The Herald (Harare)

29 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Thrills, Misses @ Rufaro

There was action on and off the pitch amid cheers and jeers from the crowd as musicians failed to kick a stationary ball while others couldn't bang the ball inside the net; such scenes characterised the annual Chipaz Charity Match held at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.

Whenever musicians trade guitars for football boots you are assured of non-stop laughs.

Of course, on a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon you could have been anywhere in Harare, but those that turned up at Rufaro Stadium for the Chipaz Charity Soccer Match must have had a great time.

Now in its sixth year, the match pitted musicians against football legends, all in the name of raising money for the needy.

While the musicians had the stamina, willpower and confidence to go into the match it was a different case when they took to the pitch.

Imagine, when it is easier to score than to miss, a number of musicians chose to miss. But unlike the previous years, this year, the musicians' side had youthful players, mostly urban grooves and dancehall artistes.

And the team did not disappoint after they managed to scrore three goals past veteran goalkeeper Brenna Msiska. The teams drew three all.

The players -Peter Moyo, Jay C of the Dangerzone fame, Jah Prayzah and King Shaddy displayed some beautiful football in attack while in midfield Partson Chimbodza, Josh Hozheri, Victor Kunonga and Last "Tambaoga" Chiangwa made sure the frontline was not starved of balls.

Oliver Mtukudzi and Charles Charamba, who were ably supported on the touchlines by Somandla Ndebele, were all smiles as their "junior policy" yielded results.

However, the football legends - Norman Mapeza, David Mandigora, John Phiri, Agent Sawu and Willard Khumalo - showed a thing or two to the musicians.

The football legends effortlessly passed the ball and kept the game alive with a fine display.

Besides the main match, there were great moments for curtain-raisers especially the female musicians and female journalists who played the Mbare-based team.

Who would think Lady Squanda, Sandra Ndebele, Edith WeUtonga or Sehla Mtombeni were as good on the pitch as well as on the microphone?

Mai Olivia Charamba, who was the coach, had fun giving advice to her charges. She looked awesome in her drapping flowery top and a pair of black slacks.

The unfortunate thing was that the Mbare team comprising professional players struggled to score against a team of amateurs. However, the Mbare team scored the only goal of the match in the second half.

Partson Chimbodza of Chipaz Promotions, the organiser of the match, thanked everyone who attended the match including the sponsors -- Goldtech Electronics, Savanna Tobacco and Harare City Council among others.

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