John Nyumbu
John Nyumbu.jpg
BornJohn Nyumbu
Gweru hospital
Known forPlaying for Zimbabwe Saints
Spouse(s)Judith Matshoba
ChildrenVincent, Gary, Patrick, Kalimbwe, Tsulufelo, Kafuna and John.

John 'Gwejegweje' Nyumbu ia a former Zimbabwean footballer who played for Zimbabwe Saints and Gweru United.


He was born in Gweru at Gweru hospital in 1954. He was born in a family of two boys. He is married to Judith Matshoba. The couple is blessed with the following children Vincent, Gary, Patrick, Kalimbwe, Tsulufelo, Kafuna and John. He was a board member of Zimbabwe Rugby Union.[1]


John recalls an embarrassing moment he will never forget in his playing career when he lasted only ten minutes in an epic battle that pitted Highlanders Football Club and his team Zimbabwe Saints in a premiership battle that was played at Barbourfields Stadium. “I was introduced in the second half after Chita Antonio was pulled out after he suffered an ankle injury. I failed to calm my nerves in the first minutes of the game. As if that was not enough I failed to convert two passes and that sparked outrage among our supporters and they started to boo me. The coach Tendai Chieza succumbed to the protests and he substituted me,” he said with a frown. For those who are familiar with Barbourfields Stadium, he said walking from Mpilo End side to the dressing room was a long walk of shame that is still vivid in his mind.

"I ignored the coach when he stretched his hand to welcome me back and explain why they had to substitute me while I was brought on during second half. I felt the coach no longer wanted my services. After the match I had to terminate the contract and joined Bulawayo Wanderers," said Nyumbu who was popularly known as Gwejegweje. He revealed that he earned the nickname while he was turning out for Gweru United. “Francis Chandida who played for Shabanie Mine and Dynamos Football Club stole my nickname or those who gave him the nickname copied from me,” he pointed out.

Nyumbu joined the red hot Zimbabwe Saints squad in the second stanza of the season in 1977 but was a regular bench warmer. “In most games I was a bench warmer and made it in the first team line-up in 1978 when players like Chita Antonio had left Zimbabwe Saints,” he said. Although he was a bench warmer he claims a fair share of milestone achievement in 1977. He was part of the trail blazing Zimbabwe Saints squad that clinched the Rhodesia National Football League title after drubbing a Midlands side Risco at Torwood Stadium in Redcliff. They beat Risco 5-2 and clinched the league title with a game in hand against Black Aces. As if that was not enough he capped his stellar year with the Castle Cup.

In his early days with Saints (1977) Nyumbu had to put up with defeat after defeat in Cup matches. “While I was trying to find my feet at the club I was thrown into the deep end in two Cup games and had to suffer a disappointment as we were defeated in Nyore Nyore Cup Shield and Chibuku Trophy,” he revealed. Nyumbu revealed that when he came to Bulawayo the goal was to join Highlanders Football Club but due to football politics he failed.

He was lured to join Bosso by Silas Ndlovu and signed a two-year contract. He was given $400 as signing on fee but before long the deal suffered a still birth. When the deal had materialised, the late Zimbabwe Saints benefactor Herbert Ushewokunze offered him a lucrative contract at Zimbabwe Saints which was too good to ignore. He had to suffer a major heartbreak as Highlanders authorities demanded their money and he had to reimburse them. He had spent the money on buying material for his house that he was building in Waterford and had to apply for a loan at ZimBank where he was working as a bank teller. But he did not know that the promise was a pie in the sky. “Zimbabwe Saints executives failed to offer me what they promised me, as such I took solace in the fact that I was employed as a banker,” he said.

After a flirtation with Zimbabwe Saints in 1978, he joined Bulawayo Wanderers and spent a season with the Bulawayo side and hung his boots at the end of the season in 1979. At Bulawayo Wanderers he revealed that he played alongside Majuta Mpofu. But before he came to Bulawayo which team pushed him to stardom? In 1974 he joined Gweru African Football Association. He spent a season with the side before joining Gweru United popularly known as Pisa Pisa. At Gweru United he played alongside Sam Semwayo, Morris Manduna and Victor Dhliwayo just to mention a few. He revealed that 1975 was the major highlight of his career while he was turning out for the Midlands side — Gweru United. “At the end of the season in 1975 I was among the few players competing for the golden boot award,” he said.


  • Rhodesia National Football League and Castle Cup winner (1977 with Zimbabwe Saints)


  1. Danisa Masuku, [1], The Sunday News, Published: 4 February, 2018, Accessed: 7 May, 2020