IT is every person’s hope to have their dream come true and when it does, there is every reason to celebrate.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
That was how former Dynamos and Motor Action striker Edmore Mufema approached August 3 2003, when coach Keegan Mumba handed him his debut in Dynamos colours against Lancashire Steel.
To put icing on the cake, Dynamos won the match 2-1 with Agent Sawu and Eddie Mashiri on target to mount the challenge for the championship.
However, Mufema had not prepared for what was to follow 16 days later, as Dynamos were ducked three points for illegally using him in that match.
Mufema’s previous paymasters Motor Action had complained that he still had a running contract with them.
Subsequently, Dynamos lost the championship by three points to Amazulu and Mufema was handed a four-month ban and a Z$400 000 fine for accepting Z$5million from Motor Action and then signed for Dynamos.
“Mazondo,” as Mufema was popularly known owing to his strong legs, was charged with contravening section 20.3.4 of the league’s constitution, by behaving “in a manner, which brings the league or any of its sponsors into disrepute…”
Thus, the Mbare-born striker, who is now a member of the Light the World Ministries, earned himself the tag “controversial” and to this very day, the incident still haunts him.
“That was the lowest moment in my career and it destroyed me. Dynamos could have won the championship that season and the supporters started blaming me. Today it still pains me because I do not understand how soccer is run in this country,” he said, reflecting on his career.
However, like the proverbial phoenix that rises from the ashes, Mufema recovered his scoring prowess netting 17 times to win the Golden Boot Award in 2005, after he had retraced his roots to Motor Action.
“Winning the Golden Boot with Motor Action in 2005 was the major highlight of my career locally. In a way, it soothed the bitterness that witnessed my move to Dynamos in 2003,” said Mufema who is back in the country recuperating from a knee injury.
In 2007, he was lured by coach Luke Masomere to Botswana’s Gaborone United together with Sageby Sandaka and Itai Gwandu. The three helped the club finish on a credible fourth position after a slow start.
“Winning the Golden Boot and the League championship with Gaborone United was the crowning moment for me,” said the 2005 Soccer Star of the Year finalist.
However, Mufema, who is recovering from an injury, said his heart is bleeding as he watches his former team Motor Action fight relegation.
“I am really saddened that my former team Motor Action is on the verge of being relegated. If only I had fully recovered from my knee injury, I would help them stay in the league. I have started some light training though,” he said.
Mufema, who is now a free agent, said he is willing to join any of the big three teams in Zimbabwe next season.
“I want to end my career at a big club here in Zimbabwe,” said Mufema, who turned 36 in August. “I am now a free agent and willing to join a local team next season, preferably Dynamos, Highlanders or CAPS United. I am available to bang goals again. I believe I am still a good player.”
Whether fans will once again experience the wild celebrations after he scores a goal in the local premiership, time will tell.