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Mighty Warriors’ goal-scoring machine

FOR someone who grew up playing football in the streets with the boys, competing with other girls became way too easy.

yesteryear profile with MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

Nomsa Moyo poses on the pitch

Nomsa Moyo poses on the pitch

No wonder her career record for the senior national women football team, the Mighty Warriors, reads 76 goals in 56 appearances.

No other Mighty Warriors striker has ever been more prolific in front of goal than Nomsa “Boyz” Moyo, who spent 11 years bagging them in for the women’s team until she retired in 2012.

Interestingly, Moyo’s childhood dream was to be a medical doctor, but fate had other plans for her.

“I wanted to be doctor when I was a little girl but I ended up as a footballer. When I started playing football, my dreams suddenly changed and I was now dreaming about playing football outside the country. I used to watch teams like Germany and England women playing and I said to myself, one day I want my family to watch me playing football on TV also,” Moyo told Standardsport in an exclusive interview.

Her family did watch her on television and she also took her football career to South Africa.

Although she did not play in Europe, she lived some of her childhood dreams.

Moyo’s father Kay Castone Mbanje used to be a football coach in Bulawayo while his brother Michael played football for Mbalabala side Shooting Stars and the two exposed her to a lot of football.

Soon she joined the boys in the dusty streets of Nguboyenja while other girls indulged in feminine games.

Rumour has it that Moyo played for the boys’ team at Lozikeyi Primary School and even represented Sobukhazi Secondary School in an official competition before she was found out.

“Yes, it’s true,” she authenticated the story. “I played in the school team with boys. I remember at Sobukhazi that I once played for the boys’ team in a Peter Ndlovu Tournament before it was discovered that I was a girl and barred from playing,” Moyo revealed.

“Even now, I am currently playing in the Bulawayo Legends team which has the likes of former national team players such as Herbert Dick, Joel Luphahla and Ronald Sibanda, among many others,” she added.

Moyo eventually joined Bulawayo-based Zimbabwe women football giants New Orleans, with whom she won a number of trophies and countless goals.

At the age of 17, she made her debut for the Mighty Warriors against Namibia in 2000 and the team won 11-0 at home.

The team then had players such as captain Rosemary Mugadza, Anniemore Konje, Ruth Banda, Precious Mpala, Talent Zulu, Fungai Nyamutukwa, Siduduzile Nkomo, Sithethelelwe Sibanda and Sithandekile Mathobela, to mention just a few.

The same year she scored four goals in one match against Lesotho in an Africa women championships qualifier at Rufaro.

Despite scoring many goals for the women national team, she vividly remembers her best two.

“My best goals were first against Uganda in 2000 in South Africa, that was our first time to play in the Africa Women Cup of Nations and the goal was from 45 metres out. In 2004 I scored against South Africa as we earned a historic 2-1 win, our first against them,” the 33-year-old former striker said.

There was nothing lady-like about Moyo, especially in the field of play and it was no surprise when she earned the nickname “Boyz”.

“I was nicknamed “Boyz” by my coach Benedict Moyo at the national team because of how I could motivate my follow mates in the field of play as a ‘brave guy’. And also my behaviour and character was boy-like, maybe because I played with boys my entire childhood so I have always been like that,” she said.

In 2008 Moyo went to South Africa for a couple of seasons where she played for Ama-Indies and subsequently retired from international football in 2012 after helping the Mighty Warriors win the Cosafa Cup.

Although the team she played in did not qualify for the Olympics then, Moyo reckons that the Mighty Warriors team at the turn of the century was better than the current one.

“Our team was better despite the fact that we did not qualify for the Olympics. If we had the chance to play the qualifiers, I tell you we could have qualified in 2000. Remember we were the only senior football team to qualify for Afcon and we even finished fourth,” Moyo argued.

Moyo is currently working with Collin Nyamubayi at his academy, The Young Flying Stars alongside Master Masiku and Siza Khoza.

A holder of a level four coaching certificate, Moyo, who is also an administrator with Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, coached a boys’ side EM Sports Academy in the Zifa Bulawayo province division 3 and she has also coached former club New Orleans.

Currently, Moyo is chasing another football-related dream.

“I want to have a football institution named after me that nurtures and develops players, both boys and girls and I am working towards that,” she said.

Ironically, her Grade 5 son Denzel is a keen footballer in school but for reasons best known to her, Moyo would rather have her son pursue something else other than football, maybe a medical profession.

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