Mercedes Sibanda

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Mercedes "Rambo" Sibanda was a veteran soccer play who in the prime of his career played for the City of Kings giants iBosso and the National Team The Dream Team. in 1987 Rambo was crowned soccer player of the year. He was affectionately known as Rambo because he was strong and had big round muscles. This was the best right-back that Highlanders and the national team ever had.

Mercedes Rambo Sibanda

Background

Mercedes Sibanda was born on 4 February 1966. He used to play for Highlanders. Mercedes was born in Zimbabwe's second-largest city Bulawayo in Mzilikazi Suburb. He attended Lobengula primary school where he was an avid sportsperson. According to one of his friends Mercedes's parents could not put him through secondary school.

Rambo joined Mzilikazi Youth centre when he was 11, and he was scouted by Highlanders from the youth centre. Rambo together with Zimunya joined Highlanders Junior

Career

After joining Highlanders Junior Rambo proved that he was not an amateur and was soon part of the team that was selected to be part of the squad that was going to do duty at Aberdeen City International Football Annual Festival in Scotland.

Captan-ing Highlanders Junior, the boys managed to beat fancied Australian team Melbourne select 1-0, win over Italy 4-0 and disposed hosts Aberdeenshire 3-0 for the penultimate round. In the semi-final, they met Group B runners and defending champions Rosslyn sports of Scotland and thrashed them 3-0.[1]

Rambo was part of the 7 Bosso players who were part of the Under 20 national Soccer team during his time. His friend Zimunya told one publication how he was a disciplined individual who always came early for practice and conducted individual training sessions.

Rambo was also part of the Under-20 national teams that won the Cosafa Youth Cup three times in a row

Death

Mercedes died in 2002 when he was just 36. He has retired from soccer 4 years earlier in 1988. He had 4 children Leonah, Nicole, Keith and Natasha. He was buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo. [2]

Trivia

Rambo was best friends with Rahman Gumbo and Willard Khumalo. Many people describe him as a jovial character. He always told one of his daughters that when she gets married she should stay with her husband at the Sibanda family home.

When his best friends Rahman (Gumbo) and Willard (Khumalo) came to visit us in the morning my father would climb on the roof of the house with his breakfast and he would shout on top of his voice saying angikho (I am not around). He would then eat his breakfast while sitting on the roof. Rah and Willard would laugh that off

Mercedes had a second name Nkila which he hated.


Accolades

Soccer Star Of The Year 1987

References

  1. Sunday News, Play For Rambo And Other Fallen Heroes, 9 September 2019, Retrieved 14 August 2019, https://www.sundaynews.co.zw/play-for-rambo-and-other-fallen-heroes-bosso-told/
  2. Mercedes Rambo The Comedian, Published 16 September 2018, Retrived 14 August 2019 https://www.sundaynews.co.zw/mercedes-rambo-the-comedian/