Bulawayo’s 70 Combination gets love from Canada

Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter

CANADA-based duo of Paul Mpofu and Thubelihle Ngwenya have extended their long helping hand to one of Bulawayo’s popular social football teams, 70 Combination after they recently donated three playing kits to the club.

The club is based in the Tshabalala high-density suburb where the foreign-based duo, who both went to Masuku Primary School, was raised playing football for 70 Combination, now defunct Tshabalala Pirates and Piggott Maskew before they relocated to Canada.

Paul Mpofu and Thubelihle Ngwenya

In an interview from Canada Mpofu said: “There are days I would play for 70 Combination after playing for Piggott Maskew where I was the first-choice goalkeeper for four years. Piggott Maskew is a club I left to pursue my musical career but during my free weekends, I would go for 70 Combination and as a club, I reckon we were a good side that had quality players that included Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu the former Highlanders coach. I believe we inspired many youths,” said Mpofu.

He added: “I recently relocated to Canada to pursue my musical career. I’m into Marimba but with a brother of mine Thubelihle Ngwenya, who also grew up in Tshabalala, played soccer and his uncle was one of the influential members at 70 Combination, hence we decided to help out our team with new kits for them to look presentable. It’s all about giving back to the community that raised us. We hope to keep supporting our community.”

Ngwenya, who moved to Canada over 20 years ago said they will not tire of giving 70 Combination all the necessary support.

Paul Mpofu and Thubelihle Ngwenya

“I have been here (Canada) for some time and when Paul came here, he greatly sold the idea of giving back to 70 Combination. I had to enquire around and a great friend of mine Collin Nyabadza, a philanthropist helped us look for the kits to donate. I’m so far grateful for what we have done and we hope we will keep on keeping on for the benefit of the society that made us who we are,” said a touched Ngwenya on the other side of the phone.

Botswana-based ex-Bosso coach Mpofu is one of the 70 Combination leaders.

Tshabalala is a suburb that raised many football stars including Mpofu, yesteryear goalkeeper Marko Ncube, Slethi Phiri, Bruce Kangwa, Mthulisi Maphosa, Blessing “Marabha” Ngwenya and Edward “Sporo” Tembo among others. -@FungaiMuderere

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