What a marvel for Nakamba
MARVELOUS Nakamba is a living testimony that if you believe in your abilities, you can conquer.
The Zimbabwean international was in a jubilant mood after playing a key role in Luton’s victory and sent a 12-second video paying tribute to the Luton Town family for their promotion.
“Luton is up now, Luton is up. For you, for you, Luton is up we did it together. Together we continue together, together!” screamed a joyful Nakamba.
Written off some five months ago when he became a perennial bench warmer at English Premiership side Aston Villa, the Zimbabwean international never lost hope and got an opportunity to relaunch his career at Luton Town.
Joining a Championship side that has never played in the English Premiership since 1992, the move looked awkward to some but Marve, as he is popularly known, saw an opportunity to show his mettle.
On Saturday night, Marve was part of Luton Town FC’s history makers, inspiring the club to the English Premier League at the expense of Coventry City who they beat 6-5 on penalties.
The match had ended 1-1 after regulation time as well as playoffs, leaving the winner to be decided through a penalty lottery.
It takes a brave and mature footballer to take the responsibility of kicking a penalty, worse still at Wembley Stadium which is the heart of English Football. Nakamba took one of the penalties, kept his nerves and sent Coventry goalie the wrong way with his cultured left foot.
Football blogger and former Sunday Mail Sports Editor Makomborero Mutimikulu was among a host of Zimbabweans who were rallying behind Nakamba on a night football legend Peter Ndlovu backed his former club Coventry who plucked him as a teenager at Highlanders to England in 1991, was full of praise for the Zimbabwean lad.
“Fairytale. Nakamba plays key role as Luton are promoted. He converted his pen with calmness.
“Marvelous . . . absolutely marvelous,” wrote Mutimukulu.
Nakamba has truly paid the bill for the trust of manager Rob Edwards. With reports that Aston Villa want to turn his loan deal into a permanent move with a year left in his contract, Nakamba has perfectly ascertained himself at Kenilworth Road and is likely to accept a long-term switch to Luton.
He has Premiership experience to his advantage and should Luton and Aston Villa agree on terms, Nakamba will be expected to lead the Hatters in the topflight.
Belgium-based former Zimbabwe international Cephas Chimedza is on record tipping Nakamba to take a permanent deal at Luton instead of returning to Birmingham.
Journalist Lenin Ndebele marvelled at Nakamba’s success, saying, “Inspiration beyond football. Never give up . . . give it your best and the right people will notice.”
Nakamba joined Luton during the January transfer window on loan from Aston Villa.
He went on to ascertain himself well at Luton, receiving rave reviews during his 17 regular league games’ appearances.
The 29-year-old inspired his team to nine wins, seven draws and one defeat against Vincent Kompany-coached Burnley who won the championship and direct promotion to the English Premier League. Luton lost 1-0 to the champions.
Including the promotional playoffs, Nakamba has provided defensive cover in 20 games, capping it with a winner’s medal.