CHARLES MUNGOSHI TOP ZIMBABWEAN WRITER



(b.1947) is a writer from Zimbabwe. His works include short stories and novels in both Shona and English. He also writes poetry, but views it as a "mere finger exercise." He has a wide range, including anti-colonial writings and children's books. While the colonial regime initially banned his work, he now writes about post-colonial oppression as well. The awards he won include the Noma Award in 1992 and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region) twice in the years 1988 and 1998. Two of his novels, one in Shona and the other in English, both published in 1975 won the International PEN Awards. Is married to an actress Jesesi Mungoshi, who played in Neria (Zimbabwean Film) as Neria. Has an Honourary degree from the University of Zimbabwe. Mungoshi also took part in some of the local Zimbabwean drama series in the late 80's to early 90's, he played a role in a local drama "Ndabvezera" which was produced by Aaron Chiundura Moyo.


CHARLES MUNGOSHI & DAMBUDZO MARECHERA 1986

Charles Mungoshi is a writer in both Shona and English. He was born in 1947 in a village near Chivhu in Manyene Tribal Trust Land. His novel 'Waiting for the Rain' has been prescribed reading for years in Zimbabwean schools. This novel was published in1975, the same year as his Shona novel 'Ndiko kupindana kwa mazuva' (How time passes). He received an International PEN award for both these books. Mungoshi's other publications include two collections of short stories, 'The Setting Sun' and 'The Rolling World' (1987), two collections of children's stories, 'Stories from a Shona Childhood' (1989) and 'One Day Long Ago' (1991) and a collection of poems, 'The Milkman Doesn't Only Deliver Milk' (1998). His latest book is 'Walking Still', a collection of short stories, which was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize. He also has a short story in the anthology 'Writing Still' (ed. Irene Staunton, Weaver Press 2004).

The following text is from a conversation between Charles Mungoshi and Mai Palmberg, an event arranged within the framework of the series "The Writers' Africa" on 30 September 2003 at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. The evening ended with questions from the floor, indicated below with Q. Mai Palmberg's two closing questions are indicated with MP.

Let me start by asking you why you became a writer?
I don't know what else I should have become. I don't know how these things come about, but I think my parents wanted me to be something else, and even as late as, well, just before Walking Still was published, which is about five years ago, my mother said, "I'd wish you'd burn your library". Anyway, she didn't mean it and some good things have happened also. It probably has got to do with having your nose in the book and hardly saying anything at all to anyone; I am talking about when I was growing up.

But I always want to think that it was the loneliness, the way I grew up that led to my choice of career. It was not a career that I chose, I think it chose me. Traditionally in Shona culture you live in a round village and with the head of the kraal, somewhere there. But some time in the 1950s my father had to move from our village to start a farm of his own, a farm in the modern sense, with machines and all the modern technology, although not that productive.

This farm was about 17-something acres and you could get out with 20, 25 to 30 head of cattle for the whole day, feeding on wild fruits and you did not come back home until probably five o'clock in the evening. So most of the time I was alone and when I could read, which was five years after I started school, four or five years, I could read very well in both English and Shona. I always had books with me.


I am the first son and first child and after me there were three girls, then four boys, and as a boy you are expected to work with men. I didn't have any friends on this farm; the nearest friend was about a mile or so away. We were not allowed to visit anyone at all, not because they were cruel, but there was so much work to do on the farm and I was supposed to be always there, minding the cattle or running errands, and so on.

Even when I started going to school, my father would go to the school and tell the headmaster that his son would not be attending the Sunday school because he was the only one he had to help him on the farm.

And in school, when on Monday, Wednesday and Friday pupils stayed over after school – which closed at about 1 o'clock – to do sports or outdoor games, my father made sure that I didn't join the other pupils in those games.

My sisters being girls, I couldn't heard cattle with them. I couldn't work with them because they were women and they would be with our mother doing other things, so I was always almost on my own. When I was with my father, you can imagine the kind of conversation we had, "Pick that", "Did I say to?", "Did I tell you to?", "Run!" and so on, so you would wish to be as far away from him as possible.

So most of my life was really lived in my head and talking to trees and birds and animals. So I want to think the loneliness, being on my own, turned me sort of inside and the reading helped along. It wasn't long before I thought, "Well, I think I can also write a story". I think that's what happened.

What kind of reading, do you remember?
The very first book I read and I could only identify words like 'this' and ‘was' and 'it' and 'the', something like that, but I couldn't tell how the story went. But I remember very well the title, it was "Flamingo Island" and I loved the sound of the word 'flamingo'. I would say that word 'flamingo' and I thought it was wonderful. I didn't know what it meant.

Later on there was a proliferation of Second World War comics and cowboy comics, American literature, I think, from a publisher called Dell. These are the kind of comics I read. I didn't realise that then, but I think from very early I was a victim of the power of the word, so from reading those comics I easily identified with the heroes there and I found I cultivated a hatred for the Germans, or the Jerries as they were called in these comics, and the Nips or the Japs, as the Americans put it, and I was several cowboys. I never thought about the Red Indians. They were my enemies and I looked down upon them.

At that time there was not much literature from here. We are looking at 1959 and the oldest published Shona novel had been published in 1956. Then there was of course the Christian Bible the Bible, and it was in a very weird, very old print with letters and it was hard to read. It had been translated I think by some very enthusiastic white missionary. Some of what was supposed to be poetry, sounded very strange to the ear. Well, nobody read much, they read the Bible but otherwise what we called stories we heard from our grandmothers.

I think I became a writer was simply something out of this loneliness, I had to make something out of my life. I was amassing a lot of words and you either sing them or you shout them, you have to do something with those words, and I started putting together stories.

So did you do that already in school?
I did. I remember; the first poem I wrote was when I was the first year in school. I had to ask somebody how to spell the name of a certain girl who sat next to me. I wrote the word down and sent the letter to her. I think that's the first poem I wrote. Siphiwe.

So it's a one-word poem?
Yes, a one word poem with a whole lot of feelings behind it. Later on I wrote about valleys and mountains and trees and then the inevitable longer poem, longer version of Siphiwe, "The Love Story", which was published in a school magazine. And 4-years later in secondary school, 2-years away from my leaving school for good, I had a story published in a commercial magazine in Harare , Zimbabwe , and the following year another story. These stories were of course love stories and adventure stories. At that time I used to believe that a good story should have about two deaths on every page and a lot of blood right from page one to the end and so on and a bit of the bedroom scene, that was a good story as far as I was concerned.

Later on it came as a surprise when I was reading some English short stories in the school library. I read some stories, for instance, Ernest Hemingway's stories, and there didn't seem to be anything happening in those stories. I mean you can have a love story without people sleeping together; you can have a murder story without anyone being killed on the page and so on. It was something about the shot, the sound of the gunshot when the curtain is closed, that was something from Chekov I suppose, and the whole thing about writing a story in a manner that leaves a lot unsaid. I got interested in that and I found myself writing stories.

But what had happened again was this loneliness, which did not end by going to school. In fact I think it worsened because I couldn't sort of get myself together to become part of the other pupils at school. I think the final rift between myself and being part of whatever crowd I was supposed to have been part of came when I was, I think, thirteen and we were playing football. I always tried to avoid games where competition was required because I'd never lived or stayed with anyone or competed with anyone in anything, everything I did it by myself and I was the best by myself. So whenever I found myself competing I always came out the worst. So I was goalkeeper in this and somebody kicked the ball right on me and I fell back and I think I must have been out for two hours, and from there I hated football or any games that could kill, could hurt somebody.

From there I think I became friends with just my books and walking through the forest and I would maybe avoid going to, play truant from church and go out into the bush. I was very good at hunting for fruit and people like me for the strange fruits that I brought from the bush.

So when your stories got published and won these competitions, your parents were not very proud?
No, they were not. In fact what happened with this loneliness the other thing I did was I started keeping a diary. It was very strange, after writing about a painful experience, I felt very relaxed, very refreshed and very cheerful and in fact I became a kind of clown, I think. There was a kind of euphoria after writing a story or something that really pained me I became very funny. I don't know how to say it but one of the things that I became good at is acting on stage and so on.

And I think that also served me, that held me from writing gory stories, melodramatic stories into writing actually the kind of writing that I'm writing now, when.

Do you think that literature in Zimbabwe has gone through a stage of literature for education and social/political values?
Yes, when I went to school the teachers wrote on the black board "Think in English, Talk in English, Act in English". So they were very serious about education and that is what they taught. In secondary school we had plays, simplified stories; we had Shakespeare, we had Oliver Twist – all those stories. Some I don't know where they came from but I had those in primary school and in secondary school.

Well, I meant after independence. Some say that the early literature of independent Zimbabwe was not sort of following the nationalist call?
OK, looking at literature in Zimbabwe, and books like my 'Waiting for the Rain', Stanley Nyamfukudza's 'Non-Believer's Journey', Dambudzo Marechera's 'House of Hunger' and the other books – yes, they were seen as books without political ideologies, without any historical content, and as books that are individual or egoistic, and all that kind of things; there was nothing at all that would help there.

And our only response was that it was at least an analysis of and we were looking into the individual to see how and why the individual suffers and could you please offer an answer, if there is any answer? It's simply a laying open of what is bothering, a diagnosis of what's wrong with us, and they said, "No, ideologically this is empty".

But then, only recently I hear, and it's the same university and probably these might have been students in secondary school but now they are the lecturers, they are talking of this same book of mine again. I haven't changed a single word, but now they say it means something, this is one of the greatest things that have happened too. So it is interesting in the light of talk on self-censorship that a criticism of the present seems to have been written already in a book many years ago, which was then stamped as being ideologically empty.

Q. You have written your short stories, novels, and columns, but you have also translated, for example, Ngugi wa Thiongo's The Grain of Wheat. Could you tell us why you did that, and what that novel meant to you?
I was editor of a publishing house and we were all eyes open, looking around for the great novel of out of the struggle. I felt very bad, I couldn't write the Shona war novel. I really liked 'The Grain of Wheat', it was skilfully plotted and it did not tell that this is how it was, and this is right and this is wrong, and he has complex characters, and gave alternative interpretations.

And I felt reading The Grain of Wheat it that it was almost the same as in Zimbabwe, the British of the Highlands, the farms and the people living in the compounds and the people of the land dissatisfied, the educational system, the same sort of characters, headmasters and so on and the priests, all of it. I felt that Mau Mau was just like our Chimurenga.

So I felt that this would be of some help to the Shona writers who were trying to write about the war. I am not sure whether any of our authors did get inspired by it or learnt how to chisel the characters. But some have later written very well about the struggle, not as speeches but as subjective experiences, such as Alexander Kanengoni. 'Effortless Tears', I think that is one wonderful story. It is someone being honest about his or her experience, not trying to cover it up with pseudo-heroics and that kind of thing.

Q: You were talking about the characters in the Chimurenga, and you have described the second Chimurenga. If you wrote about it, how would you describe the characters in the third Chimurenga?
The characters? Which one is this third? Is it to be fought or has it been fought already?

Q: Are you very straight?
Where is it, the third Chimurenga? When was it?

Q: Why do you ask me?
Because you used the expression.

Q: But you know perfectly well what it is.
No, I don't. Oh, the one they call the third Chimurenga?

Q: The one going on right now.
I'm still confused about it, I don't know who is right or who is wrong. I don't even know whether we talk of right or wrong.

I think they are all what they've always been, trying to cheat each other. It's intrigue, and I'm better then you are and it is survival of the fittest. It is the old story, isn't it? It is lies you can do this thing it as long as you don't get caught. I think it's the same old - I need to sit down and write a story to illustrate. As the father who gives his children a snake when they ask for bread.

MP: Can I ask one thing that I forgot to ask before, this book 'Walking Still' was produced in 1997, right? Looking to the future, are you working on anything now?
I think I'll deal with the third Chimurenga.

MP: Now that you hear about it?
Now that I hear about it, it's interesting how we say third and second Chimurenga when the people are really the same people who are afraid, who fight, who are greedy, who hate their own or who twist, the same old - who love. I mean, they loved in the second, now they still love, they hate, and it's always about people who don't deliver, isn't it? It is the old hat and the same old characters, I suppose. With cell phones.
[Conversation with Charles Mungoshi on 30 September 2003 at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala]

PROFESSOR WALTER KAMBA irst Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Walter Kamba was the first Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe. Appointed in 1981, his devotion to the principle of academic freedom led to public disagreement with Robert Mugabe, and eventually to early retirement in 1991.However, he was nevertheless appointed Vice Chairman of the Constitutional Commission set up with Mugabe's agreement in 1999 to advise on a route for the President's retirement - proposals which were never acted upon.

During the years of Southern Rhodesia's illegal declaration of independence, when senior academic positions were not open to black Zimbabweans, Kamba pursued his academic career abroad.

He obtained BA and LLB degrees from University of Cape Town and after serving his
articles in Harare, practiced as an attorney in the country before moving to Yale University in the US where he completed an LLM and later became dean of law at the
University of Dundee.

In 1979 he attended the constitutional conference on the future of Rhodesia at Lancaster House as legal adviser to the delegations of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, playing a substantial part in the development of the constitution of the newly independent state of Zimbabwe.

Returning to Harare in 1980, he took charge of the University, which he transformed from a small colonial university college . Kamba's great achievement was to expand substantially the overall size of the University, of its black Zimbabwean intake and of its range of academic studies, without compromising the quality of education.

At the ceremony for 1982 graduates, Kamba was brave enough to speak out publicly, and in the presence of Mugabe, about the undesirability of government interference in the academic affairs of the University.

Kamba was involved in numerous other organisations, as Chairman of the Association of Eastern and Southern African Universities, President of the International Association of Universities, Founding Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Namibia, amongst others, and at the time of his death, was the Herbert Chitepo UNESCO Professor of Human Rights, Democracy, Peace and Governance at the University of Zimbabwe

REV CANAAN BANANA 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS



Canaan Sodindo Banana (5 March 1936 – 10 November 2003) served as the first President of Zimbabwe from 18 April 1980 until 31 December 1987. A Methodist minister, he held the largely ceremonial office of the presidency while his eventual successor, Robert Mugabe, served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

During his lifetime, Banana brought together two of the country's political parties, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), became a diplomat for the Organisation of African Unity, and headed the religious department of the University of Zimbabwe. His later life was complicated by charges of sodomy - a crime in Zimbabwe - which he denied and for which he was later imprisoned.


Zimbabweans owe a great debt of gratitude to Rev Canaan Banana. As speakers from across the political divide and those representing the Christian community said, Rev Banana was, despite his weaknesses, a good and patriotic Zimbabwean. He played a very crucial role in the liberation struggle and in the unification of the country following the early 1980s Matabeleland troubles. He did justice, he loved mercy, he walked humbly with his God.

Banana was born in 1936 in Esiphezini Communal Area, Southern Rhodesia near Esigodini (now in Matabeleland South). His parents were a Ndebele-cultured mother and a Malawian father who had emigrated to Rhodesia. He was educated by missionaries in a local school and later studied at a teacher training institute.[1]

He married Janet Mbuyazwe[2] in 1961, and they had four children together. He took a diploma in theology at Epworth Theological College in Harare and was ordained as a United Methodist minister in 1962. He was a student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. in 1974 and 1975. Becoming involved in politics, he denounced Ian Smith's practices as a prime minister, took part in the rising[3] transnational black liberation ideo-religious movements, and came to be vice-president of the African National Council.[1]

He wrote a book entitled The Gospel According To The Ghetto, and a personalised version of the Lord's Prayer.

Banana was born in 1936 in Esiphezini Communal Area, Southern Rhodesia near Esigodini (now in Matabeleland South). His parents were a Ndebele-cultured mother and a Malawian father who had emigrated to Rhodesia. He was educated by missionaries in a local school and later studied at a teacher training institute.[1]

He married Janet Mbuyazwe[2] in 1961, and they had four children together. He took a diploma in theology at Epworth Theological College in Harare and was ordained as a United Methodist minister in 1962. He was a student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. in 1974 and 1975. Becoming involved in politics, he denounced Ian Smith's practices as a prime minister, took part in the rising[3] transnational black liberation ideo-religious movements, and came to be vice-president of the African National Council.[1]

He wrote a book entitled The Gospel According To The Ghetto, and a personalised version of the Lord's Prayer.

Sodomy charges and imprisonment

The former president's term in office was a subject of scandal in later years, marking his legacy to national independence social movements in Africa and abroad. In 1997, Banana was arrested in Zimbabwe on charges of sodomy, following accusations made during the murder trial of his former bodyguard, Jefta Dube.[1] The charges related to allegations from the state prosecutor that Banana had misused his power while he was president to coerce numerous men in positions of service (ranging from domestic staff to security guards, and even members of sports teams for whom he had acted as referee) into accepting sexual advances. Banana was found guilty of eleven charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in 1998. He denied all charges, saying that homosexuality is "defiant, abominable and wrong", and the allegations made against him were "pathological lies" intended to destroy his political career.[5] Janet Banana later acknowledged her husband's indiscretions, even though she considered the charges against him to be politically motivated.[6]


He fled to South Africa whilst released on bail before he could be imprisoned, apparently believing Mugabe was planning his death. He returned to Zimbabwe in December 1998, after a meeting with Nelson Mandela, who convinced him to face the ruling. Banana was sentenced on 18 January 1999 to ten years in jail, nine years suspended, and was also defrocked. He actually served six months in an open prison before being released in January 2001.

On 10 November 2003, Banana died of cancer,[7] in London, according to a report delivered by the Zimbabwean High Commissioner. The Guardian, a London-based newspaper, has claimed that Banana had traveled to South Africa, where he eventually died, in order to receive appropriate treatment for his cancer; however, this dispute relies upon uncorroborated testimonial evidence.[1] He was buried in Zimbabwe in late November 2003. President Robert Mugabe called him "a rare gift to the nation" in a radio address.[8] Banana was buried without the full honours that are traditionally accorded to former heads of state.[4] The then politburo Secretary for Information and Publicity Nathan Shamuyarira told state radio that "they (the politburo) could not accord Banana hero status as a matter of principle."[9] His wife sought political asylum in Britain in October 2000 under a preexisting accord.[4]

MARK CHAVHUNDUKA JOURNALIST & PUBLISHER 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


As founding editor of Zimbabwe's independent Sunday newspaper, the Standard, the award-winning journalist and publisher Mark Chavunduka, who died aged 36, was a champion for media freedom in southern Africa.

His paper became a symbol of resistance among his country's journalists, and a thorn in the flesh of President Robert Mugabe's government. He exposed the corruption and political intimidation rife in Zimbabwe, and his outspokenness made the Standard an internationally recognised voice for those opposed to Mugabe's tyranny.

Chavunduka entered the limelight in 1999, when the Standard's chief writer, Ray Choto, reported on widespread Zimbabwean army unrest over the deployment of up to 14,000 troops in the civil war then raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Choto claimed that 23 disgruntled soldiers had been detained for inciting mutiny against Mugabe.

For more than 10 days, Chavunduka and Choto were detained incommunicado at Cranborne barracks near Harare. Their lawyer, Simon Bull, said both men were subjected to electric shocks on their genitals, hands and feet by military interrogators, and had their heads submerged in drums of water.

They were also blindfolded, stripped naked, made to do push-ups in the rain, and to roll in wet grass to clean the blood from their bodies after beating.

Independent medical sources confirmed the torture allegations, and the incident, seen by many as the most outrageous attack on press freedom in Zimbabwe since independence, drew worldwide condemnation.

President Mugabe, however, refused to condemn the torture. Instead, he threatened "very stern measures" against the independent press, warned writers not to antagonise the army, and ignored a court order to release the two journalists.

Chavunduka was born into a prominent Zimbabwean family in the capital, Salisbury (now Harare). His father, Dr Dexter Chavunduka, was Zimbabwe's first black veterinary surgeon, and a member of parliament nominated by Mugabe for his expertise in animal husbandry.

As vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, Mark's uncle, Professor Gordon Chavunduka, a veteran nationalist, had conferred an honorary degree on Mugabe. His aunt, Sarah Kachingwe, was a top civil servant.

Educated at the prestigious St George's secondary school, Chavunduka graduated from Harare Polytechnic with a diploma in mass communication and journalism. He began his career as a business reporter, and later news editor, with the Financial Gazette.

In 1991, aged 24, he became the youngest editor of a national publication when he took over the monthly magazine, Parade, whose readership he increased to more than two million.

He became editor of the Standard in April 1997, and, under him, the circulation rose from 12,000 to 37,000.

After his release, he was treated for post-traumatic stress disorder at the London-based Medical Foundation for the Treatment of Torture Victims.

Two years ago, Chavunduka won a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, but, last year, returned home.

"My family all said I should have stayed in the US, but I am so angry about the way we were treated," he said, "and I won't give the government the satisfaction of knowing I've run away."

Last April, he resigned as editor of the Standard after taking over the majority shareholding in the local Thomson Publications (Pvt).

The cause of the illness that led to his death was not announced. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

Mark Gova Chavunduka, journalist and publisher, born November 28 1965; died November 11, 2002.

JUDGE ENOCH DUMBUTSHENA ZIMBABWE'S FIRST BLACK JUDGE


Enoch Dumbutshena (20 April 1920 – 14 December 2000) was a distinguished Zimbabwean judge known for defending the independence of that country's judicial branch.

He became Zimbabwe's first black judge in 1980 and served as Chief Justice from 1984 to 1990. Dumbutshena's decisions were often highly critical of President Robert Mugabe and his government.

A former member of the International Commission of Jurists, he unsuccessfully attempted to launch a political career of his own in 1993 by founding the market liberal Forum Party. He died in late 2000 of liver cancer.

HENRY OLONGA ZIMBABWE'S FIRST BLACK CRICKETER 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS



Henry Khaaba Olonga (born 3 July 1976 in Lusaka, Zambia) was a cricket player for Zimbabwe. He made his international debut in a Test match against Pakistan at Harare in 1995, at age 18 years, 212 days, becoming the youngest player to represent Zimbabwe. He helped Zimbabwe to its first ever Test victory in that game. A right arm fast bowler, Olonga was the first black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe and is the second Zambian-born Test cricketer after Phil Edmonds of England.


Olonga achieved international recognition (along with team mate Andy Flower) in 2003 by wearing a black armband in a Cricket World Cup match to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe's government, led by Robert Mugabe.


OLONGA WEARING A BLACK ARMBAND TO PROTEST POLICIES OF ZIMBABWE'S GOVT
He and Flower released a statement on 10 February, stating in part: In all the circumstances, we have decided that we will each wear a black armband for the duration of the World Cup. In doing so we are mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe. In doing so we are making a silent plea to those responsible to stop the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. In doing so, we pray that our small action may help to restore sanity and dignity to our nation.

This act led to a warrant issued in Zimbabwe for Olonga's arrest on charges of treason (which carries the death penalty in Zimbabwe) and forced him to retire from international cricket and temporarily go into hiding. He is now pursuing a career as a singer and a cricket commentator.
Tribute to Luciano Pavarroti by Henry Olonga, Nessun Dorma



Olonga played 30 Test matches for Zimbabwe, taking 68 wickets with a bowling average of 38.52, and 50 one-day internationals, taking 58 wickets at an average of 34.08. He holds the record for the best bowling in a one-day international by a Zimbabwean, with figures of 6/19 against England at Cape Town in 2000.

TATENDA TAIBU ZIMBABWE'S FIRST BLACK CRICKET CAPTAIN

Tatenda Taibu (born May 14, 1983, in Harare, Zimbabwe) is a Zimbabwean cricketer. He is a wicket-keeper and batsman, and can also bowl right arm off spin. He became the youngest Test captain in history when he was given the Zimbabwean captaincy.



Taibu made his first-class debut at the age of sixteen, and his debut for the national team in 2001, at the age of eighteen. In 2003, he was appointed vice-captain to Heath Streak on the team's tour of England, and he was appointed national captain in April 2004, making him the youngest Test captain in history.[1]

He played for the Cape Cobras in South Africa in the 2005/06 season.

He made his return to the Zimbabwean side in a series against India A in July 2007, registering a century. The following month Zimbabwe hosted South Africa for a three game ODI series and in the final game Taibu scored a career best 107 not out. It was the first ODI century by a Zimbabwean against South Africa.

On February 20, 2008, Taibu was successfully bid on by the Kolkata franchise of the Indian Premier League

Teams

WIKIPEDIA

PATRICK KOMBAYI 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS



We acknowledge and recognize the contribution made by the late veteran politician and businessman Honorable Dr Patrick Kombayi.

Patrick Kombayi (November 2, 1938 – June 20, 2009[1]) was a Zimbabwean businessman, a former mayor of Gweru and an active member of the Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai faction in the Midlands Province. He served in the Senate of Zimbabwe for Chirumhanzu-Gweru senatorial constituency.

Dr Kombayi was buried in Gweru on the 27th of July 2009, after he succumbed from gunshot wounds sustained in the 4 March 1990 foiled assassination attempt by the late Simon Muzenda’s bodyguards Kizito Chivamba and Elias Kanengoni.

The late Kombayi played a pivotal during the liberation struggle when he housed, clothed, financed and fed leaders of the revolutionary movements ZIPRA and ZANLA IN Zambia.

Robert Mugabe, Hebert Chitepo, Rugare Gumbo, and many other comrades in the liberation struggle all benefited from Kombayi’s courtesy during their stay in Zambia.

In 2001 he assisted several student leaders who had been expelled at the Midlands State Universty (MSU).The union continued to get assistance and support from him up until the time of his death.

Go well great politician, go well great businessman, go well great revolutionary, Five Star politician!

THE BLACKS; WAYNE, CARA, BYRON 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Byron Black

He is the brother of Cara and Wayne Black, both professional tennis players. He attended the University of Southern California and was an All-American as named by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).

In 1995 Black was a US Open quarterfinalist and in 2000 he reached the same round at Wimbledon. His highest career singles ranking was World No. 22, which he achieved in June 1996.

An accomplished doubles player, Black became world no. 1 in doubles in February 1994. He won the 1994 French Open partnering Jonathan Stark. Black was a doubles finalist in three other majors, the 1994 and 2001 Australian Opens and 1996 Wimbledon.

Black is one of the few professional players to have played with a double-handed forehand.

Black formed the core of the Zimbabwean Davis Cup team with his brother Wayne.

Byron's father Don had a grass court in Highlands, Harare on which Byron honed his skills. As a junior Byron played tennis for Prince Edward School in Harare. On one occasion as a 13 year old he thrashed an 18 year old Bunny Eales of Oriel Boys 6-1 6-1 in an interschools game. He moved to Oriel Boys High School to increase his exposure to stronger players, like Greig Rodgers and Mark Gurr, future Davis Cup players for Zimbabwe. Byron played in Club Open Tournaments in Harare as well as the Zimbabwe Open tournament for several years before turning professional. At that time, anyone could enter the Zimbabwe open and you could find yourself playing Byron in the first round.

SIMON CHOPPER CHIMBETU 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Simon "Chopper" Chimbetu, one of ’s most successful and beloved local musicians died on Sunday, August 14, in Harare . He was 50. A veteran of Harare ’s intense nightlife for over two decades, Chimbetu saw his highs and lows. As he died, he was emerging from controversy surrounding his backing of the government’s land-grab policy. But his 2004 album “10 Million Pound Reward” was bringing him back into public favor in recent months. Six years earlier, when I lived in Harare, Chimbetu’s shows were the top draw in Harare, as stylish, polished, and tuneful a take on Zimbabwe’s own brand of guitar-based rumba—sometimes called sungura—as you could find.

Chimbetu was born and raised in Makwiru, Chegutu area, Mashonaland West in 1955. His parents were amateur musicians, and he fondly recalled his father drumming and his mother singing when he was a child. During the liberation war he and his three brothers and four sisters lived on Dendera Farm in Mozmbique. He returned after independence to work with a pioneering sungura band called The Marxist Brothers. When we spoke in 2001, he seemed a little embarrassed about the name, calling it a “nickname,” and explaining that it made more sense in the afterglow of the independence struggle, which was supported by communists in the USSR and China.



When he formed his own band in the early 90s, he called it the Dendera Kings. The name harks back to his experience during the war years, but as he explained in 2001, it has a deeper meaning. “Dendera is an African bird,” he said. “It is found in tropical savannah areas. In English it is called a ground hornbill. It’s quite a big bird. Why we chose that title is that the bird can be heard from 10 km away. Very early in the morning, it produces a powerful sound, like a drum. That is a very respected bird in the region.” The band too was very respected, producing over 15 albums, and performing long, ecstatic shows all over the country.



Chimbetu was never a political singer, but he did address social issues, and sometimes that was perceived as political. “I think when you are a writer, a musician, an artist,” he said, “an artist is mostly concerned about the poor. An artist is supposed to be concerned with the majority of the people. That’s where we belong.” His 2000 song “Ndare Newa” dramatized the plight of workers who spent their entire Friday paycheck by Sunday night, and had to scrounge all week before receiving another. The song stirred minor controversy as some took it as implicitly critical of the government. His loyalty to the Mugabe regime was later reinforced, however, when he participated in its aggressive land grab policy by occupying a 500 hectare farm in Kadoma. At the same time, he spoke out against violence and declared himself “a friend to all Zimbabweans.”

The farm episode nevertheless cost him some popular support, but at the time of his death, he was clearly on the rebound, playing frequent shows in the as well as . A journalist in 2004 described him as “fit as a fiddle,” and reports say he died quickly from an “undisclosed illness.” When he was buried on August 17, hoards of people clogged the streets of Harare . All Zimbabweans mourn Chimbetu, clearly one of the musical giants of his time.



Contributed by: Banning Eyre

GEOGE SHAYA "MASTERMIND" SOCCER PAYER 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS

George Shaya was the best soccer player of the pre-Independence Rhodesia. He played for Dynamos Football Club.





GEORGE SHAYA was crowned Zimbabwe Player of the year 5 times!


Watch the Dynamos Cheer Song

DR SOLOMON GURAMATUNHU 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Zimbabwe Surgeon Provides Relief to Cataract Patients

The current political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe has severely affected hospitals and other public service providers.. Essential drugs such as painkillers are in short supply and many medical personnel have left the country in search of money, status and safety. Despite the demand for Zimbabwean doctors and nurses overseas, some have remained home to assist their fellow countryman. From Harare, reporter Derek Moyo takes a look at one medical professional who’s bringing relief to thousands who never thought they’d see another day.

The 22-year-old woman had not seen her mother in years, and had never seen her own baby. Her life changed the moment Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu traveled to her village in Ndola, Zambia, and removed her cataracts.

He recounts the experience..

"You can imagine,he said, "this is somebody who is now totally blind, has given birth and [she] had not seen their child and had not seen her mother for 3 years. When we operated on her, she opened her eyes. She could see her child for the very first time and could see her mother again. I can never forget her face. She just could not believe it and then she smiled and she started crying and everybody around started crying."
Dr Solomon Guramatunhu (R)

The young woman is just one of thousands who’ve had their futures brought back into focus by Dr. Guramatunhu and fellow colleagues of the Eyes for Africa program.

Cataracts occur when any part of the primary focusing mechanism, the crystalline lens behind the iris, becomes cloudy, opaque or yellow. This result is the failure of the lens to let in light, and vision is reduced or eliminated.

For paying clients, the 30-minute operation would cost about 55 million Zimbabwe dollars For the continent’s poor, the service is free.

EYE SIGHT, AIDS, AND THE ELDERLY


Dr Guramatunhu estimates that one percent of all Zimbabweans is blind – and an overwhelming majority of the cases are due to cataracts.

Many of those affected are elderly people with children who have died of AIDS. As surviving grandparents, they are expected to look after the children. But because of their own blindness, it’s sometimes the other way around.

"In the rural areas today," he said, "we talk of a double tragedy because we have elderly people, grandmothers, grandfathers who have lost off spring due to hiv/aids, so they become the custodians of the orphans. The grandparents then go blind because of cataracts, which means they can not look after those orphans. [So] you end up with these little children looking after their grandparents, and most of them then opt out of school to be able to look after [them]."

ECONOMICS AND SURGERY

So far, over 10, 000 people, including the elderly, have been helped.

They include between 100 and 120 people over the three-day periods Dr Guramatunhu allots for travel to rural areas.

He says logistical problems prevent the doctors from reaching more people.

" A lot of these people cannot afford the bus fare to come to the hospital." he said. "….The ordinary person, if you have a grandmother or grandfather has cataracts or is blind, we do expect you to do your bit maybe provide them transport to come to the clinic."

A LIFE OF PRIVILEDGE

Most of those helped are the disadvantaged.

In contrast, the well-known ophthalmologist has led a life of relative privilege, with a costly education in Scotland cushioned by scholarships.

He said, "If you speak to a lot of people who today are privileged, somewhere along the line they would have obtained assistance from somebody else. So I think, privilege comes with responsibility. One can help in various ways and I think everybody is in a position to help somebody else regardless of their status."

Today, Dr Guramatunhu is an honorary lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and has his own private eye surgery in Harare.

During a stint in government, he helped convince medical aid societies to purchase eye equipment so that local people no longer had to travel to South Africa for cataract surgery and laser treatment.

EYE ON THE FUTURE

Dr. Guramatunhu’s own future means expanding the number of operations, and the number of countries, Eyes for Africa can cover.

The group conducts up to 5,000 operations per year, but the Zimbabwean ophthalmologist would like to see that number doubled, or even tripled.

For this, the soft-spoken doctor has a new hat – as aggressive fund-raiser.

His group has been raising money in various countries to ensure that more people have their sight restored. Dr Guramatunhu said this year several golf tournaments have raised millions of Zimbabwean dollars. Rotary clubs in Zimbabwe and South Africa have offered generous support to the program.

A holder of the International Ophthalmologist Education Award, Dr Guramatunhu is the founding president of the Ophthalmological Society of Zimbabwe and the founding chairman of Eyes for Africa.

He is also a member of the American Society of Cataracts and Refractive Surgeons, the European Society of Cataracts and Refractive Surgeons, the International Society of Refractive Surgery, the Corneal Society, the European Vitreo-retinal Society and Euretina.
Apart from heading Eyes for Africa, he has partnered with regional and international colleagues to offer free surgery in Zambia, Namibia, Angola and Vietnam.

Earlier this month, Dr Guramatunhu participated in The Sunday Mail and Partners in the Community initiative, which seeks to facilitate sustainable relief and growth to vulnerable members of society.
He conducted an eye clinic at Copota School for the Blind in Masvingo where he examined 50 students. There was renewed hope among some of the students that they could regain their sight once corrective measures were taken.

Speaking after the clinic, Dr Guramatunhu said: “I believe it is important for us to make a difference in society.

“We should have new thinking and change our mentality towards society.”

Contact Information:

704308.; Dr. Guramatunhu: 175 Fife/8th Street, Harare.

PROFESSOR CHRISTOPHER CHETSANGA 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Professor Christopher Chetsanga is a holder of a PhD Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Post-doctoral studies, University of Toronto (USA), 1969 - 1972. He was an Assistant Professor from 1972 and Full Professor in 1979 at the University of Michigan (USA).

He also holds a D Sc Honorary Degree granted by the University of Zimbabwe where he served as a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry 1983 before he became the Pro-Vice Chancellor in 1991 and Acting Vice Chancellor in 1992. In his field of expertise he has published many articles and researched in the various scientific projects of national interest.

Professor Chetsanga is a UNESCO Gold Medal Award winner and former UNESCO Executive Board member among others. In 1993 he became the Director General of Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (“SIRDC”). He was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman of ReNaissance Financial Holdings Limited (“RFHL”) on 31 May 2004. His other directorships include Africa First ReNaissance Corporation Limited (“Afre”) and ZESA Holdings Limited.

BETTY MAKONI GIRL CHILD NETWORK 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS CHIEF


LONDON, England (CNN) -- Hope was 14 years old when her uncle raped her.

"He trapped me to the ground and covered my mouth with his hand," said the 18-year-old from Zimbabwe. "He threatened to kill me if I ever told anybody."

So, she kept quiet.

"After a while people around the villages started saying that I looked pregnant," she said.

Hope was not only pregnant, but her uncle had infected her with HIV.



Like many young girls in Zimbabwe, Hope was the victim of a widely held belief that if a man with HIV or AIDS rapes a virgin he will be cured of his disease. This so-called virgin myth, perpetuated by Zimbabwe's traditional healers, has led to the rape of hundreds of girls, according to UNICEF. Some of those victims are too young to walk, much less protect themselves.

Betty Makoni has fought for nearly a decade to protect her country's young girls from sexual abuse. And she's witnessed some of the worst cases of the myth in action.

"The youngest girl I ever came across was a day-old baby who was raped," said Makoni, 37.

Through her Girl Child Network (GCN), Makoni has helped rescue 35,000 girls from abuse -- including Hope; thousands more have found an empowering community and a public forum in which to speak out. Vote now for the CNN Hero of the Year

"Ten girls per day report rape cases," she said. "It means if we keep quiet, at least 3,600 girls per year may just be contracting HIV and AIDS."

Makoni's own tragic experiences fuel her fierce determination.

"I was raped when I was 6 years old," she recalled. Her attacker was a local shopkeeper. Makoni said her mother would not allow her to report the abuse.

"She said, 'Shh, we don't say that in public,' " Makoni remembered. "I had no shoulder to cry on."

Three years later, she witnessed her father murder her mother. In that moment, Makoni said she realized the potentially deadly consequence of a woman's silence.

"I told myself that no girl or woman will suffer the same again," she said.

Believing an education would provide her the best opportunity and means to speak out, Makoni earned two university degrees and became a teacher. While teaching, she noticed that girls were dropping out of school at an alarming rate. She approached her students with an idea.

"I [said] to girls, 'Let's have our own space where we talk and find solutions,' " Makoni said. Girl Child Network was born.

By the end of the first year, there were 100 GCN clubs throughout Zimbabwe where girls could find support. Makoni said she was not surprised: "Every woman and girl identified with the issues that we were raising," she said.

In 2000, she quit her teaching job to volunteer with GCN full time. "I decided to become an advocate because I walked my own journey to survival," she said.

The following year Makoni successfully procured a piece of land and opened the organization's first empowerment village, designed to provide a haven for girls who have been abused. Girls are either rescued or referred to the village by social services, the police and the community. The healing begins as soon as a girl arrives.

"In the first 72 hours, a girl is provided with emergency medication, reinstatement in school, as well as counseling," said Makoni.

It is important to her that the girls are in charge of their own healing. "It gives them the confidence to transform from victims to leaders," she explained.

The process helped Hope work through the times when she said "I thought my life had come to end."

"They offered all they could ... as I was in a traumatized state," she said. "I really appreciate what [Betty Makoni] has done and is doing in my life."

Today, GCN has grown to 700 girls' clubs and three empowerment villages across Zimbabwe. An estimated 300,000 girls have received assistance.

For those who were at greatest risk, Makoni believes that help was especially critical. "If my organization didn't exist, the 35,000 girls I've saved from rape and abuse could have died by now," she said.

But for Makoni, speaking out came with a high personal cost. In 2008, she was forced to flee her native country. "I left Zimbabwe because my life was in danger as a result of my project being interpreted politically."

Today, she lives with her family in the United Kingdom. She still serves as executive director of her organization and shows no signs of slowing down.

GCN has partnered with the DOVE project, a group based in Essex, England, that deals with domestic violence.

"We are now bringing the girls from a local community to the international scene," she said.

Her efforts in Zimbabwe will also be highlighted in an upcoming documentary, Tapestries of Hope.

Makoni says nothing will end her fight for the rights of women and girls. "This is the job I have always wanted to do, because it gives me fulfillment. And in girls I see myself every day."

Want to get involved? Check out the Girl Child Network and see how to help.

GEOFFREY NYAROTA JOURNALIST 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Geoffrey Nyarota began his journalism career at The Herald in Zimbabwe in 1978. Nyarota also served as editor of The Chronicle, a daily in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city. During his tenure, The Chronicle published a series of articles exposing large-scale corruption involving government ministers and officials. As a result, the government, which owned the paper, removed Nyarota as editor. He then moved to The Financial Gazette, a weekly business and financial newspaper, and later joined the Nordic-Sadc Journalism Centre in Maputo, Mozambique.

On his return to Zimbabwe in 1999, Nyarota founded The Daily News, the country's only independent daily newspaper. The newspaper's aggressive efforts to uncover corruption and human rights abuses made it the most widely read paper in the country. On Dec. 30, 2002, Nyarota was fired as editor on what management said were administrative grounds. But his dismissal came amid an escalating campaign by President Robert Mugabe's government to quiet criticism from independent news outlets. Nyarota fled to South Africa after police visited his home at midnight. Previously he had been arrested on six occasions while his newspaper was the target of a bomb attack twice.

He has been at Harvard University since the beginning of 2003 under the auspices of the Nieman Fellowship Program for Journalists. As a Carr Center Fellow, he proposes to undertake research on ethnicity as a factor in the liberation struggle and post-independence national politics of Zimbabwe. He was awarded a Knight International Press Fellowship Award in 2001 and an International Press Freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.



In May 2002, Nyarota was awarded the 2002 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize and the World Association of Newspaper Golden Pen Award the same year. In all, he has received nine international media awards for his work as a journalist in Zimbabwe.

KUBI CHAZA INDI DEVEOPMENT ACTIVIST AND BUSINESS WOMAN 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Kubi Chaza Indi is a Zimbabwean development activist and businesswoman. Under her maiden name, Kubi Chaza, she was an actress in the UK, appearing in Live and Let Die in 1973 as a saleswoman picking up James Bond. After returning to Zimbabwe, she and actor husband John Indi started a company making beauty products specifically for black skin and African hair. Kubi is now a well known brand in southern Africa.

Indi is very active in the development community, particularly with respect to issues affecting women, and is secretary-general of the Indigenous Business Women's Organisation in Zimbabwe.

The Indis have continued to work in film-making, John as an actor, but Kubi on both sides of the camera. In 1989 she produced I Am the Future, a film about a young woman (played by Stella Chiweshe) who travels to the big city to escape Zimbabwe's independence war in the rural areas. In 1993 she played the eponymous heroine's modern neighbour in Neria, Tsitsi Dangarembga's script about widowhood in Zimbabwe. Both films were directed by Godwin Mawuru, and Neria featured a soundtrack by Oliver Mtukudzi.

Indi is a member of the Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe

PROUD CHINEMBIRI "KILIMANJARO" ZIMBABWEAN BOXING CHAMPION 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


SOMEWHERE in the rural area of Buhera, lies the Man Mountain -- known to the world simply as Kilimanjaro -- who boxed his way from Mbare to rule the African continent.

Proud Chinembiri, the late heavyweight boxing champion, took his sport to another level in this country in the category where the biggest and meanest boxers fight.

The big man turned himself into a fierce fighting machine and made his country proud by winning the African heavyweight championship and even getting into contention for a fight for the world heavyweight crown.

No Zimbabwean heavyweight boxer has scaled similar heights like Kilimanjaro.

Even those who lost in their duel against him are proud of the moment that they went into the ring with this fighting machine.

One of them is John "Bombaphani Bonyongo Destroyer" Mutema -- the last man to fight the Man Mountain.



He was beaten in the fourth round of their contest and, this week, told The Herald Sport about his pride of having faced Kilimanjaro.

"I was the last man to fight Kilimanajaro and he beat me on technicality after I suffered a gash above the right eye," said Bonyongo this week.

"It was the greatest fight of my life. I quit boxing in 1999 after the death of Kilimanjaro since there was no longer a heavyweight boxer to fight at that time.

(C) herald zimbabwe

BENJANI MWARUWARI 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS



ZIMBABWE soccer captain and Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari’s success story reads like a fairytale. He played in the Zimbabwean Premier League for not more than a year, and he was off on a journey that has taken him around the world. This is The Truth About Benjani Mwaruwari:
Born: August 13, 1978

Home Town: Bulawayo

Marital Status: Married to Thembi, with four children.

Briefly, tell us where it all started, and how you got here?

I first played for Young Blood, a junior team in Bulawayo, and then I moved to Highlanders and played in the reserves there. I joined Lulu Rovers, and then moved to the University of Zimbabwe before a stint at Air Zimbabwe.

I was on the verge of joining AmaZulu in 1999 but I was called up for the Zimbabwe national team which played at Thabo Mbeki’s inauguration in South Africa. I played well in the game and I was approached by Jomo Sono who signed me for Jomo Cosmos.

I didn’t stay long there as I soon moved to Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland. A move to Auxerre in France followed. Harry Rednkapp signed me for Portsmouth in 2006 and a few years later, I am here at Manchester City.
What did you want to be when you were little?


I never really wanted to be anything … You can say I had no serious ambition. Some kids had all these grand ambitions of being doctors and so on, but I never really set myself a target. I was just floating along.

What were you like at school?
I was always an athlete at primary school. I liked running, long jump and football. I did everything, I was a proper athlete and I was quick. I think I set the 100m and 200m records at Mhali Primary School in Bulawayo.

I lost interest in running when I got to secondary, because I got more hooked on football. At that time, I was inspired by Ian Wright. I followed his career like religion, and I liked his natural goal scoring ability. I guess that makes me an Arsenal supporter, yes I was!


What would you say has been the highlight of your career?

I think more than anything else I would say playing for all these years in Europe. It’s the hardest thing to break into European teams and I have managed it at four teams. I have scored some memorable goals along the way. Two goals stand out -- one scored against Barcelona when I was still at Grasshoppers, and the other for Jomo Cosmos against Kaizer Chiefs. The goals were almost similar in that I just stepped out of the centre circle and struck the ball sweetly into the nets.

What habit do you wish you could change?

I am always sleeping when I have nothing to do. When I do have some things to do, I am usually tired.
How do you deal with anger and what gets you upset?

That’s my other problem. I have a short temper, but now I am trying to be calmer. There are a lot of things that get me upset, because usually when you have a short temper, you easily get angry at the slightest provocation. Sometimes you get upset but handle it better. I guess it goes with patience, I have no patience. When I want something, I want it done there and then. I don’t want to wait.
What are you most afraid of?

Ships and planes! I use planes because there is no other means, but flying wrecks my nerves. With ships, I tell myself that if there is any funny mishap, then I am dead because I am a very bad swimmer. So before going on one, I would be thinking what will happen when it sinks?
If your house burnt down, what would you save?

My phone and passport. Invaluable.

How would you describe yourself in a personal ad?

I am very, very shy and you know when you are shy, you are also quiet. I like being where the people are, because I grew up among people. I am very sociable and easy going.
How is your love life?

I am married to Thembi and have four kids -- Colines, Benjani Junior, Belle (which is French for Beauty) and Tiyezhe who was born in January.
What’s your idea of a sexy woman?

Someone like Angelina Jolie. Perhaps I would do myself a favour byHow would you describe yourself in a personal ad?

I am very, very shy and you know when you are shy, you are also quiet. I like being where the people are, because I grew up among people. I am very sociable and easy going.
How is your love life?

I am married to Thembi and have four kids -- Colines, Benjani Junior, Belle (which is French for Beauty) and Tiyezhe who was born in January.
What’s your idea of a sexy woman?

Someone like Angelina Jolie. Perhaps I would do myself a favour by saying someone like my wife!
When you stop playing, how are you going to spend your time?
TRIBUTE TO BENJANI MWARUWARI FROM FANS


I want to raise my kids until they are employed and able to fend for themselves. I want them to have a better childhood than I had and a good life. I also plan to have a football academy in Zimbabwe for our promising young players and hopefully get them to play in Europe. There is no reason why we can’t have more Zimbabweans playing in the European leagues. saying someone like my wife!
When you stop playing, how are you going to spend your time?

I want to raise my kids until they are employed and able to fend for themselves. I want them to have a better childhood than I had and a good life. I also plan to have a football academy in Zimbabwe for our promising young players and hopefully get them to play in Europe. There is no reason why we can’t have more Zimbabweans playing in the European leagues.

Story from : NEWZIMBABWE.COM NEWS:
Published On: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
http://www.newzimbabwe.com/news/news.aspx?newsID=712
© New Zimbabwe News

MOSES CHUNGA RAZORMAN 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS


Moses Chunga (born 17 October 1965 in Lytton, a suburb in the west of Harare) played for Dynamos, one of the greatest Zimbabwean football teams, and for the Zimbabwe national football team in the position of playmaker. He was born to parents of Malawian descent and like Benjani Mwaruwari chose to represent his nation of birth, Zimbabwe, internationally.

Moses Chunga is considered by many football enthusiasts as arguably the greatest football player ever produced in Zimbabwe. Actually, he has attained legendary status, and many rumours abound him.


One frustrating issue when trying to gather information about him, other Zimbabwean legends of his time, and before is that there is sparse written literature on them, which may tend to reduce anything said about them to red herring. However, there seems to be some verifiable facts about him that give him his legendary status. For example, Moses Chunga was the first (black) Zimbabwean to join a European league (after independence). Only one or a very few (Black) player(s) – e.g., Freddie Mukwesha- appear to have achieved this feat before him, although many more were to follow his footsteps, some joining much better leagues than the Belgian second division, which he had played for (e.g., Peter Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwari, Norman Mapeza etc). Therefore, those who question Moses Chunga’s brilliance point out that he never managed to play for Europe’s elite leagues.



Chunga is also revered for being a midfielder who managed to score a record 46 goals in a single season, a record that has stood ever since; for being a dead ball specialist who could even score from corner kicks, an exceptionally good passer of the ball, and a dribbling wizard. For example, it is widely rumored that he once dribbled and bamboozled a defender to the point where he back peddled and twisted his knee causing a career ending injury. As a crowd puller, it appears Moses Chunga sometimes enjoyed playing to the gallery, which included standing on the ball.

Sunday Marimo, the former Zimbabwe National Team coach, who led Zimbabwe to its first appearance at the African Cup Nations final in 2006, admitted that Zimbabwe “lacks a natural ball player, a playmaker in the mould of Moses Chunga”.

Chunga’s professional career fizzled out within less than 5 years in Belgium, possibly because of a knee-injury. He tried his luck with his former team Dynamos after quitting his Belgian team, but it never really worked out well for him on the field, forcing him to retire from playing. He then began his coaching career, which has produced mixed results, but which most football followers in Zimbabwe would consider an utter failure.

For all his brilliance on the football field, it appears Moses Chunga had some major flaws in his personality. It is widely believed, for example, that he refused to play for the Zimbabwe National Team during his days in Belgium as they were offering him “peanuts”. This is difficult to verify. However, what can be said with certainty is that he is an assertive character, which does not seem a common trait in the cultural environs of Zimbabwe. Therefore, people may struggle to understand or accept him.

Moses Chunga's legendary status was not misplaced as he truly was a genius with a ball, although he did like to take the mickey out of other players on the football field. He arguably rivals people like David Beckham as a dead ball specialist. He was however stubborn to the point of obstinacy which is why some national coaches could not work with him and left him out of the Zimbabwe national teams (especially the European coaches). Most local coaches however bowed to popular pressure and named him in their squads.

Chunga had an elder brother, Kembo, who also played for Dynamos.

PETER NDLOVU 100 GREATEST ZIMBABWEANS



Peter Ndlovu was originally spotted by John Sillett, prior to his official signing from Highlanders by Terry Butcher in July 1991. He made an immediate impact by scoring away at Arsenal and then became the toast of Highfield Road with a thunderbolt winner against Aston Villa in November 1991, endearing him to the Sky Blues fans.


Although he would go on to play a major role at several clubs in the second tier, his time at Coventry will always stand out due to its top flight status. He would play a significant role in two major teams, Bobby Gould's attacking team of the early 90s and Ron Atkinson-Gordon Strachan's expansive squad of the mid-late 1990s.


Bobby Gould's team in 1992/93 must surely go down as the archetypal under-achievers. Having acquired the legendary striker Micky Quinn in November 1992 they continued what had already been a blistering start, with away wins at Tottenham Hotspur (2-0) Sheffield Wednesday (2-1) and Wimbledon (2-1) to add to already impressive home wins against the likes of Middlesbrough (2-1). By the early autumn the Sky Blues briefly topped the inaugural Premier league and would only lose five league games prior to Christmas. The addition of Micky Quinn to the squad led to further outstanding home wins against the likes of Aston Villa (3-0) and Liverpool (5-1). They would eventually go to Championship contenders Blackburn Rovers and leave with a (5-2) victory in February 1993. However, a barren March/April programme and a run in that would see back to back games against Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leeds Utd saw them slip from 5th in the league in February to 15th by the end of May. A league position secured with a thrilling performance from Ndlovu in a last day 3-3 draw against Leeds Utd. Ndlovu was a key component throughout the season in Gould's fast pacey front line which included John Williams, Kevin Gallacher (until his departure to Blackburn) and Robert Rosario, who formed a worthy partnership with Micky Quinn. Peter Ndlovu's goal against Norwich City, in a 1-1 draw in late September, was a signature piece of Ndlovu flare which earned him the Match of Day 'Goal of the month' competition.[1]

The 1993/94 season would see a managerial shift in the autumn as Phil Neal, Bobby Gould's No.2, took over the reins from his passionate Coventry born boss but not before the legendary curtain raiser to the 93-94 season. Bobby Gould's first day gamble would be to play without traditional full backs. This novel formation gave Peter Ndlovu full licence to play a large part in a memorable opening day triumph in the capital. The 3-0 victory on a sunny 14 August, against double-cup winners Arsenal, saw Micky Quinn score a hat-trick in front of the newly refurbished North Bank. It also ensured that the Sky Blues made one of their customary lightning starts to the season, so synonymous of the early 1990s. After an early Ian Wright threat on the Coventry goal, it was Ndlovu who made a darting run into the Arsenal penalty box which produced a clumsy challenge from Lee Dixon. The resulting penalty was calmly converted by Micky Quinn for the opener. The second half would see Ndlovu and Roy Wegerle lead the Gunners defence a merry dance-Wegerle in particular enjoying possibly his finest game for the club. So shocked were Arsenal by the 3-0 defeat that manager George Graham cancelled the proposed post-match lap of honour at the final whistle, which was to parade their Coca Cola and FA Cup silverware. The explanation given by Arsenal was 'Reasons beyond the club's control!'. It is thought the Sky Blues turned down a then-massive £4 million offer from Arsenal at the end of the same 1994 season for Ndlovu's services. The dramatic resignation of Bobby Gould, after a 5-1 mauling at Loftus Road in October 1993, was reputedly inspired by the possible imminent sale of Ndlovu to a top six club. However, Ndlovu stayed but the 11th place finish secured that season was not repeated in the 94-95 campaign. Phil Neal was replaced by Ron Atkinson. Big Ron saved the club from relegation in the spring of 1995 whilst also bringing in Gordon Strachan as his player-coach No.2.


This second significant phase for Ndlovu would once again promise much; the 'new era' of big money signings heralded by Atkinson's appointment saw the arrival of Huckerby, Whelan, Salako and McAllister together with earlier signing Dion Dublin. Big Ron provided vital impetus in the spring of 95, but the following season his stylish and classy team sheet rarely 'clicked' in the traditional sense. However, Ndlovu scored some memorable goals for the Sky Blues during this period, including the first away player to secure a hatrick at Anfield for 30 years. Other memorable goals in Sky Blue included a vital winning goal away at Wimbledon in a relegation six-pointer and a dynamic last minute rifling winner in a 3rd Round FA Cup tie at West Bromwich Albion.

Ndlovu gradually suffered due to inconsistency. The large and expansive side Gordon Strachan inherited, well equipped with attacking options, saw fierce competition for places from the likes of Whelan, Huckerby, Salako and Telfer. An increasingly cosmopolitan Premier league too would eventually see Coventry turn to the likes of Steve Froggatt and Moroccan internationals Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo in the years following Ndlovu's departure. However, if a 'Best Of' goals compilation were ever undertaken by Coventry City, focusing on their top flight era, then Peter Ndlovu's name would figure prominently. He was known as 'Nuddy' by the die hard Coventry City fans in Highfield Road's 'West End' and as 'The 'Bulawayo Bullet' by the media of the day. A likeable and mischievous character off the pitch, Peter Ndlovu is well placed in the top flight Coventry City goalscorers table with a return of 41 goals. The 'Gould-Neal' and 'Atkinson-Strachan' tenures in the Premiership remain some of Coventry City's most exciting-and indeed frustrating-spells in top flight football.