A homecoming friendly match for footballer-turned pastor Colin Semwayo is set to light up Gweru on Saturday.
REPORT BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The match slated for Ascot Stadium would see Gweru United playing against Friends of Colin who would be mainly comprised of Highlanders legends.
The former Under-20, Gweru United and Caps United football star would feature for both sides in either half.
Willard Khumalo and Paul Gundani are coordinating the Friends of Colin.
Twenty four years after he left Zimbabwe, Semwayo returns to the country from his US base on Thursday, for an emotional reunion with his old teammates.
Now a pastor with Zion Huts International Ministries, Semwayo would also be a keynote speaker at the Homecoming Church Conference in Gweru.
A braai event dubbed Taste of Mambo at Shumba Youth Club in Mambo Township is part of the day’s activities. Event organiser Edmos Pazvakavambwa said they were now waiting for Semwayo’s arrival.
“This is just a way of welcoming home our brother Colin. He left for America without getting a proper opportunity to bid goodbye. We also want to celebrate his contribution to football with him, especially in Gweru,” Pazvakavamba said.
Featuring for Gweru United would be club legends like Alexander Useni, Themba Chingwena, Kiddo Matsika, Nobert Sebastian, Ranga Mutunga, Roseman Dracko, Sam Ushe, Robert Phiri and Ishamel Meki.
Semwayo was an instrumental force in the Gweru United side of the 1980s that made visits to Ascot Stadium scary for many teams in the then Super League.
“It is a thank you gesture to family, friends, and my soccer fans, who have contributed to my life in profound ways. So we are inviting the public to come, eat and celebrate my homecoming after decades of being away. Overarching this event is Christ, who has been gracious to all of us over the years,” said Semwayo.
After six seasons at Gweru United and one at Caps United, Semwayo cut his football career short in 1989 to pursue a career in aviation engineering in the US.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and a PhD in the same studies from the same institution.
“Life has twists and turns. After successes as an aviation research engineer, I went through a heart wrenching divorce and this turned me to Christ for soul searching. I gave up engineering and went into seminary,” Semwayo said. This is how he now has a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Baptist Theological Seminary, a Masters of Theology (ThM) from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Currently, he is in the last phase of his PhD work in Old Testament Studies at Dallas Seminary where he also serves as a teaching assistant in Biblical Hebrew.