FORMER Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association president Eddie “Mboma” Nyatanga has lost the man who made him fall in love with football — his father James.
James, who was diabetic, passed away at his home in Cranborne, Harare, yesterday morning at the age of 85.
Although he didn’t rise to become a prominent person in the football fraternity, James, who was an ardent Dynamos supporter, is the one who groomed Nyatanga as well as Mboma’s cousin, Wellington, who once led ZIFA as its president.
A sobbing Mboma yesterday said he had lost a pillar of his strength.
“I am shocked and saddened at the same time. My father mentored me and he is the one who drove me along the football path. He was a keen follower of the game and inspired me to get into this field,” said Nyatanga.
“He was the pillar of the family. He raised us well and we almost always attended football matches involving Dynamos when we were still growing up, thanks to his love for the game and the Glamour Boys.
“He supported us well and when I was the ZNSSA president , he was always there to give me some advice and he did the same when my brother Wellington was still the ZIFA president.
“He will be sadly missed by the Nyatanga family as he is one of those people who united the family.
“At one time he also gave a roof to the Chidzambwa brothers, Misheck and Sunday. That’s how much he loved the game.” Mourners are gathered at his father’s house at No 8 Fitzjohn Crescent in Cranborne, Harare. Burial arrangements are yet to be finalised although he (James) is likely to be laid to rest tomorrow. “Burial arrangements will be announced in due course. At the moment our eldest nephew Adam Molai (Savanna Tobacco owner) is running around and he will come up with a final decision in consultation with other elders.
“He is the one together with Washington Nyatanga who was looking after my father during his last days.”
James survived by two children, Eddie and his sister Jacqueline.
His other two children died some years ago together with his first wife.