Many have memories of the greats like Barry Daka, Tymon Mabaleka and Majuta Mpofu among others. Frankly, I have only heard about the talented Ralph Matema and Obadiah Tarumbwa. I was fortunate enough to see the days of the permed Madinda Kathazile Juluka Ndlovu. The pace, the dribbling, the shooting, the scoring and even shear arrogancy of someone doing the business he knows, and he knew that he knew his business and wanted the world to know that.
Highlanders were ever-blessed in attack. Madinda’s young siblings, Adam and Peter also came as the toast of the team, playing as a sharp pronged attacking trio that few defenders were willing to deal with. The younger brothers were a little reserved. You could think they were shy. Peter was so nimble-footed with amazing take off pace like he was blown by the wind. For his age when he first came in, he had courage to take on a lion. Adam was deceptively slow. That is not to say he was slow, he just looked slow but had tremendous burst of speed and power of shooting. They both shot with either foot with ease. Their combination looked like computer programmed and remote-controlled machines that had no respect for humans. I remember in one game, the aging Madinda having crossed the ball 57 times. Incredible I agree.
Some great memories came from the diminutive and combative Nhamo Shambira. This player was such a clever player of silent assassin qualities. He made big boys like my friend Mishack Marimo with they were very short boys. His heading prowess was an envy for many. Almost of the same stature was Dumisani Tshimbitshimbi Ngulube. He was such a good finisher and his aggression can be told by great goalkeepers like John Sibanda and Japhet Mparutsa. It was in the same era that the likes of Thulani Nxumalo and Nkululeko Chunky Dlodlo were also on fire. Those were the good old days.
In these days when the World Cup can even be played in Africa and so many mediocre players earn so much money, you wonder if it were the days of ‘Tanny is a Banda’. Eish, this guy was a skelem. Tanny Banda moved to Bosso from Eagles. His feet were literally magnetic. His speed and dribbling were an unbelievable combination that no other player has been blessed with. Tanny dribbled everyone and goalkeepers as well. He was the unluckiest player I know when it came to scoring. After his dribbles of everyone including the goalie, and with a goal at his mercy, he would fail to convert incredulously. People even claimed that Tanny would even dribble the referee and the linesman, as the assistant officials were known then. Black Rhinos will tell you more about this guy.
The trade of wizardry was always a perfection of Boy Maxmillion Ndlovu. It would be more practical to play with hands to compete with Boy. For his tiny frame, Maxmillion toasted and roasted defenders like there is no tomorrow. As a testimony of his mastery of the boy, Sunday Marimo’s career ended because Boy caused a fracture of his lower back by a ‘tsamaya’ and ‘show me your number.’ With his run of short little steps, his acceleration towards goal was not always amazing as when he ran at a defender and started doing his business.
Tobias Mudyambanje is another player who will be engraved in the hearts of Tshilas supporters. Tobias was a goal machine. He was a clever and deceptive forward who scored beautiful and precious goals with his head. Like Nhamo Shambira and Dumisani Ngulube, he was a typical goal poacher. He played in contrasting styles from other strikers like the Jahunda star, Jerry Sibanda. Jerry was very strong and had speed. He had a great eye for goal. He was recruited from the then hot Gwanda Ramblers and made a big mark at Bosso. With a heavier and stocky built, Thamsanqa Kabila Tambo was another hot acquisition that came from Ziscosteel, having played for All Stars. He screened the ball well and scored wonderful goals.
The greatest header of the ball for Amahlolanyama was Makwinji Soma-Phiri. His was a mind game kind of football. He timed his runs perfectly and would out jump any defender. His amazing technique was to jump early and high. It would seem he stays in the air until the ball came. He had an excellent eye for goal, shooting hard balls on target. His physical strength saw him get all 50-50 combats with ease. Before those days were wingers like Abraham Madondo who was such an influential attacker and great crosser of the ball.
Zenzo Zemura Moyo was such a strong, arrogant and determined player a lot of coaches would love to have. He played with Joel Luphahla in a combination that left so many defenders confused. Zenzo was ruthless in front of goal. To show how much winning meant to him, he even cried for losing small sided games that are played at camp. That anger transferred to the stadium. Thabani ‘Sis T’ Mqwayi complemented Zemura because of his lazy look and fragile appearance. Thabani must have scored the most stylish goals than any other player for Bosso. He did not seem to do much, yet he would slowly cut his way through like a hot knife through butter. He scored the most unbelievable goals at BF.
That time in the mid 1990’s saw many gifted strikers like Sawuso Phiri. Sawuso was a class. H had tactical awareness that Masawi and Kwinji had. Sawuso will be remembered also for his pace towards goal and finishing.You will be remembering the arrival of Stuart Murisa partnering Adam Ndlovu. This became the craziest moment for many. The pair scored at will. They had the deadliest combination in the history of the club. Shutto’s understanding with Adam was purely an issue of maturity of people who meant business. The duo was incredible. You will remember the acrobatic Adam Ndlovu goal provided by Murisa from the right flank.
Dube and Nyika were the two Eddies Highlanders will never forget. The attacking and penetrating force was so heart stopping that they were a pair defenders had nightmares about. Eddie Nyika overdid his tricks sometimes, but when they worked, it sent the electricity down your spine. Eddie Dube was a bulldozing and stubborn work-horse that could do everything but shoot. Eddie Dube’s shooting was so terrible that in the days I worked with him, he asked for lessons that he carried out well. They day he scored the goal at Luveve Stadium in a Dairiboard semi-final match against Amazulu when we trailed 0-2 at half-time and went on to win 4-2, gave me personal satisfaction.
I somehow got tinkled by a striker called Mandla Balanda. Mnadla was a brother of Clement. I have no words to describe both. For Mandla, it is the misfortune with scoring that made his career at Bosso shorter than it should have been. Last but not least at all, was a Zambian machine called Kelvin Kaindu. Kaindu came in as an exciting winger who took on defenders at will and scored great goals. This boy was amazing. Kelvin had a unfortuante Highlanders career that was littered by injuries.
I guess there are lots more I forgot. Who do you pick as the greatest?