FORMER Highlanders juniors coach Ali “Baba” Dube has urged the Ndlovu family to be strong in these trying times, following the death of legend Adam “Adamski” Ndlovu and the injury of young, brother Peter in a horrific accident on Sunday morning in Victoria Falls.
REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE SPORTS REPORTER
Adam passed on immediately after the BMW X5 they were travelling in burst a tyre and rammed into a tree on their way to Victoria Falls to participate in a Highlanders legends social match against a local club in the resort town.
Ali Baba (65), who recommended Adam and Peter to the Highlanders senior team then coached by veteran Barry Daka, said he was shocked to hear of Adam’s death, but hoped the family would pull through.
“My sympathies go to the Ndlovu family especial their mother, but these things happen in life and that is the way that God has chosen. They must remain strong. God be with Peter, so that he survives and we continue living with him and enjoy his football. I wish him a speedy recovery,” Dube said.
“When I heard that Adam had passed away at around 6am on Sunday, I could not believe it. I thought it was not true. But I phoned around and it was confirmed. I was devastated. These boys (Adam and Peter) grew up before me. I knew them when they were young and they were very disciplined,” Dube said.
Dube said he coached Adam from the Under-14 juniors to the Under-18s, taking him from Lotshe Primary School. He remembers vividly when the late international striker became top goalscorer at an Under-16 Tournament in Aberdeen, Scotland, and for the Bulawayo Select team that won a provincial tournament.
He said he remembers his deadly combination with Nkululeko Dlodlo in an Under-18 tournament Highlanders played against Dynamos in the late 1980s.
“We went to Harare then and Dynamos beat us 3-0 and when they came to Bulawayo for the second leg, Adam scored twice and Nkululeko scored three goals in the first 20 minutes and Dynamos abandoned that match and left,” Dube said.
“I recommended Adam and Peter to the first team and I remember at that time Barry (Daka) did not want any small boys in the senior team, but I convinced him. Adam was already in the first team when Peter scored two goals in Harare when we were playing against Black Aces. We were losing 2-0, but the game ended in a draw. From there, the two boys were enlisted permanently in the senior team and never looked back,” Dube added.
Dube coached Adamski together with the likes of Dlodlo, the late Makheyi Nyathi and Abraham Mbambo.
Adam and Peter’s elder brother Madinda, is also a product of the Highlanders’ vibrant junior policy that was master-minded by Ali Baba, which also produced Willard “Mashinkila” Khumalo and the late Benjamin Nkonjera, a close friend of the Ndlovu family during his life.