Nqobizitha Maenzanise dies

BULAWAYO - Former Zimbabwe international Nqobizitha Maenzanise has died following a short illness, aged 45.

The former Merlin Husky, Highlanders, Zimbabwe Saints and AmaZulu midfielder passed away on Monday morning at Mpilo Hospital where he had been admitted for the past two weeks.

Nicknamed Humpty Dumpty during his days at Highlanders in the late 1980s, Maenzanise rose to prominence as part of the Highlanders Under-19 side that took part in the Aberdeen Youth Football Festival in Scotland in 1987.

That team included Adam Ndlovu, Ronnie “Jeans” Johwa, Makheyi “Ninja” Nyathi, Thulani Nxumalo, Henry Nyandoro, Nhlanhla Sithole, Sidney Zimunya, Ernest Ncube, Nkululeko Dlodlo, Sijabulisiwe Ndiweni, Vusa Nkomazana, Dampion Ngwenya, Mbonisi Mthombeni, Abraham “Nejani” Mbambo and Thulani Gumede.

He went on to feature prominently for the Highlanders first team, playing alongside greats like current Highlanders goalkeepers coach Peter “Captain Oxo” Nkomo, the late Mercedes “Rambo” Sibanda, current Highlanders welfare manager Willard Mashinkila Khumalo, Alexander Maseko and Lzarus “Lulu” Mwambopo among others.

His former coach at Highlanders, Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu, described Maenzanise’s death as a great loss to the football fraternity.

“Maenzanise was the kind of player who would give you 300% on the field of play and he was very competitive and did not like to lose,” Zulu said.

“I remember when we were in Scotland in 1987 and Maenzanise wanted to beat up the late Adam Ndlovu at halftime because Adam had missed a couple of chances in the first half and that is how he was because even at training, he would be livid when his team lost.”

Zulu went on to describe the late Maenzanise as a skilful midfielder in the mould of former greats like Stanford “Stix” Mtizwa, Joel Shambo and Achieford Chimutanda.

“Maenzanise was a very skilful player and it is just unfortunate that at the beginning of his career he was misunderstood a lot as nobody could understand his character,” Zulu said.

“He matured with age but I think it was a bit too late for him because in his early days he should have played for the national team, but this was not to be because of poor disciplinary record.”

Maenzanise later crossed the great divide to join Bosso’s city rivals Zimbabwe Saints in 1989 before moving to South Africa in the early 90s.

He returned to Zimbabwe in 1996 and joined AmaZulu in the Southern Region Division one league and helped the side win promotion into the top-flight.

The Jackal, as he was known to Usuthu fans, starred for the expensively assembled Delma Lupepe-owned side until his retirement.

Maenzanise only got to play for the Warriors when he was in his late 20s and at one point captained the national team during Swiss national Marc Duvillard’s tenure but like Zulu said earlier, his best days were behind him by then.

Mourners are gathered at the late player’s home in Mzilikazi.

Comments (5)

Tears will flow and dry but we will always hold very fond memories of Hampty. Was many things to different people. Meaningful dash between Ncane.

Mollet - 17 February 2014

I highly talented, skillful midfielder who was a marvel to watch.Could fit into Barca FC without sweat. I remember off-season ko-Greenspan kwakufiwa.R.I.P. maHumpty

Soweto - 17 February 2014

RIP Mutongigava. I think he featured prominently for Lanchashire Steel FC in Kwekwe where he ended his career.

Zwangelikabathi - 17 February 2014

I used to say who is this dirty skillful player surely his hair made me not understand him but he was a good player, RIP.

Maita Manyuka - 19 February 2014

RIP true footballer

tonderai marime - 19 February 2014

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