Mike Madoda in NORWICH, England
THOUSANDS of miles away from home, the things you miss are the simple ones. Time spent with family, lunchtime sadza with Barry Manandi at Police Club, the post-show debates in the car park with Alois Bunjira, Chriss Grey and Bazza — which I have to say are richer and more opinionated than national radio would dare allow us.
One of our endless discussions has centred on the backward step local football has taken in Zimbabwe.
The heady highs delivered by the likes of Ephert Lungu, Joel Shambo, Moses Chunga, Ebson “Sugar” Muguyo and Madinda Ndlovu are almost a figment of the imagination.
The skills and goals that thrilled thousands weekend in, weekend out and drew chock-a-block crowds to the different stadiums around the country are but a distant memory.
Wanting some sort of connection to home, I decided to put all my technology knowledge into practice to watch the Dynamos/ Highlanders Anti-Sanctions Cup clash at the National Sports Stadium last Friday.
A VPN configuration later and I was in.
Excited to be able to watch my first “local” game in two months, I brewed myself a pot of traditional English tea — fitting as the temperatures are starting to drop here in Norwich and the winds are picking up.
A DeMbare-Bosso clash was once the standard bearer for Zimbabwe football, the epitome of competitiveness and entertainment — the only ticket when they were in town.
No matter who was picked, regular or fringe, in black or blue, they left their blood, sweat and tears on the field for the shirt they wore.
Sadly, this generation is just a poor imitation of the real thing.
What I saw on show was not worth the price of a tea bag and a spoon of sugar.
Errant passes, mediocre build-ups, poor decision-making, the only redeeming factor, the all-female cast that made up the match officials. The worrying thing is that year-after-year, the standards seem to slip and the entertainment value is reduced.
I must have drifted off to sleep only to wake up to Charles Mabika being mobbed by fans as he did his post-match presentation. “Bhora rapera?” I asked my brother.
“Ehe, Bhora rapera” he responded.
As I dragged myself off the couch and to the kitchen to dump an empty pot of tea, I reflected on that brief exchange and came to the conclusion that it was a fitting question to ask regarding our local game, and probably, a fitting response too — Bhora rapera.
And, congratulations to Dynamos, a win is a win — and it’s always sweet against your arch-rivals.
Mike Madoda is a Zimbabwean sports caster