Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
HE is popularly known as Bro Fiso in social football circles simply because of the respect that he is given even by some of the most iconic and legendary football stars whom he mixes and mingles with all the time. Bro Fisa plays for Ambassadors Football Club, a social club made up of legends, the likes of Zenzo Moyo, Herbert Dick, Johannes Ngodzo, Voster Chitema, Ronald Gidiza Sibanda and Sizalobuhlue Dube.
He earned the respect by his openness. He is one person who never beats about the bush, for good and for bad. This is a man who, under normal circumstances, should be feared by virtue of his professional jacket but because of his character and his love for the game of football which itself is a unifying sport, everyone feels very comfortable to associate with him.
While he is known as Bro Fiso, his real name is Fiso Siziba, an Inspector in the Zimbabwe Republic Police who is also Officer in Charge of Pumula Police Station, in Bulawayo. He is the vice-secretary of the highest decision making board in football in the force, ZRP Soccer Management Committee and is also board member fixtures in the Zifa Southern Region executive committee.
Siziba’s face is familiar in football circles, infact the game has been his life since his childhood years in Mzilikazi and later on in Emakhandeni suburb where he, like every young man of his generation, found himself playing street football and sometimes visiting youth centres which the City of Bulawayo was known for, back in the days. He went to Sobukhazi Secondary School and fought for the first team jersey alongside the likes of Nkululeko Dlodlo, Gift Lunga Senior but confesses that they were better than him. For now Bro Fiso plays for a star studded social team called Ambassadors but regardless of their status, they have always found life unbearable whenever they play Amavevane!
While Siziba never made it into the highest level of the game for various reasons, he played up to Division One before taking up coaching, beginning with ZRP Midlands team which he led to the Commissioner General’s shield in 2002, beating Support Unit in Games that were held at Ross Camp.
He was to win the same competition again three years later when he was now coaching PGHQ following his transfer from Gweru to the National Highway Patrol. The PGHQ team had among its players, the former Assistant Commissioner Cosmos Pritchard and Siziba says he still feels privileged to have been given respect by his commander.
His penchant for football saw him acquiring a football administrator’s course which was conducted by then Zifa secretary general Ndumiso Gumede in Gweru.
While doing his policing duties in the National Highway Patrol, Siziba was also privileged to be part of the escort team for most of the international football matches played in Harare. He escorted the Brazilian national team when they played Warriors as part of their 2010 World Cup preparations, a team that was full of great international football stars.
He also escorted Egyptian giants Ahl Ahly when they came down to play Dynamos in the Caf Champions League and remembers vividly the star player Mohammed Aboutrika who gave him his Jersey number 22 in appreciation of his escort work and says he is ever grateful to his employers for affording him that opportunity to do escort duties.
Chronicle Sport visited Siziba at his Pumula Police Station just to get an insight into how he does all these things without offending his employers.
As we arrived we found him busy in his office and we patiently waited outside and after a few minutes he, with his usual smile, told us to come in. He already knew what the visit was all about for we had briefed him earlier.
After a few pleasantries Siziba tells us his story.
“During our times football was a culture, there was no other sport that we knew besides probably athletics and swimming and we had an advantage in that we grew up when youth centres in Bulawayo were actually functional and well managed so we could join these centres.”
“So we used to play a lot of football where we could even compete as suburbs and it was very competitive and so football became part of me since then, even at school I went to Nyamande Primary School and later to Sobukhazi. By then Sobukhazi had a highly competitive team because the likes of Makwinji Soma-Phiri, Nkululeko Dlodlo, Gift Lunga Senior, Mthandazo Sithole, Vivian Msekwa were all part of the team. I did not make a very big impact at school because I was not exceptionally talented but I was a hard worker and mostly driven by passion,” says Siziba.
Upon completing his Ordinary Level, he was employed as a temporary teacher and was deployed to Llewellyn Primary School, an army-run school which saw him play for Methuen Tigers (later to become Induna Pirates) which was in Division One.
He then confidently tells us that its never a difficult task to perform his police duties and also engage in football as a player and administrator.
“Its never a difficult task as long as you plan your programmes well. Like I said sport does not come first, it is the job that takes precedence. Basically I get active during weekends so it means during the whole week, as an administrator you are not somebody who should attend training, you just make sure that you do your logistics which can be done even from the office as you plan for the weekend. This is how I have been managing all this and as for meetings they are planned and what is crucial is to notify the command.”
“I wouldn’t complain and say I have suffered in terms of football participation or how I manage football as a result of my police duties. I have used sport to motivate my staff members. Sport on its own is a community policing initiative as it allows police officers to mix and mingle with civilians,” says Siziba.
“So I can confidently tell you that there has never been a time that I had a conflict between performing my police duties and my passion for football. I have never been deprived of attending my favourite sport, infact I have been given support by my commanders in everything I do. The organisation has in the past churned out a number of sportspersons, athletes and administrators and all this is confirmation that sports is taken seriously. You talk of your Masimba Dinyero, Saul Chaminuka, Brighton Mudzamiri, Edward Siwela, the list is endless,” says Siziba.
A devout Catholic, Siziba is an unapologetic Liverpool fan, a Highlanders life member and a proud husband to Anne and father to three beautiful daughters, Nonceba (Linda), Sisa and Thandaza.