FORTY years by birth and 19 years of playing professional football.
That is the long and short of Ralph Matema’s story.
Matema started his career at the now defunct Kambuzuma United, a team that also groomed the careers of players such as Marlon Chatima, Timothy Mambunda, Mika Chirikwawo and Jack Fole.
He was only 17 when he made his debut for Kambuzuma United.
A football career spanning close to two decades saw the striker play for Highlanders, Triangle, Orlando Pirates and Witbank Spurs in South Africa and Yadah Stars.
It was his time at Bosso that Matema wrote his name among the finest strikers ever to don the black and white colours.
It’s not surprising that when his name is mentioned, football lovers are quick to reminisce on his time with the Bulawayo giants.
The nickname ‘Banolila’ was coined by the Bosso faithful.
“I have enough respect for the teams that gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent and I learnt a lot at every club I played for.
“However, my most unforgettable moments were at Highlanders. The club made me the person that I am today, the fans made me enjoy my stay and I wish them nothing but success, for what they did for me,” said Matema.
The ex-Orlando Pirates star is moving to the United States.