Noel Munzabwa in Mbabane, Swaziland
MORALE was high among the Warriors here with the presence of Sports Minister, Makhosini Hlongwane and Zifa president, Phillip Chiyangwa.
Four Zifa councilors also cheered the Warriors when they played a one-all draw in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group L qualifier against Swaziland at Somhlolo Stadium yesterday.
Hlongwane, Chiyangwa, head of delegation Felton Kamambo, Northern Region president Wellington Manyengavana and Piraishe Mabhena were joined at the arena by hundreds if not thousands of Zimbabweans, some of them travelling from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
A senior official in the Ministry of Sport, Benson Dube also made the trip.
Other Zimbabweans who were here included businessman and once famed Chapungu supporter Farai Evans Chabata, prominent Warriors follower Alvin Aluvha Zhakata who spent five days on the road to Rwanda and DeMbada, the Dynamos supporter who is known for his spotted outfit that resembles a leopard skin.
Swaziland-based Green Mamba’s Zimbabwean coach Hebert Maruwa cheered coach Calisto Pasuwa.
“This is my boy. I worked with him and literally groomed him. I am happy he is beating them here,” said Pasuwa as they hugged.
Chris “Romario” Musekiwa, another avid Warriors fan, underrated the distance from here to Mbabane, thus could not arrive in time for the match.
“We underrated the distance to Swaziland and matters were made worse when the Sprinter from Park Station to Swaziland had a tyre puncture. I will fulfill the trip to make the players happy,” said Musekiwa by phone call from the border soon after the match.
Other Zimbabweans who were present was a group of Swazi based pharmacy technicians Tachiiwa Mbengo, Abel Ndlovu, Albert Chinenzvana and Mosiya Chiwariro.
Also at the stadium was the Zimra sports team which arrived in the country yesterday for the inter revenue collection authorities games which get underway today. They are also booked at Esibayeni Lodge where the Warriors were.
Knowledge Musona and Willard Katsande briefly scared the hearts out of the Botswana revenue authority team who mistakenly thought the pair was part of the Zimra sports team.
As soon as matters were clarified the members of the Botswana team took turns to pose for pictures with the Warriors duo.
“I know Katsande and Musona from Kaizer Chiefs and when I saw them I got scared as I thought they were members of the Zimra team.
Where are Khama Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila? I love Mamelodi Sundowns,” said Edgar, who said his surname was Mandiwana, which sounds Shona. He is a Township Rollers fan who spoke passionately about Madinda Ndlovu.