Zimbabwe today celebrates the latest finest player to grace the German Bundesliga after an assassin called Knowledge Musona penned a five-year deal on Thursday to move to Hoffeinhem.
Finest because at his tender age of 21, he has followed in the footsteps of great former Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu, who left for Coventry City in the English Premiership at the age of 18 after playing for just three seasons between 1988 and 1990.
In those three seasons, he was named the best player in the country twice, at one stage sharing the accolade with George Nechironga.
Ndlovu was originally spotted by John Sillett, prior to his official signing from Highlanders by Terry Butcher in July 1991. He made an immediate impact by scoring away goal at Arsenal and then became the toast of Highfield Road with a thunderbolt winner against Aston Villa in November 1991, endearing him to the Sky Blues fans.
Although he would go on to play a major role at several clubs in the second tier, his time at Coventry will always stand out due to its top-flight status. He would play a significant role in two major teams — Bobby Gould’s attacking team of the early 90s and Ron Atkinson-Gordon Strachan’s expansive squad of the mid-late 1990s.
Musona has an array of accolades from Kaizer Chiefs as displayed by his mother Janet in yesterday’s edition and we expect additional medals from his debut Bundesliga season.
While it is obvious that his high-profile signing has attracted attention, it has also put him under a little bit of pressure to achieve at lot, but him being a confident fellow, he states elsewhere in this paper that he will make it in Germany.
He has scored four goals in nine appearances for the Warriors and there is no doubt that 91 more games in Zimbabwe colours will see him surpass Ndlovu’s all-time record of 38 goals. At this rate, it might even take him fewer games.
Ndlovu was disturbed in his bid by that unfortunate haggling between him and former Zifa chairman Leo Mugabe.
Many Zimbabweans have tried their luck in that league — Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo, Ephraim Chawanda, Max Lunga (formerly Makanza), George Mbwando, Farai Mbidzo and Joseph Ngwenya, notable at giants Bayern Munich.
But none of these come close to this phenomenon called the Smiling Assassin. This is the hope of the nation, a hope that should inspire the rest of the boys in the country, more so at Aces Academy.
This is the hope that should inspire Walter, the Musona family’s youngest boy who is already at the academy. This is the same academy that produced Chiefs’ Tinashe “ The General”Nengomasha and they should aspire to produce more.
The Copa Coca-Cola national football championships take place today in Marondera and any serious coach, worth his salt, should be there to see the future of the country. We need more Musonas. Yes, it has taken a decade to produce a star, but let’s keeping doing it.