FOR those who did not know the other side of the late former Highlanders chairman and team manager Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda — courtesy of a video that has been trending on social media — we reveal that he was an ever jovial somebody who had a soft spot for Soul Brothers’ music.
Soul Brothers’ particular take on mbaqanga — the ubiquitous township jive — that the late Maphepha tried to emulate in the video, made the Soul Brothers stars in South Africa and Zimbabwe, with more than 30 successful albums. Maphepha died early this month after succumbing to diabetes at a local hospital.
He was buried at Bulawayo’s Lady Stanley Cemetery.
In less than two weeks after Sibanda’s death, the local fraternity was on Tuesday plunged into mourning following the death of ex-Warriors and Dynamos legendary player George “Mastermind” Shaya.
The five-time Soccer Star of the Year died in Harare at the age of 77. He also succumbed to diabetes and was also diagnosed with dementia, a condition associated with the decline in brain function, which has been affecting a number of former professional footballers.
The late Shaya has been described by some football commentators as the greatest footballer to ever come out of Zimbabwe. Ex-Warriors captain Peter “Nsukuzonke” Ndlovu is on record saying: “We always talk of legends, we are legends of course, but we may talk whatever we want, and bring whatever we may bring, regardless of where you have been, where you have played. Whatever guys, let’s not kid ourselves, this is a non-starter, this is really a no-show to compare ourselves with this man (George Shaya), we are nothing, we are too far (behind) guys.”
Ndlovu further argued that: “Let’s just own up and give him the crown, all the time, he deserves it, all the time, he deserves respect, we are not going to talk about other people, this man is the one. In actual fact, we are saying, let’s start from people like Khama (Billiat) and myself, we are the sons of football, let’s go to Madinda (Ndlovu), let’s go to Moses (Chunga), let’s go to Marimo — Misheck (late) and Sunday — those are the fathers of football.”