Ernest "Maphepha" Sibanda
Ernest Maphepha Sibanda was a former Highlanders Football Club footballer, manager and chairman who is well known for having led Bosso in of their most successful phases in the club's history that he was arguably the most successful club manager at Bosso. Maphepha was also the manager of the Zimbabwe national soccer team.
Maphepha is said to have been one of the most skilled wingers of his generation who had a glittering career with the club. His nickname "Maphepha" was due to the fact that he was light as a paper which gave him great speed as a player. Maphepha was also famous for his dribbling skills and goal scoring abilities. He is said to have featured for CAPS United Football Club where he played alongside other CAPS United legends such as Joel "Jubilee" Shambo, Stanford "Stix" Mtizwa, Hamid Dhana and Stanley Ndunduma.
Maphepha The Football Administrator
He was described as the greatest manager to have managed Bosso. Under Maphepha, Amahlolanyama as Highlanders are popularly known by their fans went on to win the league which was also the last time that the club was crowned champions in 2002 under one of their greatest coaches the late Eddie May. Maphepha was also at one point the Chairman of Highlanders Executive.
Maphepha was embroiled in one of the greatest football scandals to ever rock Zimbabwean soccer. He along with other accused administrators and players such as Method Mwanjali, Nyasha Mushekwi, former ZIFA boss Henrietta Rushwaya among others were accused of have assembled a group of Zimbabwean footballers under shady circumstances to go and participate in fixed matches. It was alleged that the players were assigned to play a total of 15 matches and lose the matches as per agreed scorelines. During the said scandalous matches, Maphepha was the national team manager and had travelled with the team to Malaysia where they partook in the Merdeka Cup in 2007. Maphepha is said to have admitted that they were given allowances ranging between US$1 500 AND US$7 000 for their participation in the matches. Ernest Sibanda's dream of making a comeback to run things at Highlanders in the 2015 hit a snag when the Highlanders members resolved that due to Maphepha's involvement in the Asiagate Scandal, he should not contest for any position at the club arguing that his further involvement with the club affairs would only tarnish the image of the club. This was not the first time that Maphepha had been left out in the cold by the club, in 2008 he was suspended by the club after funds from the sell of Obadiah Tarumbwa were said to have gone missing. On these two counts, the Bosso legend was effectively barred for contesting for any post in the new look Bosso executive.
Ernest Sibanda died on 10 August 2021 at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo. He succumbed to cancer.
- Bosso Live BOSSO MIDFIELD GENERALS, Facebook, Published: November 10, 2012, Retrieved: January 27, 2015
- Mkhululi Chimoio Where are they now - Richard Choruma, The Zimbabwean, Published: March 13, 2013, Retrieved: January 28, 2015
- Asiagate: Ernest Sibanda's evidence, New Zimbabwe, Published: July 13, 2007, Retrieved: January 27, 2015
- Thandiwe Moyo Asiagate haunts Maphepha, NewsDay, Published: January 26, 2015, Retrieved: January 27, 2015