An­other Ndlovu fam­ily mak­ing his­tory . . . with fourth mem­ber of the clan clan play­ing for Bosso

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

IN the his­tory of High­landers, the Ndlovu broth­ers, Madinda, Adam (late) and Peter are the most fa­mous mem­bers of the same fam­ily to have turned out for Amahlolanyama.

An­other Ndlovu fam­ily is writ­ing its own piece of his­tory with four mem­bers of the same clan hav­ing played for Bosso. Out of the four, three are broth­ers while one of them is a son. When Mbon­geni Ndlovu made it into the Bosso first team this sea­son, he be­came the fourth mem­ber of his fam­ily to don the black and white shirt. Be­fore him, his broth­ers Bekithemba (Su­per) and Du­misani turned out for the Bu­l­awayo giants to­gether with Bekithemba’s son Nkosana.

Nick­named Fazo or Mbola, Mbon­geni made his first team de­but this sea­son but was lim­ited to com­ing off the bench with skip­per Hon­est Moyo the pre­ferred choice at left back. The youngest of the Ndlovu broth­ers has of late started most of the matches for Bosso and even played 90 min­utes in the big­gest game in the land against Dy­namos.

The 19-year-old first at­tracted the at­ten­tion of for­mer High­landers coach Er­rol Ak­bay in 2017 when he was turn­ing out for Bosso90 with in­di­ca­tions be­ing that he would be roped in dur­ing the mid sea­son trans­fer win­dow. Ak­bay felt that he had not yet matured to play for the first team and de­cided against bring­ing him to the first team.

When Madinda was en­gaged as coach with his man­date be­ing to bring back the High­landers cul­ture built around the club’s ju­nior prod­ucts, Mbon­geni was one of the young­sters pro­moted to the first team from Bosso90. He seems to have set­tled well in Bosso’s de­fence and re­cently, he had the courage to ven­ture up­front to score his first ever goal in High­landers colours, an equaliser against Yadah in the Chibuku Su­per Cup, a match Bosso came from be­hind to win 2-1 at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

Watch­ing the match from the ter­races were his fa­ther and brother Bekithemba, a for­mer High­landers cap­tain who is coach of Bu­l­awayo City. Bekithemba said from the fam­ily of five males and one fe­male, three of the boys have played the game at a pro­fes­sional level.

“There are five boys and one girl in my fam­ily, I am the old­est, Fazo (Du­misani) is the sec­ond born and Mbon­geni is the last born, only three of us played foot­ball at a higher level. Two of the boys never played foot­ball at a pro­fes­sional level. Khu­lani Ndlovu, fourth born is a preacher in the Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist Church in South Africa,’’ Bekithemba said.

Born 22 Novem­ber 1998, Mbon­geni at­tended Lukhany­iso Pri­mary School in Mpopoma and then Msiteli High School in the same sub­urb. While at school, Mbon­geni was al­ready turn­ing out for the Ajax Hot­spurs ju­niors, to­gether with Nkosana and Den­zel Khu­malo while an­other cur­rent Bosso team­mate, Peter Muduhwa was in the Ajax first team.

Mbon­geni left Ajax for High­landers where he played for the Un­der-15, Un­der-16 and Un­der-18 prior to mak­ing it to Bosso90.

Bekithemba picked Mbon­geni and Nkosana for Cosafa Un­der-20 Cham­pi­onship in Zam­bia in De­cem­ber last year. He feels that Mbon­geni ac­tu­ally played bet­ter as an an­chor­man dur­ing the tour­na­ment where he also played at left back and cen­tre back.

“Mbon­geni makes us proud as a fam­ily. For him to play for High­landers, is a big achieve­ment and it needs ded­i­ca­tion. He is ded­i­cated and dis­ci­plined, he is a hard worker. We are happy that he played and scored his first goal. He is still young, he needs our guid­ance,’’ said Bekithemba.

“Our fa­ther has been sup­port­ive even dur­ing my play­ing days. The four of us we are proud to play for High­landers, it shows that there is tal­ent in the fam­ily.”

The for­mer Bosso skip­per, who made it into the High­landers first team un­der Madinda in 1997, is glad that it is the same coach who has given Mbon­geni a taste of top level foot­ball.

“I started my ca­reer un­der Madinda in 1997, and Mbon­geni has also started his ca­reer un­der Madinda. I am happy for him and I know he will he will go far be­cause he is in good hands. Madinda is a very good men­tor with a good eye for the young stars,’’ Bekithemba said.

On what role he has played in his son and young brother’s ca­reers, Bekithemba said dur­ing the off sea­son he takes the young­sters through their paces and cor­rects them when they are mak­ing mis­takes.

When four mem­bers of the same fam­ily have played for the same team, ob­vi­ously the de­bate on who is bet­ter than the other al­ways arises. Bekithemba, a part of the High­landers team which won four cham­pi­onships in a row feels that he achieved a lot and wants Mbon­geni to em­u­late him. He was at High­landers from 1997 up to 2004. “Su­per” left High­landers for South Africa af­ter rep­re­sent­ing Zimbabwe at the 2004 Africa Cup of Na­tions in Tu­nisia. He was to re­turn in 2010 and played up to the fol­low­ing year be­fore he be­came as­sis­tant coach to Kelvin Kaindu in 2012 up to 2013.

“I will never agree that they are bet­ter than me, I won four cham­pi­onships with High­landers so it pushes them to work harder. I want Mbon­geni to achieve more with High­landers, it’s a chal­lenge to him to achieve more than me, and he has to work hard. He has al­ready played for the ju­nior na­tional team, it shows he has a bright fu­ture, I think he will play for na­tional team,’’ said Bekithemba.

He likened Mbon­geni to Brazil and Real Madrid star Marcelo who is equally good in de­fence and in at­tack as shown by the goal he scored last Sun­day.

“I don’t even know how he got there, it shows he is a ver­sa­tile player like Marcelo, he is not afraid.’’

Nkosana is play­ing for Bosso90 which means there is hope of him and Mbon­geni play­ing for the High­landers first team while Du­misani is now train­ing with Tsholot­sho.

For now, Mbon­geni is bask­ing in the glory of be­ing the only fam­ily mem­ber turn­ing out for High­landers, with pres­sure on him to achieve as much with the club as Bekithemba did.

— @Mdaw­ini_29

Mbon­geni Ndlovu (right) with his brother’s son Nkosana

Bekithemba Ndlovu dur­ing his days at High­landers

Du­misani Ndlovu

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