Ex-star con­demns shift of cul­ture at High­landers

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Motoring/sport - Yes­ter­year Greats Danisa Ma­suku

IT is of­ten said that a name car­ries in­for­ma­tion about a per­son and the mean­ing car­ried by that name tends to shape the char­ac­ter of that in­di­vid­ual. But is it ev­ery­day that a per­son lives up to the in­tended mean­ing of the name?

Well, food for thought. Ephraim Kid­man Moloi is one such player who had a name that set tongues wag­ging in his sub­urb and foot­ball scene. Kid­man, peo­ple won­dered!

Be­cause of his name, adults and age mates alike used to poke fun at him with some say­ing he be­haved like a kid while oth­ers as­sumed Kid­man was a nick­name. But they had to be­lieve when he told them that it was his sec­ond name. When he joined the High­landers Un­der-12 team, his name gained pop­u­lar­ity and be­came more prom­i­nent when he broke into High­landers’ first team. But he never lived up to his sec­ond name.

His draft­ing into High­landers’ first team was eye-catch­ing, some­thing of a di­vided opin­ion! Prior to his se­lec­tion into the first team his coaches Si­las Ndlovu and Boet Van Ays, a player-coach, had a mis­un­der­stand­ing which led to a harsh exchange of words. Ndlovu saw a po­ten­tial in Moloi’s dis­plays but Van Ays be­lieved the lad needed to im­prove in some ar­eas.

“The two ex­changed harsh words, re­sul­tantly Van Ays walked off the field of play and left for good and Ndlovu stuck to his de­ci­sion and drafted me into the first team,” he says.

His good foot­work and con­fi­dence helped him charm his way into a sec­tion of hard to please High­landers sup­port­ers’ hearts that were of the firm be­lief that due to his “kid­man stature” he could not fit into the shoes of a de­pend­able de­fender Lawrence Phiri. Not only that, on the match day at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium a sec­tion of the so-called pas­sion­ate fans called the coach to the fence to air their con­cerns.

He ex­plained: “My de­but match was a derby against Mashona­land United FC in 1973 (later changed to Zim­babwe Saints). I was tasked to mark Zim­babwe Saints pro­lific striker Chee­tah An­to­nio, as such many of our sup­port­ers be­lieved he would out­class me and I would cost the team. Luck­ily I man­aged to con­tain Chee­tah and that gave me con­fi­dence and I man­aged to match him toe to toe,” he says.

He added: “Af­ter the match I was over­whelmed. The sup­port­ers lifted me up and ran around the pitch with me.”

Kid­man stamped his author­ity in the heart of the de­fence and he be­came a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the first team.

A me­morable match that is still etched on his mind is when “We played Rio Tinto FC in the semi-fi­nal of Cas­tle Cup and drubbed them 4-1. What makes it spe­cial to me is that af­ter that en­counter I be­came a reg­u­lar scorer.”

But a match that he does not want to re­mem­ber was when his side was trounced by Zim­babwe Saints in 1976 in Chibuku Cup fi­nal at Ru­faro sta­dium.

“What hurt most of us was that we had beaten them in the league. And we went to that match with tails up and that com­pla­cency af­fected and we lost in the Chibuku fi­nal,” he re­counts.

Some of the play­ers that made the black and white army tick were Lawrence Phiri on the right back, left back Peter Zimuto and Zenzo Dabengwa on the cen­tre back.

Ephraim Kid­man Moloi and wife Mable

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