The Sunday Mail
IF it’s not his choice of dressing, then it’s about his gaiety even in the face of a storm.
On another day it’s about Lloyd “MaBlanyo” Chigowe’s astonishing vocabulary during pre and post-match interviews.
And all the time it is about the man roped in at the 11th hour to save Dynamos Football Club from relegation from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
Soon after taking over the reigns from Lloyd Mutasa, 54-year-old Chigowe told Dynamos players to be “hyper-critical” of themselves, immediately calling the errant Denver Mukamba to order.
“When (Mukamba) behaves like the other 28 registered players, he will be considered but if he wants to play the prima donna then we will not demoralise the whole team because of one man,” charged Chigowe in September.
Prima donna and humdinger are words Chigowe throws out with ease, something rare in a football league where eloquence is as plentiful as a chicken’s teeth.
“Yes, people are so fond of my vocabulary but very few know that I studied journalism at CCOSA in Harare back in 1989.
“I even had a short attachment stint with The Herald newspaper in 1990,” Chigowe tells The Sunday Mail Sport ahead of Dynamos’ crucial league match against Triangle at Rufaro this afternoon.
DeMbare are in the eye of a storm, with four key players suspended for indiscipline last week leaving Chigowe to work with just 13 senior infield players at training at Motor Action Sports Club.
“I do not know how I will come up with an 18-man squad for the Triangle game but I guess we will have to do the best with what we have,” says Chigowe.
With 40 points from 31 games, DeMbare need a point to survive the chop as they take on a strong Triangle side that dumped them out of the Chibuku Super Cup at the same venue last Sunday.
MaBlanyo is unfazed, and even has time to talk about his life outside of football.
“Besides having a journalism qualification, I also have a diploma in Human Resources Management and another one in Business Studies from Harare Polytechnic, so that should tell you why I am a natural leader and an astute man-manager,” he reveals.
Save for last week’s upheaval which resulted in the suspension of skipper Marshal Machazane, Peace Makaha, Obey Mwerahari and Kingston Nkatha, Chigowe has been credited for restoring self-belief in otherwise average DeMbare players.
Dynamos are on a three-match winning streak in the league, the first time they have done so in 2018, and Chigowe is a favourite for the October Coach of the Month Award.
Three wins against Caps United, Black Rhinos and Herentals have given the Harare side a lift.
“Experience has taught me a lot, being someone who has gone through the coaching mill. I have learnt to live with pressure. In this game, if you can’t take it then you have to get out of the kitchen,” he says.
“The only reason I took a backseat and didn’t go into mainstream coaching is that I have my little girls who were keen on attaining high educational qualifications and they needed me to do some running around.
“Now that they have acquired most of what they aimed for, I think it’s time to show what I am truly made of.”
The lanky gaffer was born in Mbare and now lives in his Highfield house with 49-year-old wife Thandiwe.
Chigowe’s eldest daughter Chido (26) has a Social Science degree, Danai (24) is into film production while Rutendo (20) is doing a Diploma in Designing.
“Lloyd Junior, the youngest, is doing secondary school at Hebron in Masvingo. I don’t want him to grow the ghetto way like I did in Mbare. I am a family man and my wife is also affected by the pressure and ridicule that I sometimes endure at Dynamos.
“But above all I have massive respect for my mother Laina Musonza for allowing me to pursue football when I was also brilliant at school,” says Chigowe.
What about his dressing? Does he have any formal wear?
“Now is not the time for suits and luxury, it’s time to work so I must put on the work suit, which in this case is the track suit!” he laughs.
“By the way, don’t forget to mention that Devon Chafa is my nephew, his mother is my blood sister. I am the one who showed him the way football-wise back in Mbare when he was still a child,” is his parting shot.