…….Denver Mukamba of women’s football is gone says Mlauzi
…….Hats off to her, she scored five goals in front of Sepp Blatter
RUFARO Machingura, one of Zimbabwe’s queens of football who conquered all and sundry in the region in Mighty Warriors colours and became one of the most commanding women’s football figures of the last few years, died Thursday morning.
The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) said one of the standard-bearers of the beautiful game died at her home in Retreat, Waterfalls, Harare after a long illness. “It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of former Black Rhinos Queens FC and Mighty Warriors player Rufaro ‘Mafidi’ Machingura. After a long illness, she died this morning at her home in Retreat, Waterfalls, Harare.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and football community. May her soul find peace,” said FUZ. Heartbroken former Mighty Warriors head coach Shadreck Mlauzi likened the late Machingura’s football exploits to that of ex Dynamos and Warriors midfielder Denver Mukamba.
“These are sad times. She was the Denver Mukamba of women’s football. Machingura was extremely talented. She turned football into art and entertainment. She was a utility player, a very versatile one who could easily adapt to any position. She could play as a centre back, goalkeeper, defensive link or striker.
“I remember there was a time when she starred for us at Zambia’s Nkoloma Stadium, producing a five-star performance. However, just like any other player she would defy advise here and there but my heartfelt condolences to her family, Black Rhinos, Mighty Warriors and the entire football fraternity on this untimely loss of a quality player,”
He added: “Football and Zimbabwe elevated their standing thanks to this Queen. She is gone, but her magic will endure.” Widely regarded as one of local women’s football greatest players, Machingura spent over a decade enchanting fans and dazzling opponents as the game’s most prolific scorer with Black Rhinos and the senior women’s l national team. Her grace, athleticism and mesmerizing moves transfixed players and fans.
She orchestrated a fast, fluid style that revolutionized local sport in the process personifying her country’s elegance on the field. In 2011, during a COSAFA match against Malawi, Machingura carried Zimbabwe to dizzying heights. With ex FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Vackle sitting in the VIP Tribune at Rufaro Stadium, the Mighty Warriors were simply irresistible as they produced a show for the archives.
Blatter was charmed by the Mighty Warriors show that saw Machingura bagging a staggering five goals as the Mighty Warriors thumped hapless Malawi 8-2 in a Cosafa Women Championship match. The late striker stole the show when she scored in the 18th, 51st, 60th , 69th and 74th minute while Nokuthula Ndlovu had a brace, scoring in the 19th and 29th minute.