Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTH Africa-based former steely Hwange FC defender Hlanganani Ngwenya, whose career was brutally ended by Mkhuphali Masuku following a horrific tackle in 2006, is still bitter with the treatment he received from the coal miners.
Ngwenya, who was a defence rock in coach Paul Moyo’s Chipangano outfit, is still hurt all Hwange’s assistance ended soon after his contract expired in December 2006 and he had to personally foot the medical bill after that.
“The club only assisted me when my contract was running. But soon after it ended I had to meet my own costs like regular check ups after having the plaster removed and it really pains me why I was treated that way. Everytime I asked for assistance I was told that I was no longer their employee despite the fact that I got injured while on duty for them. Even now my leg still hurts because I didn’t go through the whole healing process due to high costs involved; not to mention that my career was cut short as a result of that reckless tackle by Mkhuphali,” said Ngwenya.
He was only 24 on the day of the injury on November 12, 2006, in a match that Bosso won 4-2, as they cruised to the championship podium.
While Ngwenya has smoked the peace pipe with Masuku, Ndlovu confessed that sometimes he found it hard to fully forgive him, as he believes the tackle was reckless.
Nicknamed Angloma, Ngwenya became the second Hwange player to have his career ended by a Highlanders player after Taboniswa Ncube’s leg was broken at Barbourfields Stadium by Gift Lunga Jnr. Both injuries were in the month of November and crucially, the tackles happened when both Ncube and Ngwenya were on the verge of joining Highlanders.
In fact, Ncube was to have remained behind after that November 1997 match to iron out a few contractual matters with Bosso and become part of the 1998 squad.
For Ngwenya, talks had already begun since the defender’s contract was expiring in that year and the Bosso executive wanted to strengthen its squad for the African Safari.
Ngwenya played alongside Obert Moyo, Thabani Maphosa, Aleck Nyoni, Carrington Gomba, Timothy Sibanda, Malvern Longwe and the late duo of Edmore Chitato and Norman Njelele. While Ncube was lucky in that he was eventually employed by Hwange Colliery Company, Ngwenya had to seek employment outside the Zimbabwe borders in order to fend for his family as he was the bread winner then.
“My heart still bleeds at the treatment I got from Hwange. If at least they had offered me employment like they do for most of the local boys, I wouldn’t be complaining, but there was totally nothing, it was as if I was never part of their family,” said Ngwenya.
He indicated that he would be engaging the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) to try and get some compensation from the coalminers.