Bosso legend laid to rest
FORMER Highlanders fullback, Andrew Jele was laid to rest at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo yesterday with speakers describing him as a committed and entertaining player during his time.
Jele (73) passed away at his Entumbane home on Wednesday following a long illness. He joined Highlanders from Hwange, then Wankie, in 1964 and played for the side until his retirement in 1975. Former Highlanders chairman Albert Magagula said Jele’s impressive talent made them recruit him as the first player from outside Bulawayo to move specifically to join the club.
He said they had gone to play at Makwika (Number Three) and were impressed with Jele’s strong physique, darting runs and football skill.
“I was chairman at the time and Jele impressed us when we played against his side in Hwange. His style of play, runs and strong physique impressed us and we immediately asked him to come and play for us. He agreed making him the first player from outside Bulawayo to play for Bosso,” said Magagula who led Bosso for four years.
Billy Sibanda, who played alongside Jele at Highlanders, described him as a warm and friendly person, who did not take losing lightly.
“He did not want to lose hence he would play his heart out but when he did lose we would have a difficult time telling him a loss was part of the game. Skuphathi, as we called him, was full of jokes and we had no dull moment around but he always took his football seriously,” he said.
Another teammate Kenny Dzowa said Jele was an exemplary and focused player. He said they played together with the likes of Mike Mhlanga, the late Sotsha Mpofu, the late Mfakazi Moyo, Kenneth “Sparks” Ngulube, Edward Dlamini and Chris “Bhawa” Sibanda.
Lawrence “Lofty” Phiri, who was a goalkeeper at the time, said Jele was always jovial and mastered the art of overlapping runs which combined with his acrobatic moves made him a darling of the passionate Bosso fans. Highlanders board secretary, Mathew Sibindi, Kynot Luphahla, Douglas Mloyi and Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu are some members of the Highlanders family that attended the burial. Jele is survived by three children and seven grandchildren.
David Coltart Andrew Jele