Charles Mabika Correspondent
ALTHOUGH the high-density suburb of Mabvuku (popularly known as “Bvukaz”), which includes Tafara, is much smaller in size in comparison to the likes of Highfield or Mbare, there have so many skilful and exciting footballers who were born and bred there.
The following artists could have easily made it into my final list of Mabvuku’s Finest Xi since 1980: Atmus Munemo (Chapungu); Tonderayi “TKZee” Mutambikwa (Dynamos); Tineyi Chitora (Blue Ribbon Foods); Elton “Softaz” Chimedza, Maxwell Nyakotyo, Godknows Mangani, Innocent Mugabe (CAPS United); George Time, Charles “Dublaz” Kawocha, Rabson Masauso (Black Aces); Lovemore Mwisho (ZRP Tomlinson); Oswin Kwaramba, Evans Chiwetu, Darabho Chapantha (Circle United) and many more.
And once again, here is the “painful” and final list of Mabvuku’s finest footballers:
- Brenna Msiska (Goalkeeper): Perhaps the most eccentric goalminder we have ever seen on our local fields. Burst into the limelight at Black Aces before joining CAPS United and only missed being the Warriors No. 1 jersey because of the presence of Bruce “Jungleman” Grobbelaar. A gangly and authoritative commander in the box, “Ba Gari” always set the house ablaze with his theatrical stunts. Was also a fine ball distributor and penalty kick specialist saver.
- William Mugeyi (Defender): Nicknamed “The Golden Fox”. An intelligent and charismatic left wing back who made his name (together with his twin brother Wilfred) at Circle United’s Portland Stadium. The side – nicknamed “Mafero Mafero’ — enjoyed immense support from the suburb’s community. He later moved to Black Aces where he skippered both club and country. A perfect crosser of the ball, he was also a free-kick specialist and once scored direct from a corner kick in a COSAFA Cup final tie against Lesotho at Setsoto Stadium in 2000. There was more glory and headlines waiting for him when he crossed the Limpopo to feature for a couple of South African top-flight sides.
- Albert Mabika (Midfielder): Classy, evasive and loaded with attacking flair, “Dhalala” rose from the unfashionable world of lower division side Tabex to become a crowd favourite at Black Aces, Dynamos and CAPS United. Loved to dummy his markers in and outside the box before deftly finding the spot with some special finishes. He hated losing and could always be seen rallying his team-mates when the chips were down.
- David Kutyauripo (Defender): This aggressive and non-nonsense player was equally at home on both flanks and as a centre-back. Got the nickname “Diaspora” after he sported a fancy and red pair of boots in his first match for Dynamos at Rufaro after returning from Cyprus and the Glamour Boys fans reckoned those boots had been bought in Cyprus and christened him thus! Hard tackling and a dependable supporter of his team’s raids, he would always be seen barking orders for the sides he skippered. Was also a regular Warriors member during his illustrious career which also included Railstars, the Green Machine and Harare City.
- Wilfred Mugeyi (Forward): The twin brother of William and nicknamed “The Silver Fox”. A darting performer who was also evasive and bustling as he bulldozed his way past defenders. Carried plenty of explosive ammunition in his left boot and scored some unbelievable goals which saw him being crowned the Soccer Star of the Year at the end of a memorable 1992 season before he accompanied William “down south” for more fame and a little fortune. Menacing attacker for the senior national team as well during his rich tenure.
- James Matola (Defender): One of the most popular players in the Warriors and Dynamos history because of the way he cleared the ball away with flying headers in typical Belgian film action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme style hence the nickname “Van Damme”! A strong and resilient centre-back who never backed out of any kind of tackle and loved supporting set-pieces where he would get a goal or two. Broke into the limelight turning out for “Mafero Mafero” before venturing to DeMbare and played in Thailand towards the end of his career.
- Usman Misi (Forward): Although he was born and bred in “Bvukaz”, he also, at times used to visit relatives in Chitungwiza and kicked a ball here and there. A high-flying right winger, “Huchi” was a downright terror for left wing-backs whom he usually outsmarted by using his voluminous catalogue of evasive tricks. Was propped up by former Warriors Polish coach, Wieslaw Grabowski, who sent him to Poland from Darryn T where he matured and always pleased his entourage of fans when he returned for national duty.
- Joe Mugabe (Midfielder): Oh, what a diminutive genius this late player was. “Kode from Mbvuku” was perfection personified in the centre of the park as he glided up field with total control. His small stature betrayed his limitless abundance of energy, vision and exciting characteristics. Voted a record four times as CAPS United’s Player of the Year, Mugabe took over the expected role of talismanic prowess from the legendary Joel “Jubilee” Shambo (after the latter retired) as well as being the side’s new skipper. A fine gentleman on and off the park, many Makepepe fans rate him as the finest magician to put on the club’s famous green and white jersey… which says a lot because that puts him in the same competitive starting blocks with the likes of Shacky “Mr Goals” Tauro, Shambo, Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma and Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa.
- Cephas Chimedza (Defender): Stylish, colourful and highly skillful left wing-back who specialised in creating and scoring gems of goals. Nicknamed “Mboma” (because he was a splitting lookalike of the former Cameroonian giant striker Patrick Mboma) or “Mai Chisamba” (because of the way he loved to dance rhythmically to the local TV show hostess’ theme soundtrack). Was a marvel to watch when he jinxed his way from the flank and inside, leaving his opponents dazed before surgically slicing his effort past the ‘keeper. Was crowned the 2004 Soccer Star of the Year after a mesmerising season at the Green Machine whom he “unbelievably” joined from Dynamos and then flew to Belgium to star for Germinol Beerschot FC. Was also a regular Warriors member.
- Lincoln Zvasiya (Defender): A gangling, hard-tackling and intelligent centre-back. Misfortune and a little bit of indiscipline were his nemesis because he could have gone farther than just featuring for South Africa’s giant side Kaizer Chiefa if he had been fully committed to this beautiful game’s cause. Nicknamed “Bhadra” after Tunisian legendary centre-back Kaled Bhadra (Zvasiya’s followers reckoned he was as good as the North African). Starred for FC Platinum before his South African experience and then came back home to join Dynamos for a short stint and then briefly trained with CAPS United.
- Marshall Munetsi (Midfielder): A hard and resilient grafter who is riding the crest of a wave in France’s Ligue 1 with Reims FC and is on the radar of bigger European clubs. “Nyale” is a Trojan horse who keeps his front runners supplied with “fountain water” passes and also lavishes to be on the score-sheet once in a while with some stupendous finishes. Started his journey at local side Blue Rangers before he had stints in South Africa, which included giants Orlando Pirates, before his big move to France. Is earmarked to take over the Warriors captaincy after the recent retirement of Knowledge “Smiling Assassin” Musona.