges. I had to regularise my papers, it took so long, and life was tough. I am now settled, and I am happy that I made the move, I have improved my life, my wife and daughters are happy, it is all that matters.”He has also joined hands with former Caps United legends among them Joe Mugabe to form the Caps United Legends UK. “Our goal is to revive junior football, we owe it to the youngsters to do this. This is how we developed, we cannot abandon the junior structures.” His passion on this matter shines through as he says this. I cannot agree with him more! Timothy also thinks that a former footballer should be at the helm at Zifa but will support whoever is leading. “Football should be the winner…” he stresses. Indeed, his name might not resonate with many, but his football resume cannot be doubted. Above all, he is still working hard to improve the game and for this, the man deserves our respect.


Epl

Musareka Jenitala - The forgotten football genius!

“I have a lot to thank Alois Bunjira for. He was a true brother during my darkest hour. When I was injured while on National Under 23 duty, I thought my career was over. The Football authorities did little to help me with my rehabilitation. I had almost accepted my fate until Alois invited me to South Africa where he was based, that call saved my career”, Musareka recalled with the raw emotion of gratitude very palpable in his voice.




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Musareka Jenitala - The forgotten football genius!

24 August 2018

“I have a lot to thank Alois Bunjira for. He was a true brother during my darkest hour. When I was injured while on National Under 23 duty, I thought my career was over. The Football authorities did little to help me with my rehabilitation. I had almost accepted my fate until Alois invited me to South Africa where he was based, that call saved my career”, Musareka recalled with the raw emotion of gratitude very palpable in his voice.By starting his narrative with this watershed moment, Musareka captures the travails, tribulations and challenges often faced by many footballers. Cherished as long as they are fit, healthy and delivering on the pitch, the script soon changes when injuries strike. The praise and worshippers, the football authorities and even some close friends soon evaporate into thin air. A separate article will explore how great talent was lost due to the poor management of injuries, it is a damning indictment of our football in Zimbabwe.When a friend comes to the rescue, especially a fellow footballer, it restores our faith in this species which is often presented as selfish egotists who only think about their careers. This gesture by Alois allowed us to enjoy the prodigious talents of a football genius for a little bit longer otherwise he would have gone the way of Edwin Farai, Samson “Sister” Choruwa, Basil Chisopo to mention a few talented players whom we lost in their prime. But how did this journey begin for Musareka, the man who on his debut “cut through the Caps United defence like a hot knife through butter,” to borrow from legendary commentator Charles Mabika’s words. Where did he hone his skills? How did he master such trickery?

Musareka was born in Harare but his family moved to Chitungwiza in Unit M. “When we were growing up, there were no other activities apart from going to school and playing football. We did not spend time on facebook, there was no facebook, we did not spend time googling on our smart phones, there were no mobile phones, all we did was get a ball and play it in the streets. The streets taught us football and endowed us with the skills,” said Musa. Chitungwiza is the home of football and Musareka did not have a shortage of role models to look up to.When Daryn T a club run by Polish coach Wieslaw Grabowski, the man who nurtured a lot of players from this dormitory town with the astute help of unsung hero Never Gombera was banned from the Zimbabwe league, the coach continued to train players. He wanted to keep the players active and even export some of them to Europe. One day Shingi Kawondera who was from the same street with Musa invited him to the training ground. “A player was injured, and the coach asked me to join in. All along I had been basically been a ball boy, but I seized the opportunity with both hands. I put in a blinding performance and by the end of the session my contract was ready,” remembers the former dribbling wizard.When Daryn T’s appeal against the ban was successful, they had a team ready for the league. From 1999 to 2000, they gave teams a run for their money with Musareka a thorn in the flesh of most defenders. His close ball control and dribbling skills were a marvel to watch. The group of youngsters played without fear something that Wieslaw Grabowski should be given credit for. He took risks, threw youngsters into the mix and allowed them to play. He was often rewarded with fearless performances.

Musareka was rewarded with a National team call up. Gibson Homela invited him to join the squad which included the likes of Tinashe Nengomasha,Tapuwa Kapini, Dickson Choto,Nyasha Nyazika,Johannes Ngodzo and David Sengu among others. They were a talented group and had a good tournament in South Africa. What promised to be the genesis of great things soon turned into a nightmare when the injury struck. “It was a knee injury, a serious one, but God intervened, he sent Alois, indeed God works in mysterious ways. I am more than grateful”, said Musa. After recovering from the injury, Musa spend six months playing social football with friends. The signs were good enough and he felt confident to start on another football adventure. Masvingo United were his next port of call. “It was an opportunity for me to regain my confidence away from the spotlight of Harare. The team was good, and we were paid really well”, the former dribbling wizard said.The eagle-eyed Grabowski who never missed a football opportunity, took note of Musa ‘s form and claimed him back as his player. He offered him to Dynamos and this allowed the player to gain full fitness. “My performances were really good, Grabowski decided to take a gamble and sent me for trials in Poland..” According to Musa, Grabowski was like a double-edged sword, creating opportunities for players but sometimes closing the door because of his unreasonable demands.” In 2005, he linked me up with Swit Nowy Dwar Mazowiecki Football Club. When I arrived, the team had departed for a training camp in Tunisia. Instead of sending me there, Grabowski asked me to train with Liege Warsaw, one of the strongest clubs in Poland. He asked me to get to the training session 25 minutes before the end. He talked to the coach and I was allowed to train. The rest of the players were tired, I was fresh, what a game I had! The coach called me little Maradona and wanted to sign me on that day…”What followed was a tug of war between Mazowiecki, Liege Warsaw and Grabowski with Musa the bargaining chip. Grabowski was demanding a lot of money, money that the two clubs were unwilling to pay. Six months passed and with no prospects of a resolution, the star packed up his bags and went back home. The opportunity created by Grabowski had been killed by Grabowski. On his return, he rejoined Masvingo United in 2005 with whom he won the Zifa Unity Cup and were runners up in the league. In 2006 Joe Serengendo the owner Shooting Stars approached him, and he joined. Musa also tried his luck in Cyprus after an invitation from Shingi Kawondera who was based there.

The football adventure even took him to Seychelles and it is this episode which makes him look back with regret. “I found myself in one of the most beautiful islands on this planet, playing football and being paid well. La Digue is beautiful, La Passe are a half decent team, the owner loved me to bits and wanted me to commit long term. I dilly dallied with the commitment because I thought I still had a chance to go to Australia, someone promised to find me a team there. By the time I decided to sign, the team had used up its full quota of foreign players, I will always regret this procrastination,” the regret evident in his voice.After another attempt to go to Cyprus, which did not go down too well, and a stint with Sporting Lions back home. Musa finally decided to hang his boots in 2011. About the coaches he worked with, Musa said, “Grabowski despite his unorthodox methods, taught me to be confident, to take risks and to look for opportunities, real life skills, Luke Masomere allowed players to discover their strengths, he did not put pressure on us and Matongorere was tactically astute though unlucky with results”. Musa also rates Godfrey Dondo and Lloyd Hlahla highly, players he played with at Masvingo United. His advice to young players, “Stay free from drugs, do not allow the environment you are in to overwhelm you, ..takakurawo zvinhu zvakaoma but we persevered, you have to keep looking for opportunities..” were the wise wides from the legend.Musareka who is now based in Germany is an ambassador for YASAD an organisation which promotes sports among the homeless. Harry Redknapp and Ronald De Boer are some of the high-profile personalities involved with the organisation. What about the future, what does it hold, I asked? “Tiri maRasta, hatityi(we are rastafarians , we are not afraid) , we have to keep on moving.” Words full of hope, indeed in life, it is important to keep on moving!

by Lot Chitakasha

highlanders

Highlanders FC- The case of adopting Majaivana’s Tshilamoya as a club anthem.

Since their formation in 1926, Highlanders Football Club have made a massive contribution to the development of football in Zimbabwe. In the process, they have built up a huge fan base which might be concentrated in the Matebeleland region but if the truth be said also cuts across the length and breadth of the nation and even spills over to neighbouring South Africa.



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Highlanders FC- The case of adopting Majaivana’s Tshilamoya as a club anthem.

24 August 2018

Since their formation in 1926, Highlanders Football Club have made a massive contribution to the development of football in Zimbabwe. In the process, they have built up a huge fan base which might be concentrated in the Matebeleland region but if the truth be said also cuts across the length and breadth of the nation and even spills over to neighbouring South Africa. The fans boast that “Highlanders ithimu lizwe lonke…Highlanders is the nation’s team”, a boast which has an element of truth in it. They love their team and they come in all forms and shapes, the good, the bad and the ugly but it is my contention that the good stand out.In their 91 years of history, the club has collected numerous league titles and trophies. The post- independence period has been very fruitful indeed. They have won 7 league titles but since 2006, the league title has been elusive. Many reasons have been advanced to explain this anomaly, for indeed, a team like Highlanders cannot spend 11 years without winning the league. It is too much for the modern supporter to take. Something is not right, and I seek to identify that. At the beginning of the 2017 season, I tipped Highlanders to win the league. I premised my argument on the fact that they seemed to have retained their core squad. The coach was now more experienced after one year of working in the league.At a time when their rivals Dynamos were emerging from the ill-fated experiment with Portuguese gaffer Silva, Highlanders appeared like an oasis of stability. How wrong I was? Things began to unravel as the season progressed, the players seemed to lose interest, the fans focused more on what they viewed as unjust decisions against their team. The “Asifuni Imbumbulu, We do not want nonsense” slogan became toxic and distracted them from giving what the team needed most on match day.Unwavering support! In the end it turned out to be a very disappointing season, they indeed flattered to deceive.

Along the way, something strange happened, something I never envisaged would ever happen to this proud club. Highlanders had to rely on a benefactor Longwe Ndlovu to bring in Rodrick Mutuma to score the goals for them. He was a hired hand, brought in sorely to do a job for the team. The interesting part is that it was not the club that negotiated the transfer and the terms of the transfer. It was the businessman who offered the rented player to the club. Here is the interesting part. According to Fortune Mbele writing for The Standard, the player was sold a pie in the air or in football parlance, a dummy. Most of the terms of the agreement were not met and before long, the player became disillusioned and packed his bags back to Harare. The benefactor who had promised the player $3000 as signing on fees only paid $1 200 which came in batches according to Mutuma’s manager Carlos Tavengwa. As if to rub it in, “The Prince” as Mutuma is known in football circles actually donated what remained of the remaining wages and signing on fees to Highlanders FC. I hope the benefactor will honour that part of the bargain for he claims to love the club so much.I know a thing or two about benefactors after my reading of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. They often seek vicarious self-fulfilment as the portrayal of characters such as Miss Havisham and Magwitch can attest. Now I do not know this gentleman who brought the player all the way from Harare to Bulawayo and donated him to Bosso. But why did he do it, why rent a player for a club you profess to love and then not pay him? Dear reader, we are talking here about a great institution, a club rooted in history, a club which has produced many great players, a club which has blessed us with perhaps one of the greatest footballers to wear the Zimbabwe Warriors shirt, one Peter Ndlovu. Why would such a club rely on a benefactor who does not honour his part of the bargain. I am puzzled. This is definitely is not the Highlanders way.

The great club’s humiliation was compounded when their former son Methembe Ndlovu who owns Bantu Rovers FC unleashed a mere 15-year-old to confront them in a league match at Barbourfields Stadium. The boy Sibusiso Moyo is still developing physically, he has not yet built enough muscle to mix it up with the big boys of the league. I do not think Methembe expected the boy to have a game changing performance, I think his introduction was largely symbolic. It was a slap in the face of this great club, a timely reminder on what they have lost, their junior structures which used to produce quality players. A wake-up call, it was as if Methembe was saying, “What happened, now you rely on benefactors to bring players for you, where is your pride?”The Highlanders of old had a massive production line of junior players. Who can forget Peter, Adam Ndlovu, Benjamin Nkonjera, Willard Khumalo, Mercedes Sibanda, Netsai Moyo, Honour Gombami…the list goes on and on. These were players who had the DNA of the club in them, players who wore their hearts on the sleeves of that iconic black and white shirt. I remember very good young players who had to move to other teams because the competition was stiff. Ronnie “Jeans” Jowa and Nqobizitshe “The Jackal, Mutongi Gava” Maenzanise come to mind. This is all gone and although the juniors are still there, they no longer have the same impact. They have produced some notable players, Knox Mtizwa and Teenage Habede (who later joined Bantu Rovers) but it is fair to say the production has stalled. What happened?Many other incidences also happened during the course of the season. The public spat between assistant coaches Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu and Amin Soma Phiri brought unwanted attention to the club. The case of the flag waving seemingly xenophobic supporter was highlighted in the press. The coach Akbay gave excuses after excuses. In the end, the atmosphere surrounding the club was not the most inspiring. It was not all gloom and doom though. One positive happened, the team scored one of the best goals of the season when they played Triangle FC in a league match. It was a team goal, from back to front, nine players touched the ball until …you guessed right, The Prince buried it home with his head. It was the highlight of his short stint at the club. But such moments were rare when they should be the norm. You might be wondering, how does the song by the great Lovemore Majaivana fit into this narrative? I will be brief, for brevity is the soul of wit.

The club seems to have lost its pride. Legend Tobias Mudyambanje, a man who could change a match in the twinkling of an eye had this to say, “During our days, if we lost a match, we would not be found in pubs drinking, walking around town, having a good time. We waited impatiently for the next match to make amends. In matches, we never knew when we were beaten…these days, we give up easily..” He said it all here, a wounded Highlanders was a dangerous Highlanders, that fighting spirit is gone.This is the crux of the matter, pride. Playing the song Tshilamoya will inspire the players. Being reminded of those legends of old will motivate the youngsters, it will jerk the executives off their warm seats. This might sound simplistic, but do they not say, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication? Bosso must rediscover their pride! Their football pride!

by Lot Chitakasha

Afcon

Lessons from Afcon... My Thoughts and way forward.

The curtain came down on what has turned to be an interesting, dramatic and often error strewn Afcon tournament(often from the men between the sticks.. The goalkeepers). Our Warriors... I am reminded of mukoma Franco Hobodo's song... "Kana mumba musina mari, mitaura haiperi..." Two words became synonymous with the Warriors campaign.. "

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Lessons from Afcon... My Thoughts and way forward.

20 July 2019

Our Warriors... I am reminded of mukoma Franco Hobodo's song... "Kana mumba musina mari, mitaura haiperi..." Two words became synonymous with the Warriors campaign.. " impasse..." and Stand off..! The Bonus issue simply refused to go away and became the tournament. The Football played second fiddle. Yes other Nations had Bonus issues as well like Cameroon, but Cameroon resolved this at home. They simply refused to board the plane. They came a day or two before the tournament. Lesson learnt.. Bhora haridi noise! For the Warriors, in future contracts must be agreed and they should be incentivised contracts. Bonuses should match progress. At the moment, whatever moneys they got... Fans have every right to ask... What for?.. We had high hopes of reaching at least the 1/4 final... We Failed! Zifa leadership should up their game. This was not how to plan a tournament. The carrying of councillors, family members and church members was an unnecessary distraction. It gave ammunition to critics and Zifa should have focused on the Football rather than all these sideshows. For Zifa President Felton Kamambo, this was his opportunity to put a stamp on his leadership. He did not and as such the tournament was a debacle. On the field of play, the Warriors disappointed, some comic misses, some comic goalkeeping. After the first game, performances went a gear lower. The Coaching team failed to inspire.

Kugara nhaka kuona dzevamwe...Madagascar showed us what can be achieved through unity of purpose, passion and playing for the flag. They did not have star players, most of them play in the lower leagues in France, one is in Thailand and ReUnion. If Mhofu had called a player plying his trade in Thailand ainzi "akadhakwa.." If he had called a player earning a living in Reunion, charges of being bought would have been laid on his doorstep. If he had called a bunch of players from France's 4th division, many would have called for his head to be examined. Vanity! As fans we judge harshly!But these are the players who took Madagascar to the 1/4 final.. a place which we thought our Warriors deserved. Madagascar earned their place, we did not but in our vanity, we still think we are a better football Nation. It is a Zimbabwean National character... Vanity in all things. But well.. "Bhora harinyepe..."! Neither does the state of our country, but i digress. The Champions Algeria... Makorokoto/Amhlope. I learnt one thing from them... Passion, playing for the flag! Passion from the Fans, passion for the Country. Most Algerian players are born in France, they train and even play for the French junior teams. But this does not dim the passion they have for Algeria. They love Algeria, they love to win for Algeria. They are Diasporans but their hearts are etched on the Algerian flag. In the semifinals as they were taking penalties, some players cried... This was passion.In the motherland,, Dual citizenship is a feared creature. But if the talent which is scattered on the globe is to be utilised, this Unfounded fear has to be tamed. Algerians have shown us, one can grow up away from the Motherland but the love for the the Motherland will remain strong. The Algerian coach was born in France but he is as Algerian as any one of the Algerians who have never left the country. Zim leaders should think about this...

Last but not least i believe in a two frontal approach to Football development. The home constituency, which is the largest constituency should be developed. We must have a football development strategy. It is not difficult, it just needs commitment. Utilise people who have a passion for junior development.. legends like Moses Chunga, Alois Bunjira, i have total faith in Stanley Chirambadare, Tulani Thulani Biya Ncube, Methembe and many others. "Musavavharire kunze..." Train as many teachers as possible because they spend time with kids. Pursue the Rural talent, again that is a large often ignored constituency. Develop a football curriculum which will be taught to all junior players. Let us have a football identity.And yes, more playing pitches, Councils must help.. Musavake dzimba pese pese!The other front is the Diaspora One . This should work in tandem with the home front. The two should not be mutually exclusive. For this to happen, the Political Leadership should put in place laws that help those born in the Diaspora. Do not put archaic laws, do not be afraid of shadows. Be progressive and laws should reflect this!Football is a multi billion industry. Let us grow our league, let us develop our teams, let us give evey young person a chance and let our Leaders both football and Political share this passion. It will make their lives much easier, it will secure their legacies.Danke and One love!!