|Chihota mourns Salifu|
|Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:00|
RONNIE Chihota, the co-founder of Blackpool Football Club, revealed yesterday that he was devastated by the death of his partner Joel Salifu. Salifu died on Sunday at a medical centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, after losing his battle with cancer.
He will be buried this afternoon at Glen Forest, in the capital, at 2pm.
Chihota, who worked with Salifu at Blackpool, said his death was a great loss.
“He was a good man. He was the first person I approached in 1993 when we formed Blackpool,” said Chihota.
“I was manager at the police outfit Black Mambas and when they offered me a chance to buy their team I went straight to Salifu before talking to anyone because I had confidence in him.
“It’s a great loss to the football and the business community. He was a humble man, simple and very understanding.
“To me he was like a brother and Salifu was a man of people.”
Former Black Rhinos striker, Maronga ‘Bomber’ Nyangela, said Salifu’s death had come as a shock.
“I was very saddened by his death. I knew him from way back when they formed Blackpool in 1993.
“Salifu was very helpful and he loved his football very much and it will be difficult to replace him. I believe if he had given a chance to run our football he would have contributed immensely to lift the game from the current woes which are affecting our national game,” said Nyangela.
Salifu’s body, which arrived in Harare on Thursday night, was yesterday taken from Nyaradzo funeral parlour to the family home at 121 Vito Street in Mbare.
It was later taken to Salifu’s home at 70 Drew Road, Grange, Harare where it lied in state ahead of today’s burial.
Some of the people who was at Nyaradzo to accompany Salifu’s body included former Dynamos treasurer, Lloyd Hove, and former CAPS United defender William Chikauro.
Alex Kawondera, Henry Chari, Eddie Muchongwe and Jeffrey Tabva were also present at the funeral parlour.
Meanwhile, Chihota announced yesterday that the football family will meet at Motor Action Sports Club this evening to celebrate Salifu’s life.
“I appeal to everyone who was connected with Blackpool, the players, the directors, their families, the executive members and the supporters and everyone who loves football to come to Motor Action Sports Club tomorrow evening (today),” said Chihota.
“We have to remember Joel as a football community and, after the burial, we need to share some moments where we can remember who he was in our football.”
Salifu is survived by his wife, Mildred, and three children.