The Story Of Khama And Junior Makunike

Sharuko on Saturday

IN one way, or the other, it’s like a return to 2011. A diminutive football star returns home, gets linked with Dynamos but ends up signing for a lightweight club.

Okay, let’s put it in another way – a diminutive forward returns home, gets tipped to sign for DeMbare but ends up settling elsewhere.

Or, let’s try yet another way – a diminutive winger returns home, gets associated with a sunset dance with the Glamour Boys but ends up joining another team.

Where we had Peter Ndlovu in 2011, we now have Khama Billiat.

Where we had Black Mambas in 2011, we now have Yadah Stars.

And, in both cases, Dynamos were the common denominator, the suitor fated to never be the bridegroom, the one who would lose out.

We were told in 2011 that DeMbare were on the verge of a sensational coup to take King Peter on board in an audacious move which would have triggered a tremor at Highlanders.

Of course, it never happened and that also means the tremor didn’t strike at Bosso.

Instead, in a deal which meant domestic football’s version of the Cold War didn’t erupt, Peter ended up signing for Highfield United.

He was quickly loaned to Black Mambas in a deal, bankrolled by the late Twalumba owner Nkululeko Sibanda, after the businessman dangled a US$55 00 signing-on fee for Peter.

Those who felt this deal was too good to be true were proved right when Peter later dragged Sibanda to the High Court claiming he didn’t receive a penny of the US$55 000 he had been promised.

The High Court agreed with Peter and ordered that Sibanda should pay him his dues, something which the businessman contested.

Sibanda and Peter shared something in common – they were both from Binga and they loved football and, at first, this appeared to be a romance made in heaven.

However, it was short-lived and had an ugly and messy ending.

Thirteen years later, we appear to have taken a journey back into time with Billiat returning home this week and, after speculation had strongly linked him with a move to Dynamos, he ended up settling elsewhere.

Like Peter, he didn’t move to the team he last played for, when he left home, and there would be no revival of his romance with CAPS United.

Instead, Billiat decided to join a club whose owner is the only man to build a proper stadium, from scratch, since the Gwanzura brothers – Eric and Phanuel – did it way back in the ‘60s.

Prophet Walter Magaya called his project the Heart Stadium.

And, from this week, it’s the place that Billiat will be calling home, at least, for a year as he turns to the comforts of home to try and revive a faltering career that has terribly gone off the rails.

We don’t know how much he will be getting at Yadah Stars but we can guess that his signing-on fee was slightly more than the US$20 000, which Manica Diamonds had offered him.

And, given the Gem Boys had offered him a cool US$3 500 winning bonus, it’s likely that he was offered something better by the Miracle Boys given he ended up signing for them.

The grim reality is that a club like Dynamos cannot afford to pay someone such a winning bonus, without crippling their financial base, and triggering a revolt, from the other players, in their camp.

Once the amounts, which were being dangled, became public material, it quickly became clear that DeMbare were just chasing a fantasy, a child trying to catch a shooting star, a snail trying to outrun a cheetah in a 100m dash.


Khama is 33, will turn 34 on August 19 and there is hope, among some of his handlers, that he can make an impact which could help him attract the attention of some foreign suitors.

After all, they will argue, two days after Billiat turns 34, Nyasha Mushekwi will be turning 37.

And, that Mushekwi is still playing at the top level in China gives them hope that their man hasn’t come home for a retirement package.

This is what has puzzled many analysts whose argument is that if Billiat needed a club to help him revive his career, and catch the attention of foreign suitors, then Dynamos would have been his best option.

DeMbare provide the kind of media exposure which Yadah Stars will never give him no matter how well he plays.

The same analysts will argue that Takunda Shandirwa will never have got the profile he has today had he stayed at Yadah Stars and not gone to play for DeMbare.

The same analysts will also argue that until his arrival at Dynamos, Genesis Mangombe didn’t have a big profile as a coach, even though he was performing some miracles by keeping the Miracle Boys in the PSL.

Now, the same coach finds himself in pole position, to even get named as the next Warriors gaffer, thanks to the platform which Dynamos gave him to boost his profile.

Khama made a choice to join Yadah Stars, he knows why he decided to go that route and he knows it has turned into a target of the hate attacks which will come from those who wanted to see him playing for Dynamos.

We have already seen some of the hate speech flooding the social media platforms and a player, who many DeMbare fans would have loved to play for their team has now suddenly turned into what they are terming a spent force not good enough to play for MWOS in Division One.

That is what football is all about and there is a very thin line that divides between being celebrated as an angel and being condemned as the devil.

We have seen all the insinuations, including those in which some are questioning how a player who was earning R800 000 a month at Kaizer Chiefs could still be someone who is lured by the power of money, including a US$20 000 signing-on fee.

There are some who are even claiming that Khama is broke and is coming back home to try and get as much as he can, after being ignored by clubs in South Africa, with the hope he can make an impact and end up going to Tanzania.

I don’t believe that Khama is broke even though I have seen too many of our footballers, who used to have good pay packets during their days in Supa Diski, returning home empty-handed.

I have also seen a number of them, who decided not to come back home, being stranded in South Africa where they are doing virtually nothing.

Many of them simply can’t come home to face the ghosts of their failure to invest wisely back in the days when their revenue streams were guaranteed and they earned enough to have started decent businesses here.

But, that is not the subject of this blog this week.

It is about Khama, his return and the storm that it has provoked across the entire country where his story has become the dominant subject in our football today.

I like Khama Billiat

It’s something I have been doing since this fellow started paying for the Warriors and, along the way, working in tandem with Knowledge Musona, formed a partnership which dragged us to some fine victories.

At his peak, he was simply unplayable and, at the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon, he was just brilliant, in the game against Algeria, Sammy Koffour was left stunned as to why such a talented player was still playing in Africa.


If I was a Dynamos fan I would not join the brigade which has transformed itself into specialists in hating and hurting Khama Billiat, simply because he decided not to sign for the Glamour Boys, and chose the Miracle Boys.

I wouldn’t join that army of furious fans who have vowed that they would try to make Khama’s dance, in the domestic Premiership, as uncomfortable as possible simply because he decided not to play for DeMbare.

I can understand the pain of rejection.

But, what I would have been furious about, if I was a Dynamos fan, would be about losing Junior Makunike to Simba Bhora instead of failing to land Khama Billiat.

There is no point in DeMbare trying to pretend that they can afford to take care of players like Khama Billiat when they cannot afford to take care of a player like Junior Makunike.

This is one of the brightest prospects in our football and, last year, he really became one of the Glamour Boys.

And, from a distance, one could see that he was really feeling he was part of the blue-and-white furniture.

This is a young man who helped Dynamos win their first major piece of silverware in nine years and, during that process, learnt a lot about what it means to be a Glamour Boys.

The Glamour Boys spent a considerable small fortune helping him become a better player and, if I was a DeMbare fan I would have taken my club leaders to task for failing to get this fellow on a permanent basis.

On February 11, Junior Makunike turned 20 and has the whole football world ahead of him and he can only get better and better.

Reports say all he wanted was a US$4500 signing-on fee for him to stay at DeMbare but the Glamour Boys were offering him US$1 200.

Amid this stalemate Simba Bhora came along and offered him US$5000 because Tonderai Ndiraya, who gave him his break into Premiership football when he was only 18, believes it’s worth the investment.

So, Junior took the money and signed for a club that will only be playing in the Premiership for only the second season.

He left a club, which will be playing in the CAF Confederation Cup this year for one whose very existence depends on one man, Simba Ndoro, the owner of the club.

For me, if I was a Dynamos fan, this is where the real inquest should be as to how it is impossible that someone like Junior Makunike would end up dumping DeMbare for Simba Bhora.

Junior Makunike represents the future of our football, Khama Billiat represents its recent past and that is why he even decided to retire from international football.

How some DeMbare fans feel pained by Khama’s decision to reject them and, at the same time, appear comfortable with Junior dumping them for Simba Bhora, still puzzles me.

You can’t expect to get Khama Billiat when you can’t put together a package which brings someone like Obriel Chirinda into your stable.

We saw recently how this man, who has been one of the best strikers on the domestic scene, decided to pen a deal with Ngezi Platinum Stars instead of signing for Dynamos.

You can’t hope to secure a player with the profile of Khama Billiat when you can’t lure a player like Walter Musona, who chose to go and sign for Simba Bhora, into your stable.

All these things should be factored in the Khama Billiat conversation because they all help to show us why these players are choosing that their interests would be better served somewhere away from DeMbare.

Keeping Junior Makunike would have been a better investment for DeMbare than getting Khama into their fold.

That they failed on both fronts tells us that there is something wrong with them, and not the players, and rather than hate these boys for making their choice, the DeMbare fans should be asking questions about the state of their camp.

For me, I am just happy to see Khama going to play in the domestic Premiership and whether that would have been in the colours of Dynamos, Manica Diamonds, Chegutu Pirates or Yadah Stars doesn’t matter to me.

To God Be The Glory!

Peace to the GEPA Chief, the Big Fish, George Norton, Daily Service, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and all the Chakariboys still in the struggle. Come on Chegutu Pirates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zaireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Text Feedback: 0772545199 WhatsApp: 0772545199

Email – robsharuko@gmail,com – [email protected]

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