|Employer||ZPC Kariba Football Club|
|Known for||Coaching the Zimbabwe U17 national team|
Rodwell Dhlakama is a Zimbabwean football coach. He is the coach of South African National First Division side, Black Leopards. He also coached ZPC Kariba Football Club, Chapungu Football Club, Ngezi Platinum F.C. and the Zimbabwe U17 national team.
Rodwell Dhlakama was born at the Mhondoro Ngezi rural hospital. He was left in the custody of his maternal grandparents while his parents relocated to their original roots in Chipinge. His grandmother, Regina Tshakalisa Mutizira, passed away while Dhlakama was in Form 3 at Ngezi High School.
He was chased away from Ngezi High and looked for a place at Dondoshava Secondary School. Dhlakama narrated how a lady named Chipo Marunza, who was a shopkeeper in her father’s shop at Chitani gave him a $5 note (old currency) and pleaded with her father who was a driver to take him to Harare, which he did.
Rodwell Dhlakama then boarded the bus to Mutare but when it was found out that he had not paid while they were already in Nyazura, he was forced out and the crew took the $5.
Dhlakama had to complete the over 45 kilometres remainder of the journey on foot while he left his luggage on the bus. When he arrived in Mutare, his sister found him a place at Dangamvura High, though there were some difficulties, as he did not have a transfer letter from Dondoshava
Dhlakama enjoyed sporting afternoons at school from a young age. At school, he was a very good athlete. He was very quick over short distances which became an added advantage when he played soccer as a striker.
He is a holder of several coaching certificates and of the four levels of soccer coaching in Zimbabwe, he says he went through all four. He also did a FIFA Solidarity Course, hold an Olympic Committee Certificate for Football Coaches and British Eurospace Certificate for coaching. That is how far he went in terms of football education.
He said of his playing career, cut short by an ankle injury: he played for a number of prominent teams at the time mainly in the Eastern Highlands. He played for Tanganda and Zupco Mutare. When he was 20 years he broke his ankle and that was the end of his playing career. But the injury did not take away his love for football.
He took the Young Warriors to the Under-17 Africa Youth Championships in Algeria (2009) as well as qualifying for the group stages in the CAF Champions League as the head coach of the now defunct Monomotapa Football Club after eliminating giants such as ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire, Ajax Cape Town of South Africa and Simba FC of Tanzania. He was also successful in Swaziland. Until his appointment at Chapungu Football Club, he was head coach at airmen Blue Swallows who made an impressive start in the 2017 ZIFA Northern Region Division One League, amassing nine points from five matches and were just four points behind pacesetters Herentals Football Club.
Before his ascendancy at Monomotapa, Dhlakama had basically coached at all levels in youth football, craftily utilising his good rapport with young players from his teaching background. He led the Midlands Under 20 side to the Peter Ndlovu Trophy in 1998 and in 2006 achieved National Youth Games success with the Midlands Under 20s. He was duly rewarded, being given the national schools select side, which he led to two gold medals in three-nation tournaments featuring Malawi and Zambia.
Having cut his coaching teeth in the Midlands, it was fitting that his first job at club level be in the province. He assisted Kwekwe Cables in a successful premiership play-offs campaign in 2001, helping out head coach, the late Nani Muchiwa. Two years later as assistant to the late Lovemore Nyabeza, Chrome Stars were also promoted into the PSL. In 2005 Zimasco United became the latest beneficiaries of his turnaround skills when they won promotion into Division One under his tutelage.
Ngezi Platinum FC
He was appointed Ngezi Platinum F.C. interim coach in September 2019 and managed to lead the team to a top 4 finish. After this good showing the team decided to give him the job on a substantive basis. On 28 February 2022, it was announced that he had resigned as Ngezi Platinum Stars head coach after he was sent on forced leave earlier in the month.
Dhlakama was appointed Black Leopards in October 2022, taking over from coach Joel Masutha, who was suspended from his post following a string of poor results.
He signed a three-year contract with Leopards after leaving ZPC Kariba where he had a month left in his contract.
- Shooting Stars,
- CAPS United Football Club
- Chapungu Football Club
- Green Mambas (Swaziland)
- Manzini Sundowns (Swaziland)
- Ngezi Platinum F.C.
- Black Leopards (South Africa)
- 2019 Chibuku Super Cup Runners Up medal
- 2008 Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League winner (With Monomotapa under Norman Mapeza)
- Premiership promotion with Kwekwe Cables
- Premiership promotion with Chrome Stars
- Central Region Division One promotion with Zimasco United
- Voted Coach of the Year at the Annual National Sports Awards in 2007.
- Won gold at the Cosafa Under 17 tournament and the Anoca Zone Six Games in 2007.
- Tadious Manyepo, Dhlakama revisits dark past, The Herald, Published: April 7, 2020, Retrieved: November 25, 2021
- Kudzai Tigere, , The Independent, Published: 5 March, 2009, Accessed: 7 April, 2020
- Paul Mundandi and Ray Bande, , The Herald, Published: 25 April, 2017, Accessed: 7 April, 2020
- Mehluli Sibanda, , The Chronicle, Published: 20 December, 2019, Accessed: 7 April, 2020
- Dhlakama back in the PSL, appointed ZPC Kariba coach, Soccer24, Published: May 5, 2022, Retrieved: May 19, 2022
- Rodwell Dhlakama joins new club in South Africa, Virjo Mufaro, published: 12 October 2022, retrieved: 19 October 2022