HomeSportI wanted to be a medical doctor — Nyangela

I wanted to be a medical doctor — Nyangela

His childhood dream was to become a medical doctor but sadly his parents could not send him to school beyond grade seven.

yesteryear profile with MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

Maronga Nyangela
Maronga Nyangela

But Maronga “Der Bomber” Nyangela had an innate football gift and in the end he had to follow a football dream.

Starting off as a defensive midfielder before moving to an attacking midfield position, Nyangela ended up as a “doctor” in the art of scoring goals.

“My dream was to become a doctor but my father had challenges in providing school fees for us back in the day. I was very brilliant in class but after grade seven my father told me he was no longer going to pay school fees for me,” the former prolific goal getter told Standardsport in an exclusive interview last week.

“That’s when I thought I could carve a career in football, the only other thing I was good at. I even tried to further my education at Harare High School going for night school but the schedule was too hectic for me since we often finished training late in the evening so I stopped,” Nyangela added.

“I am happy that one of my sons, the first born Tendai, managed to become a doctor. He is a veterinary student at University of Zimbabwe. I would also like to believe I was a doctor in scoring goals,” he said.

Currently an assistant coach at high riding premier league returnees Black Rhinos, Nyangela kicked off his top flight football career at Black Aces in 1982.

Coming from the social leagues in Mbare, Nyangela recalls how it took him only 15 minutes to charm the then Black Aces coaches Clever Hunda, Shadreck Ngwenya and Zoom Rambai.

“A guy by the name Boniface Makuruse saw me play social soccer at Mbare No. 5 grounds and told me to come for trials at Aces. Back in the day you would work on other things for a few minutes before you are put in teams, the reserves against the first 11.

“I was placed in the reserves team and in those 15 minutes I tested Brenna Msiska four times. After those 15 minutes I was changed to first team and I never looked back since then,” the 56-year-old former goal poacher said.

It was then that Nyangela was positioned as a striker and he obliged, scoring 19 goals in the 1983 season.

The late Ashton “Papa” Nyazika, the Zimbabwe under-20 coach lured Nyangela to an ambitious star-studded Black Rhinos project.

“Nyazika made an offer I could not resist. I was going to play with stars such as Stanley Ndunduma, Stix Mtizwa, Hamid Dhana and I was also promised a job in the army. I joined Black Rhinos and we gained promotion into the league. in our first top flight football won the title and the Zifa Cup,” Nyangela said.

Nyangela also led Black Rhinos to the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Champions now known as the Caf Champions League.

In 1987 he won the golden boot after scoring 29 goals in another title winning exploit, making up for the previous season where he had scored 28 goals, but could not catch up with Dynamos’ Moses Chunga who scored over 40.

Nyangela shared the award again with the late Highlanders great Adam Ndlovu in 1993 after scoring 24 goals apiece.

Der Bomber shared a few notes from his school of scoring goals.

“A good striker should be like a pick-pocket, a thief. You never show the victim your intentions; you just see where the wallet is and take it. You strike when they least expect it,” he said.

“A striker should employ that element of surprise and to be able to do that he has to be mobile all the time that’s how I used to score goals.

“Top strikers also have to be able to get goals from both feet. When the ball is coming from the right you use the right foot when it’s coming from the left its best to use the left.

“Strikers nowadays close their eyes when heading the ball. The header is more perfect than the leg because eyes are closer to the ball and all you need is to direct where you wanted it to go.

“I don’t know what is wrong with today’s strikers, they watch international football a lot more than we did but they still cannot score goals. I think they just lack that striker’s instinct,” he lamented.

Nyangela hung up his boots in 1996 to coach the Black Rhinos juniors before an opportunity to coach Buffaloes presented itself a few years later.

He helped Buffaloes to the premier league in 1999 but the team only lasted two seasons in top flight football.

The former Masvingo United assistant coach also spoke about Black Rhinos’ current form which has evoked the memories of the class of 1984.

“The first thing I can say about the current Rhinos team is that there is unity from the executive right down to the technical team led by Mtizwa and also among the players.

“I think we currently have the best technical team with Gift Makoni and Jack Mtandagayi (former top defenders), Stix, one of the best midfielders to come out of Zimbabwe and myself a top striker during my time while Britto Gwere is doing a splendid job with the goalkeepers,” he said.

“We agreed when we were still in Division One last year that we want to emulate the class of ’84 that won the league coming from the lower league. We are not surprised with our position. We told the guys that if we did it they can do it too,” Nyangela revealed.

Nyangela’s dream as a player was to play for the national team and he ticked that box. Now he relishes coaching any of the national teams.

He currently holds a Zifa level 4 coaching certificate.

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