SHUNNING being a womaniser and taking alcohol has kept India-based former Highlanders bustling forward Simbarashe Gate a focused fella.
Gate (34) is in his seventh year plying his trade in India after making his debut in 2013 while turning out for Mohammedan Sporting Club in the second division.
“My job is to play football. I have been in India for the past seven years. Prayers and hard work have kept me going. It all needs discipline. It’s no beer and no girlfriends for me,” said Gate in an interview from the South Asian country.
The Kwekwe-born Gate started his professional career at the now defunct Lancashire Steel before turning out for Mwana Africa, Zimbabwe Saints, Highlanders and Masvingo United in the local Premiership.
In 2012 Gate turned out for Mozambican top side Ferroviaro Nampula where he finished with 14 goals while in the previous year he was with another Mozambican outfit, Club Desportivo de Nacala.
In 2007, Gate won the OK Woza Bhora Golden Boot while playing for Masvingo United which had a strong following back then and were affectionately known as “Yuna Yuna” with the late prominent bus mogul and Masvingo businessman Tanda “Mhunga” Tavaruva being their prime sponsor.
Gate also won the 2007 Independence trophy with Yuna Yuna with the squad that also featured the Zambian Ferdinand Mwachindalo with the chain-smoking mentor Luke Masomere, who joined the club in 2005, taking over from Fewdays Musonda, leading them from the dugout.
Then Masvingo United reportedly came fourth in revenues in the Zimbabwean top league, after Highlanders, CAPS and Dynamos.
Just like hordes of people who once worked hand in glove with the late Masvingo United benefactor, Gate was saddened by Tavaruva’s death.
The bus business tycoon died late last week at the age of 84.
“I can’t believe that Mdhara Mhunga is gone. He was a great man in the world of football. He took me from Mwana Africa when I was only 19 years old and he gave lots of money,” said Gate.
“Masvingo United is the club I stayed longer (three years) at. I have never seen someone like Mdhara Mhunga. We will not forget what he did for Zimbabwean football. He had love for football and we have been robbed.”
The late Tavaruva was given Freedom of the City of Masvingo at the turn of the millennium and he was in line to assume the Gutu chieftainship as a descendant of the Madyira clan.