‘Rosen is smiling from his grave’
Premiership football but struggled with kit. I was too small so I had to roll up the shorts and tuck the jersey in so that I could run,” recalled Matawu.
At Motor Action, Matawu played alongside Prince Matore who later became his coach after the midfielder returned from a short stint in Poland. Francis “Gazza” Jeyman, Salim Milanzi, Alisara Kondowe, Tinashe “Father” Nengomasha, Alvin Ndunduma, Mavuto Chapani, Mike Bingadadi and Edmore Mufema were also part of the team. All have long since retired. At the Mighty Bulls, Matawu was a favourite of club owners Eric and Liz Rosen.
“My story would not be complete without mentioning the Rosen family, Eric the late and my other mum Elizabeth. They taught me the virtues of life and took me in as their own son. Up to now I still get in touch with Mai Rosen, she is a good mother,” said Matawu.
In 2009 Matawu was shipped to Poland thanks to Wieslaw Grabowski’s influence and played for Division One side Podbeskidzie Bielsko Biala until June 2010. He moved a rung up into the Ekstraklasa, Poland’s top flight league, where he featured for Polonia Bytom until 2011.
However, injuries dogged Matawu and he retraced his footsteps to Motor Action, before moving to Chicken Inn in 2013 where he won the only Premiership medal of his 16-year journey in 2015.
Although his stint in Poland was short-lived Matawu, looks back at it without regrets.
“I would need the whole day to talk about the enormous experience I got LIZ ROSEN reckons her late husband Eric is smiling in his grave as Clement Matawu continues to do business in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
Matawu joined the now defunct Motor Action in 2001 and was last week celebrated as one of the best players to have played in the top flight since its formation 25 years ago.
“I know Eric is definitely smiling,” said Liz. “Of all the players we had at Motor Actio,n this boy still stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s been 16 years since he made his debut but Clement still has that hunger, continues to work hard and most importantly he is a gentleman on an off the pitch.”
Liz revealed how Matawu warmed his way into Eric’s heart.
“Mr Rosen had a very soft spot for Clement and treated him like his son. He took care of his educational needs from Form One from Poland. That was the best moment in my football life. I learnt most of the personal training techniques I follow religiously in that country.”
Matawu, who enjoys a bottle of wine once in a while, also appears to benefit from being a student of Sports Science and Coaching at the National University of Science and Technology.
“Sport is scientific and needs to be studied. I am a sports person and I want to take the route of sports science when I hang up my boots,” said the midfielder.
With the 2017 race going into the last four games, and Chicken Inn still in with a chance to win it, Matawu doesn’t want to talk about the end of this campaign.
“We will judge our season at the end of it, now it’s still premature,” he said. till the time he completed his studies at Churchill. He was so proud of him. Matawu became part of our family together with his family.
“What made Eric love the boy so much was the fact that the boy is disciplined, very respectful and always loyal. His (attitude to) alcohol and smoking could be one of the secrets that has made him the player that he is today,” she said.
Although the Mighty Bulls are out of business, Liz said she drew satisfaction from seeing former Motor Action players like Matawu, Passmore Bernard and Charles Sibanda among the PSL’s leading lights.
“I always follow the careers of our former players but I have special interest in Clement because he is my son. Once again he has had a good season and I hope he caps it all by winning this year’s league title,” she said.