24 years is such a long time, a lot can happen in it. That is the period of time Zimbabwean football fans had to wait to have a glimpse of Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Coaches came and went to no avail in a bid for AFCON qualification and even the late celebrated German coach Reinhard Fabisch, could not take his “Dream Team” to the continental showpiece.
It then took the efforts of Sunday ‘Mhofu’ Chidzambwa to take break the jinx when he steered a Peter Ndlovu-captained Warriors side to the 2004 edition in Tunisia.
The wild celebrations which followed after the Warriors secured qualification potrays a vivid picture of how big an achievement that was and still is.
Prior to that, Chidzambwa had masterminded another historic feat in local football when he led his beloved Dynamos to the final of the CAF Champions in 1998.
DeMbare might have lost the two-legged affair to Ivorian side ASEC Mimosas but the fact remains, that is the first and only time a local club has managed that, showing Chidzambwa’s stature in local football history.
The legendary former defender would once again take Zimbabwe to the AFCON finals, this time leading the Knowledge Musona-skippered Warriors side to the 2019 edition on Egyptian soil.
Musona was only 13 years of age when Chidzambwa first took charge of an AFCON game, and one of his assistants in Egypt, Lloyd Mutasa, was a player he coached at Dynamos, showing how much of a veteran he is.
Now that he has announced his resignation from football management, it cannot be doubted that he cemented his name in the football history books and no level of criticism can erase it.
Thank you Mhofu Chidzambwa, and goodbye!