Emmet Ndlovu in tribalism storm

28 Feb, 2015 - 00:02 0 Views
Emmet Ndlovu in tribalism storm Emmet Ndlovu

The Chronicle

emmet ndlovu

Emmet Ndlovu

Ricky Zililo Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS FC secretary-general Emmet Ndlovu yesterday scoffed at suggestions that he was pushing a tribal agenda following a two-minute audio recording where he allegedly vowed never to sign Shona-speaking players.He was recorded at a meeting with Bosso supporters in South Africa last Saturday.

In the audio that has gone viral and also has his election campaign catch phrase “Thumani Mina”, Ndlovu is heard telling the supporters to calm down but it is not known over what exactly.

The recently elected Ndlovu assures the supporters that their concerns have been heard and the club would address them.

“I’ve heard your concerns, I know how we were doing it and I know how we used to work with the Shona players that you say you don’t want today. There is something called indoctrination meaning that if you get a younger player like we did with the likes of (Tapiwa) Kapini, Amon Chimbalanga and others they easily adapt to the system and appreciate it,” said Ndlovu.

“I remember one particular day when Madinda (Ndlovu) was conducting team talk at halftime he tried speaking with Chimbalanga in Shona and the goalkeeper tore his shirt inside the Highlanders dressing room protesting against that.”

He continues: “What I’m trying to say is that if these boys are brought to the club while they are young they can be converted to have a strong bond with the club instead of those that we are recruiting aged 27 years old. It gets disturbing when you hear some players calling their friends saying, ‘Ko tatamba sei?

Kuno yandinotambira yadyiwa’ (How did our team play?  The team I play for this side lost).

Ndlovu said if the players join the club at a tender age, they develop loyalty to the club.

“I can’t allow a situation where we’ve seven, eight or nine players who don’t have passion for the team playing for us. I’m not going to allow that,” he said.
Ndlovu’s remarks came a week after former striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube sensationally claimed in our sister paper B-Metro that he was elbowed out of the club on tribal grounds.

Ndlovu yesterday said the recording was being taken out of context.

“I never said we mustn’t sign any Shona players. I only responded to the concerns of the members about just buying players. Highlanders have always been known to produce their own players,” he said.

“Indoctrination of players is something common that happens worldwide and that’s why you see teams that include Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi who are not necessarily Spanish but are considered to be home grown. You go to England you have your Cesc Fabregas who came from Barcelona to Arsenal and understood the culture at the Gunners, you have Thierry Henry who is a legend at the club but is not English. They were all indoctrinated to understand the culture and rituals of the club.”

The Highlanders secretary-general gave examples of how players like Ronald Sibanda and John Sibanda took pride in beating Bosso while playing for Zimbabwe Saints.

“These players were indoctrinated and felt what Chauya Chikwata meant. Surely a war cry like “labuya iqembu” wouldn’t have meant anything to them because they had been taught the Zimbabwe Saints culture and system.”

In the last three seasons, Bosso have failed to promote any players from their juniors to the first team.

They have relied heavily on buying what supporters call “spent horses” from other teams.

Beavan Chikaka, Masimba Mambare, Mthulisi Maphosa, Munyaradzi Diya, Simon Munawa, Hillary Madzivanyika, Felix Chindungwe and Valentine Ndaba are some of the players that joined Bosso since 2012 when almost 32 players, the same number that joined the club from 1980 to 1995, came but these could only win one medal.

During the same period, Highlanders lost promising youngsters who include Lawrence Mhlanga now an established central defender at Chicken Inn, Young Warriors’  Teenage Hadebe, Denzel Khumalo and Gladman Bharibhari all to Bantu Rovers.

“If people feel that by saying let’s go back to the juniors is tribalism, then Lord forgive them because I won’t change the stance of being part of the system that’ll make Bosso go back and start producing its own players. Even at the AGM our members were disgruntled with the signing patterns saying why is the club buying willy-nilly? As it is how many players registered under the five juniors slot are from Highlanders’ development system and will they play?”

On recruitment of junior players, Ndlovu said the decision to bring on board talented youngsters lies with coaches. “When grooming juniors, no one has ever been asked to bring a birth certificate to verify where they come from and Highlanders has never sent anyone from the junior system because of their tribe or race. The only thing they do is put on their boots and play. If coaches are interested in them then they continue with the club, rising from juniors until they graduate into the first team,” he said.

Bosso juniors coach Dumaza Dube continues to shine in national assignments of identifying junior national teams. It is from a recent tour of duty that he identified promising central defender Noddy Sibanda.


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