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In the beginning there was Madinda, then Peter and Adam came along

by Staff reporter
01 Jun 2019 at 07:42hrs | Views
SCOTTISH writer Stephen Walsh, who spent some years teaching in Zimbabwe in the early '80s, says the Ndlovu brothers - Madinda, Adam and Peter - had amazing football skills and belong to a special group of siblings who have shone brightly in the game.

Walsh has been a Highlanders fan since he spent about three years teaching in Bulawayo, and 34 years since he left the country to return to his homeland, his connection with Bosso remains very strong.

He believes Madinda, who is now coaching Highlanders, was a very special talent who could have — just like his younger brother Peter — made it into the big leagues of Europe if he had emerged on scene later than when he exploded.

Madinda had a stint in the lower leagues of Germany, while his late brother Adam played in Switzerland and even had trials at Old Trafford before the arrival of Eric Cantona changed everything and convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to go for the iconic Frenchman.

Walsh is still into teaching and writing and has written several books, including one on the "Voices of the Old Firm,'' focused on the Glasgow Derby between Celtic and Rangers, and says he intends to write another one about Zimbabwe. The Ndlovu brothers left a huge impression on him.

"I can think of a few brothers, but rarely three,'' he told The Herald this week when asked if there were three other brothers who have done as well as the Ndlovus.

"Yaya and Kolo Toure, Bobby and Jack Charlton won the '66 World Cup, the Laudrups for Denmark, De Boers for Holland. This weekend in the UK there was a good sibling story — John McGinn scored the winner for Aston Villa to get to the Premiership and his two brothers Paul and Stephen played for St Mirren in Scotland and they won a play-off as well.

"But who knows about the Ndlovus? They certainly had amazing skills.

"Madinda had the skills of Peter. I think if Madinda has been 10 years younger and emerged when the war was more of a memory, he would have made it overseas.

"Because (guys) of his age had lived through the war and the international isolation. Adam and Peter's generation could concentrate on the football.''

This week, Walsh wrote a fascinating article about how former Bosso coach Bobby Clark, another Scotsman, reacted when the Bulawayo giants won their first league match with a 1-0 victory over TelOne.

"Someone mentioned the fact that things at Bosso hadn't been this bad since the Bobby Clark days,'' he said. "I tweeted an old pic of Bobby coaching at Msiteli when I was there and Ronald Moyo (the Bosso media manager) picked it up.

"I told him I knew where Bobby could be found and it rolled downhill from there.''

There is a video of Walsh sitting in his garden wearing a Bosso replica jersey, donated to him by his former pupil Albert Nyathi, bathing in some sunshine, which is featured on the official Highlanders website. It tells a fascinating tale.

"In 1982, I went to Zimbabwe as an expatriate teacher at Msiteli school,'' Walsh says in the introduction before telling his audience how the head teacher tried to influence him to support Zimbabwe Saints which featured some of the school's boys - John Sibanda and Garikayi Rodzi.

"As soon as I had been at the school for a while and I understood how important Highlanders are to the people of Bulawayo, I had to support them,'' Walsh says in the video.

He reveals his head teacher stopped talking to him for some time because of his decision to support Highlanders. Soon, he was going to watch his team at Barbourfields and mixing with the locals.

"It was quite unusual to see white guys there at that time, but everyone was very positive, I used to be called Kiwa,'' he says.

"I think it's '83, '84, if I can really remember, the first few matches were a complete disaster. I don't remember the statistics, but Bosso were at the foot of the log.

"Bobby Clark was the coach that time and I had known him when I was a boy in Scotland, but he started to work some magic and, at the end of the season, they were up to third or fourth.

"The two players who stood out for me were quite predictable choices, one of course was Madinda, who seemed to score goals from anywhere on the pitch. The other was Willard Khumalo. "The big matches that year were against CAPS and Dynamos.

"I'm hoping in the next few weeks we are hoping to see Highlanders recover from their bad start, just like they did with Bobby Clark.

"I'm gonna finish by saying one word, Siyinqaba.'' Walsh says he has been planning to return to Zimbabwe for a long time now, but believes because of the project they are working on, where they have been raising some money for a school near Gwanda, that dream will turn into reality soon.

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Source - chronicle

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