|Born||August 29, 1976|
|Children||Brendan and Brian|
Ronald "Gidiza" Sibanda is a former Zimbabwean footballer and sports personality who played for a number of local clubs including AmaZulu Football Club and Dynamos Football Club as well as the Zimbabwe National Soccer Team.
Sibanda was born on 29 August 1976.
Having been rejected by Highlanders Football Club as a teenager, Gidiza resolved then that he would never turn out for Highlanders in future and during his peak, Bosso fans resented him for frustrating them while in Saints, DeMbare and AmaZulu colours. He recalls when Bongani Mafu took him to Highlanders in 1994 when he was 18-years-old and he trained with the senior team for one day under Roy Baretto, Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu and Barry Daka. But they told him to go to the juniors and a week later, Gibson Homela spotted him and whisked him away to Zimbabwe Saints.
Missing out on the chance to play for a traditional giant, he takes solace in the two stints he had at Dynamos Football Club, especially in African Champions League days in the late 1990s. In 1998 Highlanders wanted him but it was Dynamos who came with a good offer plus the prospect of playing in the Champions League lured him there. Since his national team debut in 1998, he went on to earn more than 50 Warriors caps and featured at two Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) editions with the Warriors despite failing to play in competitive foreign leagues.
His regret is that he never played overseas despite his talent and it was due to many factors. he recalls how playing there was going to benefit him financially and make him a better person in life. Sibanda was part of the Warriors team that played in the 2004 AFCON finals held in Tunisia. The team was coached by a veteran football legend Sunday Chidzambwa and captained by the heroic Peter Ndlovu. He played as midfielder in a team that included football legends such as Peter Ndlovu, Lazarus Muhoni, Wilfred Mugeyi and Kaitano Tembo.
Ronald Sibanda’s intended moves to foreign leagues were blighted by misfortune. While at Saints in the mid-90s, he had a trial stint at English Premiership side Sunderland as well as Polish top-flight league outfit Slask Wroclaw in 1997 but with no luck. He also once tried at Germany Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt while South Africa’s Umthatha Bushbucks were also keen on him during his AmaZulu days. “Sunderland were too tough for me as I was so young then. Saints denied me clearance to join Slask Wroclaw because Wieslaw Grabowski who took me there had given them the impression that I was going for trials when in actual fact I was going to sign right away. Saints then realised that I had also been made to sign a contract with DT Africa United meaning they would have got nothing from the move so they quickly blocked it,” Gidiza said. He also almost joined Bushbucks in South Africa but Delma Lupepe (then AmaZulu owner) refused to let him go after he had agreed for a fee. Bushbucks guys came to Bulawayo to finalise his move but Delma wanted him to remain at AmaZulu and Gidiza was very angry about it because he saw it as being inconsiderate on the part of Delma for he felt he did not think about the future of his career.
- Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League winner (2003 with Amazulu Football Club)
Teams Played For
- Zimbabwe Saints Football Club
- Dynamos Football Club
- Amazulu Football Club (Defunct)
- Njube Sundowns Football Club (Now Defunct)
- Santos (Botswana)
- Michael Madyira, , The Standard, Published: September 8, 2013, Retrieved: December 18, 2019