KNOWN for their flamboyance and ability to lure talented footballers that any coach would have loved to have in his or her squad, the now defunct Delma Lupepe-sponsored AmaZulu left a lasting impression in the local premiership.
Founded in 1996, crowned Zimbabwe’s football champions in 2003, Usuthu as they were affectionately known, unfortunately went out of the topflight league in 2005 owing to their stance of not willing to play on Saturday (Sabbath), a day which according to one of the Biblical 10 commandments was appointed by God as a day of rest.
Interestingly, 15 years later, former AmaZulu team manager Felix Matsika maintains that if the environment in the sport remains the same, chances of having them back in the local football scene would be between slim and none.
“If the Sabbath is moved, if Christ comes and changes the Sabbath it will be okay. But coming back to football, if Sabbath Day is not recognised then we won’t come back,” said Matsika.
When AmaZulu won the championship in 2003, the club reportedly saw it as a reward for their religious principles.
With a number of former football players reported to have died as paupers former AmaZulu team manager Felix Matsika revealed that the club’s board was in the process of coming up with a trust to empower their ex-players by way of funding their projects through a $1 million revolving fund.
“We are going to put up a trust wherein after AmaZulu is gone, people will get something and they will still know there was AmaZulu. The Trust is something which will work to make sure players do not die as paupers. We have been seeing people dying not knowing what really happened to them. We as AmaZulu are very good at starting these things,” said Matsika.
He also revealed that the plan had been in motion for the last two years noting that the launch was originally set for August but was postponed owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A number of prominent players showcased their silky football skills at the gold and black army with the likes of Ferdinand Mwachindalo, Ronald “Gidiza” Sibanda, the late Nqobizitha Maenzanise, Esrom Nyandoro, Vusa “Sgcebhe” Nyoni, Muzondiwa Mugadza, Herbert Dick, the late David Mkandawire, Mkhuphali Masuku and Norman Nkomani among others topping that list.