Willard Khumalo
Willard Khumalo
Image Via Southern Eye
BornWillard Mashinkila Khumalo
(1966-06-11)June 11, 1966
DiedAugust 23, 2015(2015-08-23) (aged 49)
Cause of deathDiabetes
Resting placeLady Stanley Cemetery, Bulawayo
  • Footballer
  • Football Coach/Administrator
Years active1982 - 2015
Spouse(s)Nozipho Nkomo
ChildrenNomakhosi Khumalo (daughter), Dumo Khumalo (son), 1 other child
Parent(s) Danny Mashinkila-Khumalo (father), Maud Ngwenya (mother)
RelativesDanny Mashinkila Junior (younger brother), Brian Khumalo (younger brother)

Willard Mashinkilla Khumalo was one of the most talented forwards to have played for Highlanders Football Club and the national team, which at the time was known as Dream Team. After hanging up his boots, Khumalo went on to become the Bosso Welfare Manager.


Willard Mashinkilla Khumalo was born on 11 June 1966.[1] He was the first born in a family of seven-three boys and four girls. He was son to musical legend Danny Mashinkila-Khumalo (father), and Maud Ngwenya (mother). He was married to Nozipho Nkomo and the two had 3 children of which Nomakhosi Khumalo was one of his daughters.[2] He had a younger brother, Danny Mashinkila Junior who would become a musician in South Africa.[2] He also had a younger brother Brian.[3] His son Dumo Khumalo is a footballer who played for Mzilikazi High School's under-17 team.[4]


Khumalo attended Mzilikazi Primary School before going to Northlea High School where he first hogged headlines by becoming one of football's schoolboy internationals.[5]


Willard Khumalo was one of the most prolific players to have played for Highlanders Football Club. He also had a successful career with the national side turning out for the popular Dream Team.

He was brought by his mother to Highlanders Football Club when he was still at Mzilikazi Primary School. He then graduated into the club's under 16 side before graduating into the senior team.[6]

Khumalo was part of the 1986 Highlanders squad that won everything on offer in the domestic football arena. They won the BAT Rosebowl, the Independence Cup, Heroes' Cup, Chibuku Trophy, Rothmans Cup and Castle Cup.[6] In 1987, he travelled with Highlanders to Germany where the club established a relationship with a Division One side Emstedden 05, a team that he joined in 1989. He was to return to Highlanders in 1990 in November in the Zifa Cup against Dynamos Football Club which Highlanders won.

In the twilight of his career, he played for Zimbabwe Division One side Shushine following differences with Highlanders' then coach. He also played for Zisco Steel and Lancashire Steel in the late 1990s before joining South African premier league side Free State Stars in 2000.[6]

Khumalo was part of the first Matebeleland Under-18 Coca Cola team.[7]

National Team Career

Willard Khumalo was capped at both Under-20 and senior level whilst still at school and was chosen among the Soccer Star of the Year finalists several times.[5] Khumalo was part of Zimbabwe's senior Cesafa team that beat Kenya 2-1 in the final.[6] He was part of the Dream Team that almost went to the World Cup final in 1994. He joined great footballers such as Peter Ndlovu, Bruce Grobbelaar and Agent Sawu among other Zimbabwean greats.[8]

Coaching Career and Club Administration

After retiring from football, Khumalo remained a part of the Highlanders family after initially starting as assistant coach to Rahman Gumbo.[9] He eventually took over from Rahman as head coach before moving on to the now defunct Mwana Africa Football Club which he took to the 2007 Caf Confederations Cup.[8]

Khumalo also coached Lancashire Steel Football Club with which he won the Madison Trophy.[8] In 2011 he coached Zimbabwe Saints Football Club before being appointed Bosso welfare manager in 2013.[8] Khumalo was also part of the Warrior's technical team in 2006 when he was assistant coach to Charles Mhlauri.[7][8]

Khumalo also coached Botswana's Nico Stars and Tafic Football Club.[10]

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Early on 23 August 2015, Willard Khumalo would pass away after having been in the hospital for some days suffering from diabetes. He died at United Bulawayo Hospital.[7] Khumalo was laid to rest at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on August 27, 2015.[11]

Picture Gallery


  1. Its happy birthday to a legend, Mobile Zimbabwe, Published: No date given, Retrieved: 14 Aug 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 Willard Khumalo dies , ZBC, Published: 23 Aug 2015, Retrieved: 23 Aug 2015 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ZBC" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Adios Mawii...Willard died a bitterman-Chunga, Herald, Published: August 28, 2015, Retrieved: August 28, 2015
  4. Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Death robs Zim football, Chronicle, Published: August 24, 2015, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lovemore Dube, Willard Khumalo true legend, Chronicle, Published: August 24, 2015, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Willard Khumalo dies, Chronicle, Published: August 24, 2015, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Collin Matiza, OUR LEGEND FALLS, Herald, Published: August 24, 2015, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Fortune Mbele, Mashinkila dies, NewsDay, Published: August 24, 2015, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  9. Fortune Mbele Mashinkila-Khumalo bounces back, NewsDay, Published: February 6, 2013, Retrieved: August 14, 2015
  10. Willard Mashinkila Khumalo Expecting To Do Well at Nico., e-Diski.com, Published: September 8, 2010, Retrieved: August 24, 2015
  11. Thandiwe Moyo, Emotional send-off for Mashinkila, NewsDay, Published: August 28, 2015, Retrieved: August 28, 2015