HIGHLANDERS legend and renowned music producer Tymon Mabaleka nicknamed The Whitehorse, has died.
Mabaleka died in Harare yesterday morning, although finer details of his passing on are still sketchy.
His former chairman at Highlanders, Ndumiso Gumede, now the Bosso chief executive officer, said he was deeply saddened by the passing on of Mabaleka.
“I want to pass my condolences to his family on this sad day. He was an excellent player on and off the field of play and had an excellent personality. He was always in the thick of things in the midfield at Highlanders, but I don’t remember any day he ever got a red card and that is one of the reasons he was known as the Whitehorse.
“Were it not for people like him, Highlanders could not have been what it is today. As the Highlanders family, we are deeply saddened by this. My family and his family used to go to the same Seventh Day Adventist Church in Harare where he had moved to after being promoted by Grammar Records. Most of the songs by legend Lovemore Majaivana were produced by him,” Gumede said yesterday.
He added: “So I knew him both as my player and as a close family friend.”
In 1973, Mabaleka was part of the Highlanders team that won the Chibuku Trophy, beating high profile Mangula (later known as Mhangura) at Rufaro Stadium.
Players who clinched the honours included Ananias Dube, Billy Sibanda, Kenny Ngulube, Edward Dzowa, Andrew Jele, Tommy Masuku, Lawrence Phiri, Josiah Nxumalo, Geoffrey Mpofu, Boet Van As, Gavin Dubely, Bruce Grobbelaar, Barry Daka and British export Tony McIlveen, among others.
Grobbelaar went on to make his name at English Premiership giants Liverpool and also captained the Warriors at some stage. Daka is still coaching in the Botswana beMobile Premier League.
In the music world, the Whitehorse produced Majaivana’s Salanini Zinini, which had songs like the title track, Kuleliyani’zwe Dabuka Mhlaba, Nkazana, Uzakufa Kubi, Isambane, Simoni ka Jona, Inyoka, Indlela and Ubaba Wafa. He produced the late Solomon Skhuza’s Medelina and Intombi. He also produced Ebony Sheikh’s Emhlabeni Kunzima, Shepherd Chinyani, and the Vhuka Boys’ Mai Vakakosha, Pakuyambuka by Leonard Zhakata, the late John Chibadura’s collection, The Essentials, Kassongo Band’s Bana Kassongo and the Zimbabwe People’s Band’s Wale Walio among others.