Simba Jemwa, Sports Correspondent
HIS friends call him Bubbles, which is testament to his personality and charisma.
So, when Babongile Skhonjwa declared his intention to run for the Highlanders’ vice-chairmanship, many at the club thought he was being funny.
After all, he is a comedian and has joked about running for office before. But as it turns out, he is, in fact, serious this time around.
But what can he do for Highlanders once elected into office? Can he add value to this institution? Will he finally be the vice-chairman that can deliver on the potential the club’s amenities have as viable revenue streams?
Thus far, his only known opponent for the post is Zifa Southern Region board member for competitions Fiso Siziba, an exact opposite to Skhonjwa.
Whenever the socialite, entrepreneur, radio personality and entertainer stands up to speak, snickers and chortles normally accompany his first few words. Everything about him says fun!
Is it possibly not time that fun was brought back to the world’s most beautiful game? Could he be the guy that reminds Bosso of the good old days when an administrator had enough to get the crowds going for the lads on the field when the chips are down?
Is he the X-Factor that the club has been looking for in its administration?
Others will ask: is Skhonjwa a ‘football person’; does he understand football’s needs and the administrative expectations that come with being in office at Highlanders?
Others have been asking about his membership status at the club. Well, he has been a Highlanders’ life member since 2007.
A very popular individual in his own right, can Skhonjwa bring his charisma, his resourcefulness and his persona to Bosso?
Could he possibly be the reincarnation of the chubby young man that was the late Ndumiso Gumede when he was first thrust into the hot seat in 1978?
There are several similarities between the two: fun loving, organisationally astute and keenly aware of the club’s needs.
The 45-year-old has already shown himself to be a smart businessman, managing several successful bars and entertainment spots over the past 20 years.
This alone suggests the club’s amenities may just be in good and experienced hands, should the Highlanders’ electorate consider his vast experience and thrust him into office come February 6.
Siziba, on the other hand, is your more serious personality: a police officer, who has made a name for himself as incorruptible and effective in the execution of his duties. In football, he is considered a sober, experienced thinker who has had stints as a
Black Mambas team manager and Zimbabwe Republic Police football administrator, and still managed to make time for his job.
Siziba is generally respected in football circles for his passion for the game. He is seen as a committed football administrator, ready to give his time to the game whenever called upon to do so.
He is viewed in some circles as an upright gentleman keen to see the game grow.
But like Skhonjwa, key questions will be raised as this campaign gets into full swing. Does he have the time to ensure effective, hands-on oversight and management of the club’s amenities as will be expected of him?
Will his job, the Zifa office he holds and his role with Bulawayo Football Ambassadors allow him the time to dedicate himself and his time to the expectations of the post he is after?
How will he balance what are all obviously important responsibilities to him? ‘Bra Fiso’, as he is popularly known, is undoubtably passionate about football, but will he find time to see his passion effective in the growth of the club?
However, the one given fact facing the Highlanders’ electorate is this: Bra Fiso and Bubbles are two vastly different personalities, each with their own set of skills that will benefit the club.
The key question is: which skills’ set best adds value to the club?
Which set of skills is best suited for the vice-chairmanship and the demands and expectations of that office? – @RealSimbaJemwa