Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
SPORT and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has said Highlanders is not only a football club, but a culture and identity of a people. Speaking at the official launch of the club’s 90th anniversary at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday, Hlongwane said Highlanders represents an embodiment of collective aspirations and manifestation of the indefatigable spirit of people against colonial settler subjugation and adversity.
“Highlanders is a ‘world outlook’ and a way of life. It’s also a prism through which its supporters at home and worldwide view events that permeate their lives. In essence, to the true Bosso supporter, there’s a Highlanders way of eating and drinking,” said Hlongwane, much to the amusement of supporters at the stadium.
He said celebrating Highlanders’ 90th birthday was no small feat as numerous teams and sporting institutions before and after independence have either folded or become footnotes in the nation’s sporting history.
“Highlanders today stand tall and continue to tower over (the) footballing horizon. One can’t write history without mentioning Highlanders, by extension, one can’t delve into Zimbabwe’s sporting history without acknowledging the immense contribution of this ‘black and white’ institution to our existence as a people. Effacing Highlanders from the annals of history is akin to trying to un-bite the apple. It’s impossible! Ungayipheka imboza emini libalele (you may spoil the dish in broad daylight),” said Hlongwane.
Despite the rather poor turnout, largely attributed to poor marketing of the occasion by the club’s organising committee, the event itself was a lively moment with those that attended enjoying every moment of it.
Highlanders emerged 2-1 winners over Botswana side Gilsport Lions, but Bosso coach Erol Akbay was not amused by the performance of the midfield. “It’s work in progress, but my midfield did not play to my expectation. The defence was okay, solid, but my guys in the midfield didn’t come to party, we’ll work on that. The team is shaping up,” said Akbay.
Bosso employed a 3-4-3 formation that had captain Felix Chindungwe, Honest Moyo and Erick Mudzingwa in defence, while veteran Tendai Ngulube, Bruce Kangwa, Simon Munawa, Ralph Matema and Godfrey Makarutse operated from the midfield.
Castle Lager 2015 Premiership top goal scorer Knox Mutizwa and King Nadolo were the twin strikers. “The team’s there, we’ll work,” said Akbay.