Tumba lights up Gwanzura

HARARE - The image of Chemhanza High School’s Tatenda Tumba being hoisted into the air before his weary legs were dragged over a lap of honour by an appreciative crowd will rank as one of the most iconic moments of the 2014 Copa Coca-Cola tournament.

He had just engineered Chemhanza’s second successive Copa Coca-Cola title win after beating Oriel Boys High 2-0 in the final at Gwanzura Stadium on Sunday.

Since the start of the tournament on Friday, Tumba had already illuminated the event with his deft touches in the earlier rounds before going on to trouble the Oriel defence in the final.

He contributed two wonderful assists in the final which resulted in Chemhanza’s two goals against the Harare-based school.

Journalists, who usually have the honour of selecting the man-of-the-match as well as the player-of-the-tournament at this tournament, had it easy on Sunday.

This time that honour spontaneously fell on the lap of football followers who had thronged Gwanzura and were left speechless by the football wizardry displayed by the Chemhanza captain.

As the final whistle blew, there were no prizes in guessing where excited crowd who had invaded the pitch would head.

In a flash after the final whistle, the unassuming 15-year-old suddenly found himself mobbed by the large crowd.

Photo-journalists jostled to capture the moment for history whilst security details seemed to be caught up in the aura as they stood watching from a distance without taking any action.

There would be no denying the crowd a piece of the visibly fatigued midfield wizard.

Tumba was paraded around Gwanzura like a priced asset.

Even such football luminaries like Francis “Gaza” Jayman, Nqobizitha Ncube and Tinashe Nengomasha never received such an ovation from fans at Gwanzura during their days at Black Aces.  

In truth, it was another glowing chapter to the young footballer’s growing status.

In June this year, Tumba along with goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi had travelled to Brazil, Sao Paulo for a six-day Copa Coca-Cola international football camp.

The duo went on to witness Neymar score twice on his 50th cap as Brazil came from behind to open the Fifa World Cup with a 3-1 victory over Croatia at the Corinthians Stadium.

Prior to the Brazil experience the rising football sensation had been part of the Chemhanza that won the won the Copa Coca-Cola tournament last year in Mutare.

Last year, Tumba also did enough in that tournament to earn the player-of-the-tournament award before being drafted into the Copa Coca-Cola Dream Team which went for a training camp in South Africa.

At that camp held in Pretoria, Tumba’s six goals won him the Golden Boot award and saw him being selected into the Copa Coca-Cola Africa All Stars team.

Tumba will again be part of the Zimbabwe Dream team set to travel for the COPA Coca-Cola boot camp in Kenya.

The former Nettleton Primary School pupil has certainly set himself on the right path to stardom in an era where the hunt for young talent is never ending.

But with the emergence of sham football agents and counterfeit football academies one can only hope the young footballer’s talent will not fall into the wrong the hands.

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