Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international midfielder Denver Mukamba has admitted that he has endured a frustrating time in the South African Premiership with the former Dynamos playmaker still battling to settle at one club.
Mukamba rose to prominence on the domestic scene in 2012 when he led Dynamos to the second of the four championship titles they won under coach Callisto Pasuwa.
The slim former Kiglon midfielder was in that fine year crowned the Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year while in February 2013 German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels elevated him to the captaincy of the Warriors.
He had earlier signed for Bidvest Wits.
Instead of rising with his move to the ABSA Premiership, Mukamba’s stock has actually taken a dip in the last three years and yesterday the midfielder – who has now moved to three clubs in as many seasons -admitted that he was frustrated at not being settled.
Mukamba has also lost his place in the Warriors where he has since been overlooked for selection for the side that is eyeing qualification for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.
From a player who was overwhelmingly voted the best in the country in 2012, Mukamba now has to survive on loan spells to different clubs since failing to settle at Wits.
His next stop was University of Pretoria but the Premiership strugglers also offloaded him and now Mukamba is currently on loan at Jomo Cosmos.
Mukamba, who was back home for the festive season break to be with his mother Violet Kawinga, grandmother, cousin and fellow footballer Clive Kawinga and the rest of the family, however, said he was optimistic of a change of fortunes in 2016 with his main target being to secure a long-term deal with a Premiership club where he can settle and focus more on his game.
He is expected to leave for Johannesburg tomorrow with high hopes of turning around a career that promised so much but has delivered so little.
“I really need to play regularly and the issue of being loaned out does not allow you to settle and realise your full potential. It has been three years now but I have been to three different clubs as well.
“My loan contract with Jomo Cosmos will expire in June and I will return to University of Pretoria and I believe it is a matter of time before I return to the top of my game,” Mukamba said.
Despite sending him on loan to Cosmos AmaTuks as University of Pretoria are affectionately known, have been struggling in the ABSA Premiership and are 15th on the 16-team table with just six points from 11 games.
Cosmos have not fared any better either as they are 14th with 10 points and Mukamba would have to work harder to help fellow Zimbabwean Charlton Mashumba to inspire their team out of the relegation zone.
Mukamba also heaped praise on the 2016 CHAN squad and remained confident that his former coach Pasuwa and his men will do well in the tournament which begins in Rwanda on January 16.
“I always follow local Premiership on SuperSport 9 and I think the players continue to improve and they can make it through at the CHAN competition.
“There are a lot of good players some who have experience and I think they can do the job in Rwanda,” Mukamba said. Mukamba also reckoned that the South African Premiership was more competitive than the domestic top-flight but insisted that he had the quality to match the demands of that league.
“In South Africa the standards are high and they are professional in tackling any sport unlike here but we have more talent here,” added Mukamba.
Denver’s mother said she was happy that her son has managed to bring joy to the whole family during this festive season as he brought every family member a gift.
Violet Kawinga backed her son to rediscover his touch and make and rise up again.
“It is just a matter of time before he makes his mark and once that is done I can assure you he can even make it in Europe. He is a brilliant player who can play at any level but he was just unlucky and we know his time is going to come and it will not be long.
“I just pray that he gets game time so that he can prove his mettle and the issue of being loaned out is also letting him down because the time that he should establishing himself he will be on the move,” Kawinga said.
Mukamba’s grandmother, who had complained bitterly of neglect from the midfielder, appears to have now mended bridges with the player and she was beaming with happiness as she sat with her grandson and praised him for bringing them “some goodies’’.
“I am very happy with my grandchild’s progress and wish him all the best when he returns to South Africa. I have nothing against him and my heart has opened up as he has showered everyone here with presents and ever since he returned we are a happy family,” Gogo Kawinga said.
After setting the domestic Premiership alight in 2012, Mukamba knows he will continue to be in the spotlight as tries to revive his career with Jomo Cosmos.