A football tragedy

HARARE - News that former Zimbabwean international and Kaizer Chiefs defender Zhaimu “Jimmy” Jambo has retired from football came as a surprise to many people yesterday.

At the relatively young age of 26, Jambo decided to call it a day after failing to recover from a horrific knee injury he suffered in October 2012 during a Chiefs match against Bidvest Wits.

What made it worse is the fact that that decisive tackle that wrecked the Mbare-born defender’s career was delivered by compatriot and former team-mate Tinashe Nengomasha.

Jambo’s retirement is not only a loss to Kaizer Chiefs, but Zimbabwean football as a whole.

Here is a young footballer that definitely still had a lot to offer to the growth of a game desperately needing role models and investment.

Although he had taken a back seat from the Warriors fold following the Asiagate match-fixing scandal, Zimbabwe has lost a dedicated footballer who has vast experience.

Zimbabwean football is currently in a comatose following the failure to qualify for five success Africa Nations Cup finals.

Had Jambo recovered from his injury, there is little doubt he would have played a crucial role in helping the Warriors reclaim the lost glory.

Jambo spent most of his formative years in the Dynamos junior ranks, where he was highly regarded and was tipped to be a future Glamour Boys star.

In a bid to get more game time, the young defender moved to the newly-formed Gunners in the first division in 2005.

There, he became a household name and led the club to their promotion into the top-flight league in 2007.

By that time, Jambo was a regular in the various Zimbabwe age-group national teams and immediately caught the eye of AmaKhosi, who signed him in 2008.

Jambo’s Kaizer Chiefs career was saddle with injuries and the final nail came on that fateful evening at the Bidvest Stadium when he collided with Nengomasha.

Former Gunners coach George Madira, who oversaw Jambo’s development at Gunners, was shocked with the news that the defender has hung his boots.

“This is bad news because he was one player who had a lot of potential,” Madira told the Daily News yesterday.

“Since he went to Kaizer Chiefs he was one player whose career was affected by injuries but I never thought it could come to an end at such any early age.

“With the potential he had, I was confident Jambo was going to be one of the best left-backs on the continent.”

According to Madira, Jambo was a dedicated footballer who showed good leadership qualities at a young age.

“At Gunners, we made his the team captain when he was still a teenager at only 19 in 2007. At that time he was already a regular with the Young Warriors squad,” he said.

“He was very humble and was one player who listened to the coaches’ advice all the time. He even gave a lot of advice to the other players even those that were older than him.

“It’s just sad that his career has been cut short and I expected him to have at least another 10 more years playing at the highest level.”

Kaizer Chiefs had given the Zimbabwean all the support he needed after the injury with the hope that one day he would fully recover.

“I can tell you right now that the one foreign space in the team is the one which has been opened by Jimmy Jambo who had to hang up his boots,” Kaizer Chiefs football manager, Bobby Motaung yesterday.

“He decided to focus on other things as we tried to give him a chance but he could not handle it.”

Former AmaKhosi communications manager Luthando Zibeko, who worked with Jambo during his days at Naturena took to Twitter to express his grief at the news.

“It's quite sad to hear about Jambo's retirement. No one expected this to happen when the player was stretched off at Bidvest back in 10/12,” said Zibeko.

“JJ has built a stable life around him and I know that he will be strong. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours #JamboRetirement.”

Comments (2)

Tinashe, kuuraya wekwako

Noe - 25 July 2014

We will all miss your "Coco Jambo" Ya ya ya coco jambo...... LOL

Stuart Flethcer - 8 August 2014

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