Boy to Man: The Mutasa Story

Langton Nyakwenda

WISDOM MUTASA was only three-years-old when his father, Lloyd, featured in the 1998 CAF Champions League final under the tutelage of the legendary Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa at Dynamos.

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Eighteen years later, Mutasa finds himself working under the same man who transformed his father from a modest Tanganda Football Club linkman into a national force at DeMbare.

And the 21-year-old Young Warriors skipper, who joined Chidzambwa’s renewal project at ZPC Kariba last month, intends to reach his full potential under the former Warriors mentor.

“I believe all this has a meaning. Working under a coach who was my father’s football lecturer close to 20 years ago is just amazing,” said Mutasa.

“Mhofu is like a grandfather to me, he coached my father to the highest level of African club football and I want to also achieve great things.

“The man has vast knowledge of the game, you can only appreciate it fully once you work with him. All his players can tell you he is a strict disciplinarian,” he said.

Mutasa made the move to ZPC Kariba from Aces Soccer Academy after loan spells with Motor Action, FC Platinum and FC Senica of Slovakia.

But before leaving for Kariba, Wisdom sat down with his father and asked what it was like to work under Chidzambwa.

“My father told me point blank, ‘Son you are going to play for one of the best coaches in Africa so be serious with your football.’

“He advised me to work hard each and every day because Chidzambwa is a strict disciplinarian, a man who wants obedient players,” revealed Mutasa.

The lanky linkman shot to national prominence at age 18 in Motor Action colours on August 15, 2013 with a vintage performance against Dynamos.

A lucrative loan move to FC Platinum was to follow in January 2015 before he broke into Europe alongside long-time friend Walter Musona in August of the same year.

However, they spent only three months at FC Senica, returning home in October without kicking a ball and Mutasa is worried he is slowly disappearing from the national team’s radar.

The Aces Youths Academy product was captain of the Young Warriors squad that qualified for the 2015 All-Africa Games and was part of the senior team that shook Malawi in an Afcon 2017 opener at Kamuzu Stadium in June last year.

He hasn’t featured for the Warriors since then.

“I am not here for a holiday; I have come to work and work more because I want to regain the sharpness that made me one of the best linkmen in the league during the first half of last season.

“I played at FC Platinum, one of the most professionally run teams in this land I should say, but ZPC Kariba are also up there – everything is serious here.

“I have a feeling I was fast disappearing from the scene, especially the time I was on the sidelines following my fruitless move to Europe.

“This year I want to win one of the major trophies with ZPC Kariba then try and break into Europe once again, but this time I promise I will not return,” said Mutasa.

Speaking after an afternoon workout at Nyamhunga last Tuesday, the midfielder also opened up on life in the resort town.

“Life is generally good here, we get to see a lot of wild animals, the dam wall and all the beautiful scenery. But it is too hot here, man, and sometimes scary too. We are always hearing of horror movie-like stories about people who escaped from lions.

“But the culture is almost the same as in Zvishavane where I was last season, it is a small community that loves its game … look today we have a lot of people watching the training session, the numbers are more (on) other days.”

How about finally separating with long-time ally Musona?

“Yeah, it looks weird, moving to a new club without Walter because we have been playing together since our academy days at AYSA.

“We were together at Motor Action, FC Platinum and that brief stint in Slovakia, but I think we are now grown-ups; it’s time show that we are men. I wish him all the luck and he also wishes me well.”

Chidzambwa believes Mutasa’s arrival is key, especially after the departure of the creative Raphael Manuvire for Harare City.

“He is one of the many good players that we have signed, losing Manuvire was a huge blow. But in football players move on, they (with Dennis Dauda) told me of their intentions and when a player seeks greener pastures you don’t deny him. However, we have made key signings and Mutasa is one player I think can fill the void.”

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