It was at Gwanzura stadium,in the year 1982 when a greenhorn from the vibrant Highlanders Football Club juniors was on his debut match for the Bulawayo giants, handed the task of shutting out the feared and deadly Black Aces winger Moses `Mosquito` Chasweka on the former’s debut match for the Bulawayo giants.
Lawrance Phiri who was the coach then had asked one of the senior players Titus Majola to break the news to the youngster on the actual day of the encounter. The atmosphere was tense and the youngster was overawed by being told that he was in the starting line-up on the actual matchday; the presence of Chasweka made matters worse. He felt tricked by the senior players, who knew about the issue beforehand. Maybe if they had told him about the decision earlier, he would have prepared himself thoroughly, especially on the mental aspect of things.
Having been drafted into the senior team that very season from the famous Highlanders Under 18 side that was termed Liverpool because of excellent technical abilities at keeping possession, the youngster was treated with kid gloves, which made him comfortable with being a regular bench warmer for the better part of the 1982 season. The comfort zone seemed to be his space until the fateful day at Gwanzura in July.
However little did he know, that the day, he vividly remembers would mark the birth of one of the finest players ever to be produced at Tshilamoya. A versatile right footed footballer, Netsai `Super` Moyo was a darling and endeared himself to the hearts of the hard-to-please Bosso faithfuls. He virtually played every position except being a goalkeeper, in his illustrious career at the club.
“I was overwhelmed on that day at Gwanzura stadium. Mentally I wasn`t prepared to be thrown into the works. To be honest I was virtually a spectator in the first 10 minutes and I don`t think I ever had a feel of the match ball in that brief period playing as the right back.”
Credit however goes to `Super`s personal friend Madinda Ndlovu ,who is the current Highlanders FC coach .Ndlovu who had already established himself in the senior Bosso squad helped calm Moyo`s nerves during the game.
“Madinda who was the winger came to me and asked where the Super they knew at Bosso training and juniors had gone. He told me that there was nothing special about the Black Aces players including Chasweka. He comically said to me ‘watch whilst I dribble past them and you will see what I mean’ and surely Madinda cut through their defence like hot knife into butter. I began to feel at ease seeing my fellow teammate reduce Aces players to ordinary beings .From that very moment I started to impose myself and even though the match ended in a stalemate, “I played reasonably well and that cemented my place in the starting line-up.”
‘Super’ however suffered a career threatening knee injury the following season,which sidelined him from action for the rest of the following season and only returned to action in 1985, a year which he rates amongst the best he ever had at Tshilamoya, together with the year 1987 in which he turned out as a striker. He was voted the Highlanders Football Club player of the year in 1985.
“1985 was my best season at Highlanders, I had a superb year and we won the Rose Bowl Cup and Independence Cup which was sponsored by Rothmans. We were also runners up in the Chibuku Castle Cup and I played a blinder in that final against Arcadia which is my most memorable match,” said the Makokoba born legend.
`Super` rates Madinda, the late Willard `Mashinkila` Khumalo (whom he was promoted with to the senior team), the left footed Fanuel `Ncane` Ncube (who played at right back in paradox to ‘Super’ who played left back whilst right footed) and Titus Majola, among the best he played with at Highlanders.
‘Super’ eventually retired in 1995 due to the nagging knee injury, putting a lid to a career that spanned over a decade donning the idolised black and white stripe jersey. Although he was loaned out to Red Seal Rovers when he was recuperating from the knee injury which saw him go under the knife twice in his career he is a fully bred product of Highlanders.
Many will remember Super`s name being included on the commentary of the hit classic `Badlala njani` by legendary musician Lovemore Majaivana,which is still trending on the playlists of many Bosso faithful’s and even neutrals that appreciate good music around the country and beyond. His name is mentioned on the build up to the imaginary Highlanders goal and of special note is the fact that he is the one who provides the assist to Dumisani `Chimbichimbi` Ngulube who eventually scores the goal, which underlines the status that Super rates amongst the best products at Highlanders.
“When I first heard the song I was so ecstatic, I still get goose bumps whenever I hear it play.” chuckled Super, an avid Manchester United fan who also admires the Tottenham Hotspurs twinkle-toe-touch-me-not type of football and the ‘graft’ and ‘gladiator’ style of Atletico Madrid in Spain. “I very much appreciate what Majaivana did, giving us that immortalising recognition. This suffices to say he is my best singer locally.”
Super has been married to Catherine Moyo for the past 29 years and the couple are blessed with four kids, three boys and a girl. He has tried his hand in coaching, assisting the now defunct Division one side Epock Mine in 1996 in their plight to avoid relegation. In 2015 Super was appointed Highlanders team manager for half a season, as the club sought the services of one of its trusted former sons to return the Bulawayo giants’ fortunes back to the glory days, having also done football commentary with Muziwethu Hadebe on Star FM the previous year.
`Super` is now ploughing back to the community that gave him fame and fortune by working for a Non-Profit making organisation, Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe,an organisation that educates, inspires and mobilises adolescents through leveraging the power of soccer. He is a Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator.
`Super` enjoys going to church as well as watching football and cricket in his spare time. He is a fan of soul music, the sound of Tamia, Motown records, Marvin Gaye and Rod Stewart are his favorites and he enjoys sumptuous meal of pasta Bolognese and cheese.
Super had some wise words of advice to the current junior coaches and players.
“The current coaches now prioritize winning and tactics whilst player development is ignored. The youngsters should do a lot of ball work so that they become technically sound, regardless of the results on the field of play just like our `Liverpool` team of the 80s.We were so excellent at keeping possession due to the fact that we given the opportunity to work on the technique by our coaches. The current junior players have better resources than us and football evolves with time, now things are a bit easier for them unlike us. They should maintain discipline, respect and be resilient. If you are good definitely someone will notice, there is no need to be impatient.
On a parting shot Super reckons the Three Lions of England stand a better chance of winning the 2018 World Cup, though he was quick to point out that anything could possibly happen and suprises were a sure bet in this year’s tournament.
Netsai Moyos`s best xi at Highlanders from 1982-1995
Peter Nkomo (GK)
Fanuel Ncube (RB)
Netsai Moyo (LB)
Titus Majola (CM)
Dumisani `Chimbichimbi` Ngulube (CS)
Picture Source : Online
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