Unsung Hero – Highlanders’ Siphatho Ncube

Siphatho Ncube is one of the most under-rated citizens of the football world. An administrator of note, but more so, a coach of high calibre, Ncube may not be mentioned or even enter any history books in this self-centred world.

Highlanders Royals FC used to be part of a bigger Bosso in the 1980s. As fate would have it, the Royals died a natural death. Siphatho Ncube, in the mid 1990s, dug down into his personal financial  resources to run the Bosso ladies.

He toiled day and night fighting lone battles to give lot of young girls who had desire and skill to make it big time in football. Some of them needed direction in their lives, with nowhere to go. Others had football in their blood and no-one had been helping out.

Siphatho’s input was one of hope and sacrifice. He assured the girls that they could make it in many aspects of life. He spent a lot of his life on a mission that did not pay or recognise him. He had to give the girls taxi and even food money.

I remember him coming so many times asking for assistance in this and that. I was able to assist in material and football issues in a minimal way. To him small was like everything. I have worked with people of passion and love for the game. None has it the way Ncube does.

Siphatho was committed to other Bosso football causes. He spent much time being resourceful, searching for information and data to coach. His language was always ‘Royals this, Royals that’. Frankly, it was sometimes boring to strike a conversation with him. 

At the beginning of his engagement with the Royals, he coached from seeing the masters do it, from Barry Daka, Madinda Ndlovu and Roy Barretto. I invited Siphatho to a Level 1 course that I was conducting. It was natural he would come running, and he was so into it, realising why the fundis did what they did. You see, as a normal football lover, you are so easy to criticise if you are ignorant. As soon as you are schooled, you nod your head and say, ‘Ahhaaa!’

Ncube sat for his Level 1 and 2 courses in same class with former Eagles FC and Bosso midfielder, dribbling wizard Clement Balanda, Brian Moyo, who was in the Sports and Recreation Council and now Southern Region ZIFA Secretary, Bekezela Maduma-Fuzwayo, Philani Mabhena, a former Highlanders FC juniors Coach and one time Assistant to Madinda Ndlovu and Kona Tshabangu among lots of coaches.

Siphatho utilised Clement Balanda and Brian Moyo as assistants for most of the later times. New Orleans and Gugulethu FC came to be and quickly became heavy weights in the league due to sound funding. Ncube managed to stay with the girls who did it for the club. They breathed, ate and slept Bosso, thanks to Ncube. Some were enticed of course to cross the floor and justifiably did.

During the days I was Technical Advisor at Highlanders FC, he pushed for the Executive to recognise his role and the girls in particular, something the top brass saw as a distraction. Liqhwa Gama was very instrumental in getting a start-up projects that the girls could do in raising their own funds, in which the fans supported well.

I can safely say his was a well invested time and energy for the life and success of Royals. There is nothing in return for him, only for self-fullfilment, which we all know, does no feel the tummy. That satisfaction should really make him proud for the job no one could ever do. Despite his exploits, he was always overlooked by national teams for Mighty Warriors duties. The scandals here were the order of the day. Regardless of his team performance or the number of players involved, never did he once get an invitation.


Ncube went on to be a Committee Member of Highlanders FC in the Ernest Maphepha Executive. He still thinks his passion is in coaching and is doing all he can to further his skills and experience in that regard. Football development will really do with his input, for both men and women football.

Like a true son of the soil, he toiled and toiled, though for nothing. Mr Ncube, thank you for your sacrifice, a job well done. One day, your world will thank you. God bless.


5 comments on “Unsung Hero – Highlanders’ Siphatho Ncube

  1. Thanks Mr Ndebele once again for recognizing such a selfless and and humble unsung hero . I know him form Zesa and cannot claim to be any closer to him, but I have always seen his passion for bettering the game of soccer. There is a lot of ordinary people like him who are doing the best for their communities. A neighbour of mine In New Lobhengula by the name of Dickson Mbazo is such a man too.

    If we could have a thousand man like these, Zimbawe will truly change. Thanks guys for being humble. Mayo God bless you.

    • Mandla, I also appreciate your feedback. I am really humbled myself to have known and worked with such people. Inbox me about Dickey.

      If you are that close, mention my name to him and send my warmest regards.

  2. Being Siphatho’s only little sister what can i say, i am biased i guess. But i stayed with those in our house eLuveve when they would be camping for games and sorts. it was quite an experience but i now realise where and what he was trying to achieve. Kuyakhuya khuya, thank you Tse for recognising him. Like Mandla said it is people like these who will make a difference in our nation one day. God bless them all in all their endeavours!!

    • Eish, I can feel you. It was asacrifice that I could not take myself. He had to baby sit my academy babies when I took the Division 2 outfit for league games, juggling his duties with a call for the Royals. They were like a personal property, but who cared!

  3. Pingback: Unsung Hero – Highlanders’ Siphatho Ncube « Tsendex's Diski Blog | Coaches Journal

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