A unifier and motivator

HARARE - Last Friday, at about 4.30pm, I arrived at a hotel in Harare and proceeded to reception to check-in. After conducting the formalities at the reception, Adam Ndlovu, who was seated in the hotel lobby with Hwange coach Nation Dube, spotted me.

 I went to where he was seated and he told me he wanted to see me in Bulawayo the following week regarding a player wrangle between his club and Shabanie Mine. I told him that I was going to be in Bulawayo on Tuesday (yesterday), at the regional Players Union offices.                                                                   
                                                                                      
During the Soccer Stars awards ceremony, Adam Ndlovu, Nation Dube, Biggie Zuze, Brenna Msiska, Bhekimpilo Nyoni, Nelson Mazivisa and myself (Soccer Stars finalist) sat on the same table. Adam, as usual, was in a jovial mood.

 We had a great night together and after the ceremony proceeded to the hotel. On Saturday morning while at Rainbow Towers, Adamski advised me that Peter had called him and he was no longer travelling with us by bus, instead he was now going with Peter to Bulawayo.

At around 5am on Sunday morning, I learnt with shock and sadness that the Ndlovu brothers had been involved in a road accident and that Adam had passed on. It was not easy for me to accept the tragic news taking into consideration that I was with Adam less than 24hours ago.

Today as I reflect the life of Adamski, I join the Ndlovu family and the rest of the nation in celebrating his life. His passing-on was painful but the legacy he has left behind makes him legendary, leaving Zimbabweans united, by his exploits, on the field of play.

My first contact with Adamski was in the late 1980s during matches between Highlanders and and my team Ziscosteel FC. He was a forceful strike who kept defenders busy throughout the match. He chased every ball within his reach and pressurised defenders, whenever he lost possession. He was a striker many defenders did not want to play against because of his aggression. Adamski had an eye for goals and won hearts of multitude of spectators in the process.

During the Dream Team era, Adamski was a key member of the team and was involved in all battles we fought on the African continent. He was a fearless striker, who we relied upon and never doubted his commitment to the national cause.

When in camp, it was easy for him to be in the company of each and every player. He used to move around our rooms checking on us, giving encouragement and reminding us of the stakes. He was a person who easily embraced every teammate effortlessly. He was a unifier, motivator, disciplined and a loyal servant of football.

As the nation gets ready to lay to rest one of its foot soldiers in the football movement, I call upon all the footballers wherever you might be, to spare a thought for the man who now lies motionless, speechless, but respected for what he has done for the country and his club childhood club Highlanders. Admski’s was a marvel to watch during his heyday. He was ever-smiling and reassuringly confident in whatever he did.

It is with honour and great respect that today, while he is gone and his brother Peter lie hospitalised, Adamski deserves a befitting send-off. Lala ngokuthula mfanakhiti! Zorora murugare! Rest in eternity, Adamski! - Paul Gundani

*Paul Gundani played alongside Adam Ndlovu in the Zimbabwe national side. He is currently secretary general of the Zimbabwe Footballers Union.

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