Musambudzi legend at Rhinos

HARARE - Reuben Musambudzi says he would have been arrested had he followed his heart to join his boyhood club, Dynamos.

The attacking midfielder cut his teeth at Dynamos juniors before reaching lofty heights with army side Black Rhinos.

Musambudzi joined Rhinos as a youngster at the beginning of 1987, linking up with such great players as Stanford ‘Stix’ Mtizwa, ‘Ernest Cool Ruler’ Mutano, Simon ‘AK 47’ Mugabe, Maronga ‘The Bomber Nyangela’ and Japhet ‘The Short Cat’ Mparutsa.

Defender Mutano, midfielder Mtizwa and goalkeeper Mparutsa were regular national team players.

“It was a team of talented players. Once you got out it was difficult to earn your place back in. Even if you got injured you would play through the injury to keep your place in the team,” Musambudzi recalls.

Life was, however, not always rosy at the army side.

This is backed by the graffiti, which has somehow endured the effects of weathering, still stained on the walls of Mbare Netball Complex inscribed “Bobby Must Leave Black Rhinos.”

Bobby was his nickname.

“To tell you the truth, there is a time I would have loved to move from Black Rhinos to Dynamos, after all Dynamos was where it all begun for me,” he says.

“But to move to Dynamos I would have been arrested. It was tantamount to going Awol (Absent without official leave) in the army.

“I remember Stix (Mtizwa) experienced something similar when he moved from Rhinos to CAPS, he had to spend a year in Mutare not knowing what would happen to him,” Musambudzi says.

“I had a lot of memorable games at Black Rhinos but I remember the Zifa Cup semi-final against Zimbabwe Saints most.

I didn’t score but gave Ephraim Chawanda a torrid time. Many people who watched me in full flight always refer to that game. I went on to create the opportunity from which Maronga Nyangela scored the decisive goal.”

However, Musambudzi would be left frustrated after being excluded from the squad for the final against CAPS United.

Born in Mbare in 1965, Musambudzi earned his stripes at Dynamos juniors.

He was later picked to represent Zimbabwe Under-20s where he would team up with Eddie Muchongwe and Masimba Dinyero.

At that time he was a Darryn T player, simultaneously balancing school and first division football.

“We would finish school and then train in the afternoon with Darryn Textiles. I did this for about four years from 1980 when I was in Form One up until I was in Form Four,” he says.

“My ‘O’ Level results were not that good because soccer took most of my time. My mother was obviously not happy about that but I went on to pursue what I was good at and that was soccer.”

Musambudzi left Darryn T in 1984 before joining Gweru’s Bata Power in 1986.

“I played one friendly game against Rhinos. I was very influential in that game we beat Rhinos 2-0, that’s how I came to join Rhinos (then coached by Ashton ‘Papa’ Nyazika).”

At Rhinos, Musambudzi won the league title as well as the Zifa Cup.

Musambudzi’s Rhinos stint was highlighted by several loan moves, one being to fellow army side Tongogara.

Together with Simon Mugabe, Jeremiah Chidawa and Jimmy Mbewe, he was tasked to help the side gain promotion into the top flight league.

“I returned  to Rhinos in 1994,and had a stint with Cranborne Bullets where I was the top goal scorer, before I hung my boots.”

The 49-year-old is now dedicated to furthering his coaching badges. He is married to Febby with whom he has three children.

He still leaves in Mbare, a stone’s throw away from the Mbare Netball Complex where the graffiti, although faded, is a constant reminder of his heyday.

“In Mbare I am very comfortable here,” he says.

“This is where I grew up and it is here were most people fondly remember my playing days.”

 

Comments (3)

Bhora aigona but aizonyanya kuda kunzvenga asingapire vamwe

fundi - 22 September 2014

Bhora aigona but aizonyanya kuda kunzvenga asingapire vamwe

fundi - 22 September 2014

ini ndakamuona achitamba muface aikwanisa manje, he was very talented dai aka joina dembare .... hameno

Harare - 22 September 2014

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