If caught, Mutuma and other kids from surrounding schools, Mopani and Commoner, were assured of at least five whips on their backs. This is what Mutuma had to endure in his youth as he, like most youths in the suburb, was used to stealing mangoes in the orchards.
The beatings failed to instil discipline in the youngster or to shed off that bad boy image, but instead, they hardened him. With his lanky frame, twisted ginger hair and shorts dropped below the waist, Mutuma is one of the most talkative players in the field of play who has, on a number of occasions, found himself on the wrong side of the law with referees.
For his goal scoring prowess, Mutuma is not one to miss engaging in arguments with referees even in cases where the decision is to his advantage. His rebellious nature, has resulted in him raking the most number of yellow cards as much as he was also topping the goal scorers’ charts.
The six yellow cards, four shot of table topper, Chicken Inn’s Hebert Dick, saw him disqualified for the 2011 Castle Lager Premier Soccer Stars of the Year finalists that were announced last weekend.
However, his 14 league goals and a couple in the cup games has endeared himself with the Dynamos fans. No doubt Mutuma has been a revelation at DeMbare in 2011 soccer season.
The million dollar question remains: Is he going to go the same way as former Dynamos star Stanley Chirambadare who never graced the calendar because of indiscipline?
WHO IS RODRICK MUTUMA
Born on April 5 1988, Mutuma grew up in Mvuma with no passion for football at all until he transferred from Njerere Primary School in Mvuma to Mopani Primary School in Zhombe.
The school (Mopani) was once owned by the nickel mine but was later handed to parents in the surrounding areas when the mine stopped operating in the early 80s.
Mutuma came to Mopani when he was in Grade Five and from what he saw in the ghost mining town, he developed interest of playing football at that tender age.
“I used to admire some youngsters of my age when we grew up in the mining town which was known for producing raw talent, and then I said to myself, I should play football,” Mutuma said.
Mutuma proceeded to Nyaradzo Secondary School for his junior certificate level before transferring back to Mvuma where he completed his Ordinary Level at Leopold Takawira Secondary School in 2002.
Rodrick Mutuma’s professional football career begins
In 2003, the long journey started as he joined Mvuma Stars, a Division Two side. He played three seasons for the club before moving to Zim Alloys, a Division One side based in Gweru.
Mutuma could not stay there for long as the nomadic striker joined Mimosa when it was still in Division One. Once again the ginger haired striker was not satisfied as he moved from Mimosa to join Bulawayo based side Quelaton who got promoted into the top flight league this season.
In 2010 he was back again to his favourite hunting ground Gweru, where he joined Division One side BVM in the middle of the season. Heavens opened for the unheralded youngster when he was signed by DeMbare at the beginning of the 2011 soccer season.
This saw him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Desmond Maringwa, George Magariro, Milton Makopa and Cuthbert Malajila, some of the players he used to admire when he was growing up.
“I knew it was coming. A lot of people used to tell me that KuZhombe hakuna kumboita munhu webhora, but I have proved them wrong. You know Dadirai Dube who played for Darryn T and Rhinos Mapfumo who played for Bata Powers came from Zhombe,” Mutuma said
“I really want to salute my teammates, management, executive and the fans for believing in me and the maximum support that I got from them. It has been a fantastic season for me as I have won a number of awards more than any other player in his debut season.”
Mutuma has since promised fans a better account in this year’s Champions League as they now have the much needed experience. “We are going to play in the champion’s league. This year I made my first appearance in the Champions League. I had no experience, but now I have proved myself in the league by winning the Golden Boot Award with 14 goals. I hope to take the same form to the Champion’s League next year.”