Zimbabwe has over the years been graced by footballing greats and this great footballing nation will grow talents for years to come.
Old folks will talk of great players like George Shaya, Japhet Muparura, David Mandigora, Freddie Mukwesha but to mention just a few. Then comes down the years Moses Chunga, Bruce Grobbellar, The Ndlovu Brothers, Willard Khumalo and so many more.
The young generation will certainly remember one dread-locked great Talent – Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda.
Blessed with intelligent reading of the game, an excellent touch and pin-point passing, the script was always written that the former Zimbabwe Saints, Dynamos and AmaZulu midfielder was destined for a wider football audience.
Gidiza would make defenders dance in desperation to stop his ball spraying antics and that earned him the childhood nickname “Gidiza”, which means dancing in Ndebele.
Bosso fans resented him for frustrating them while in Saints, DeMbare and AmaZulu colours. Highlanders rejected them as a teenager.
Gidiza currently does match analysis on Star Fm Sport, and during the Tsholotsho vs How Mine game at White City Stadium on Sunday, Chief Koti asked Gidiza why he never turned out for Highlanders.
He was straight with the answer, “In 1998 Highlanders wanted me but Dynamos came with a good offer plus the prospect of playing in the Champions League lured me there.”
The deal was by then a record signing worth several Millions of Zim dollars and a house was part of the deal.
Since his national team debut in 1998, he went on to earn more than 50 Warriors caps and featured at two Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) editions with the Warriors despite failing to play in competitive foreign leagues.
Ronald Sibanda’s intended moves to foreign leagues were blighted by misfortune.
While at Saints in the mid-90s, he had a trial stint at English Premiership side Sunderland as well as Polish top-flight league outfit Slask Wroclaw in 1997 but with no luck.
He also once tried at Germany Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt while South Africa’s Umthatha Bushbucks were also keen on him during his AmaZulu days.