Gidiza still missing
LEGENDARY Zimbabwean footballer Ronald “Gidiza” Sibanda’s whereabouts were still shrouded in mystery yesterday evening as he was still to report home despite making a call to his mother on Thursday evening.
Gidiza’s mother Sithokozile Sibanda said Ronald called on the family’s landline and said he was on his way home from Beitbridge. He never came.
“He phoned me last night (Tuesday) and said they were on their way from Beitbridge but now it’s after midday and he still hasn’t come home while his mobile phones are still off. I am very worried because even his friend Mphathisi Ndlovu has not been seen,” said Sibanda yesterday.
Ronald is believed to have phoned on the landline to avoid being easily traced.
Sibanda said she was a little bit comforted on hearing her son’s voice as it confirmed that he was at least still alive.
Gidiza left his family’s New Lobengula home on Sunday for Barbourfields Stadium and has not been seen since, forcing his family to make a missing person report with the police. By yesterday evening, the former Warriors and Zimbabwe Saints playmaker who also had stints with Dynamos, AmaZulu and now defunct Njube Sundowns’ two mobile phones were still switched off.
Some sources said the lanky Ronald’s friends might have taken him out on a birthday celebrating spree as he turned 40 on Monday.
It was also later established that social media reports that he was seen in the company of a former Warriors star based in South Africa were actually not true as the said star was spotted together with his family at a social match featuring retired players and Unity Village in Bulawayo.
“Bongani (Mafu) phoned from Botswana to inquire whether he has finally come home only to be told that ‘not as yet’ and I am really saddened,” said Sibanda.
Mafu is Ronald’s brother and a post on his Facebook wall on Thursday was cryptic as it likened Gidiza’s antics to those of legendary Manchester United striker George Best who had a brilliant career on the field but was plagued by alcohol demons off it.
Following revelations of Ronald’s disppearing acts, Mafu — the former Highlanders coach who is now based in Botswana — quipped: “I am convinced we have a GEORGE BEST in my family”.
Best died in 2005 at the age of 59 after battling alcohol addiction for the better part of his life.
Another soccer great and living legend, Paul “Gazza” Gascoigne, is a pale shadow of his former self after seeing his fortunes nosedive due to alcohol abuse.