Jimmy Sibanda
Jimmy Sibanda, Zimbabwe soccer, Zimbabwean footballer
BornJimmy Sibanda
(1953-08-06) August 6, 1953 (age 67)
EducationSt Columbus Primary School
Occupation
  • Footballer
Spouse(s)Christine Malikwe


Jimmy Sibanda is a retired Zimbabwean footballer who was born on 6 August 1953. He is a former player for Hwange Football Club as a striker.

Background

Jimmy Sibanda was born on 6 August 1953.[1] He started playing football in the football crazy suburbs of Makokoba and Mzilikazi in 1960 with a tennis ball which was a priced possession for any budding youngster of those days.

Career

He started playing football in the football crazy suburbs of Makokoba and Mzilikazi in 1960 with a tennis ball which was a priced possession for any budding youngster of those days. He was inspired by Gibson Homela, Barry Daka, Joseph Nyika. Sibanda pays tribute to Daka for his encouragement and coach Jack Meagher who had a hand in him turning out for Wankie after moving from Bulawayo. In his formative years the Youth Club system was productive and he had a dance with a lot of good talent during his teens.

He played with Barry Daka, Daniel Bingadadi Ncube, Patson Ncube, Obert Moyo and Zolile. He also played for Mashonaland United Under-18s with the likes of Adam Maseko, Laston Kazembe and he still remembers drawing with Wankie Juniors in a final played at the Showgrounds. Sibanda, a cheeky forward with a knack of scoring gems regrets playing football during the Rhodesia era. “I could have made it abroad,” Sibanda says.

After the Mashonaland United Under-18s excursion, Sibanda played for America United in the Greenspan League where with his left foot and body swerve he troubled goalkeepers and defenders alike and would have a dance with Mashonaland FC and Eastern Highlands with the likes of Daka, Francis Sikhosana, Elfigio, Scooter, Luka and Daniel Ncube before these moved to bigger clubs. Mashonaland United would in 1975 at the insistence of the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo change to Zimbabwe Saints. Saints juniors of note during the time included Abraham Kazembe, Marko, Ndazu, Gilson Chitsaka, Mhofu, Lazarus Gandanga, Jealous Rafios and Patrick Kushure.

“In the Greenspan League some of the good stars I lined up with were Bigboy, Shupayi, Mdala Dube, Zolile and Owen Smart.” Sibanda recalls a game against Highlanders Football Club in 1970 while with Mashonaland FC where three minutes after coming on, he scored two goals only to be red carded for retaliating, turning from hero to villain. A memorable goal was to come against Archer years later when he connected with a magnificent scissors kick from a corner kick. But his best goal he thinks is the one where he scored against Bulawayo Wanderers.

“I gained possession in our own goal area and moved up to slot in the ball past their goalkeeper, it was a great goal and piece of skill just at the dearth of the match,” he said. Scoring against a goalkeeper who would not only rise to be the best in the land and world, Bruce Grobbelaar remains another memorable feat for Sibanda in the final of the Nyore Nyore Cup. The striker recalls a 30-1 win over Hwange ZRP while with Kabwe as the highest scoring match he was ever involved in, while in the top league football, a 5-0 over Meikles at Rufaro where he scored a hat-trick.

On his move to Hwange he said Meagher and Daka had watched him twice while giving the coal miners a torrid time and they had made a decision to hire him. They gave him a job and it is where he met and married his wife Christine Malikwe. He visited many places with the club and it gave him a chance to board a plane for the first time way back in the 1970s.

“When I came on board the club had Posani Sibanda, Daniel Rendo, Amos Rendo, Stephen Chuma, Sam Mtende, John Garatsa, Aaron Lowani, Twyman Ncube, Leonard Tembo, Misheck Mwanza, Chris Yoyo, Samuel Ngwenya, Fred Linyando, Papa Vido. Competition was tough and I managed to break in and command a regular jersey at left wing. I was with Posani Sibanda, Rodrick Simwanza and David Khumalo when we made it into the South Zone Select that was supposed to play Orlando Pirates with players from Zimbabwe Saints, Bulawayo Wanderers and Highlanders but the South Africans did not come,” Sibanda said.

Sibanda said competition even got hotter for places with the arrival of George Phiri from Kamativi, Nyaro Mumba from Gwayi River Mine and Rodrick Simwanza from Victoria Falls. He said no player was guaranteed of being in the next match hence they had to work harder all the time. Sibanda retired in 1982 after he was fingered out for instigating a player mutiny.

Coaching career

After retiring he won many medals as coach of Hwange local league giants Kabwe Warriors and their Makwika nemesis Brazil, clubs that produced most of the yesteryear Hwange football greats. He regards coaching Noah Banda, Francis Mwinga, Emmanuel Mwinga, Masauso Phiri, Thomas Ngwira, Abuit Phiri among his best moments on the touchline and wishes Hwange FC could help more retired players attain coaching badges.

Accolades


Teams Played For

  • Hwange Football Club
  • Zimbabwe Saints Football Club


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References

  1. Lovemore Dube, [1], The Sunday News, Published: February 2, 2020, Retrieved: February 5, 2020