FORMER Highlanders junior, Hloniphani Ndebele has paid a high tribute to Eswatini soccer teams and coaches for showing his worth as a footballer over a decade of action in this country.
It was not immediately clear if the Bulawayo-born star was bidding farewell and it could not be established as he was not reachable on his Eswatini number.
“The way I was raised is through the spirit of ubuntu, so through that spirit I would want to say these words from my heart. Thank you (to) Manzini Wanderers, a big thank you to Mbabane Highlanders, Malanti Chiefs, a team I played for in three cup finals in a space of a month.
“Thank you Moneni Pirates, thank you Mhlume Peacemakers, thanks also to Mbabane Midas City. My appreciation also goes to all the coaches that I worked with including the legendary (Thabo) Koki Vilakati and Caleb Ngwenya you were and are still the best in my experience.
“The time I spent was worthy and I also want to thank Dumisani Gumedze the director of Malanti Chiefs who was like a father to me. Not forgetting all the stakeholders and fans in Swaziland (Eswatini) as a whole, thank you and will always love you,” said Ndebele in a post appreciated by Eswatini football fans.
There was a time Ndebele had been working with a soccer academy whose setting looked like South Africa.
Having arrived in Swaziland almost a decade ago with hugely followed Manzini Wanderers his first port of call lasting two seasons, Ndebele became the household name rising to become the best paid soccer player in the country.
He literally swept individual awards boards and was much sought after player at one time being subjected to a tug of war between Mbabane
Highlanders and Manzini Sundowns with his nine year old 12 league goals in a season record by any Zimbabwe player in Swazi soccer still very much safe.
Ndebele’s record was achieved during the 2011-12 season when he was still at Mbabane Highlanders, dropping to 11 the following season. In 2013-14 season when he moved to Malanti Chiefs that dropped to seven.