The Sunday Mail
We know Eddie “Mboma” Nyatanga as the football-mad Warrior’s supporter. But he is also a serious businessman who owns several properties in Harare.
However, it’s the football face that Nyatanga has shown the world the most, with the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association life vice-president arguably one of the most powerful men in local soccer.
The 55-year-old’s straight talking approach has seen him step on some toes but he remains undeterred, unflinching.
Last week, The Sunday Mail columnist VaShagare said this no-frills way of doing his business makes Mboma the “King of Dzungu”.
Of course, this did not sit well with Nyatanga and in chat about the column, he wondered why being frank had attracted VaShagare’s ire.
While conceding to having his weaknesses, like everyone else, Nyatanga says he is able to call it as he sees it because he is not in football for money hence there is no need for him to bootlick anyone.
“I am not into football for money, it is about passion. I am a millionaire already, in fact I made my first million dollars five years after Independence,” declared Nyatanga.
“I have houses in the leafy suburbs of Harare, right now I stay in Borrowdale Brooke and not many people know that I have a degree in Business Studies acquired in Nigeria.
“It is Nigeria that I got this idea of forming a supporters association, the people of Nigeria are passionate about their Super Eagles and it is that passion that I brought home along with my degree.
“I have also worked in key Government sectors, very few people still remember I was once a director in the exports and import department,” he said.
Asked why the world seems knew more Mboma the football lover than Nyatanga the businessman, he – typically – pulled no punches.
“Money doesn’t make noise,” he said. “In football noise is the soundtrack that is why you always see me in the papers expressing my opinion without worrying about who will get affected by it.
“The football side of me makes noise because the constituency I lead expects that, they expect me to tell (Zifa president Phillip) Chiyangwa to go to hell when he messes up. And that is something I can afford to do because I am a man who is worth his salt. I don’t make statements to curry favour with anyone; I am a servant of the game.
“Former Zifa president Wellington Nyatanga is my brother but when the fans felt that he was leading us down the drain I stood up to him and defended the game; that is Eddie Nyatanga for you and I make no apologies.”
As the Young Warriors gear up for the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifier against Cameroon at the National Sports Stadium in Harare this afternoon, Nyatanga has called on Zimbabweans to rally behind the “stars of tomorrow”.
“Let’s support the youngsters, they are the future. We cannot talk of World Cup 2022 without mentioning the current Young Warriors. Our Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has brought unity in the game and things are moving in the right direction.
“The Mighty Warriors qualified for both the Olympics and the African Women’s Nations Cup finals, the Warriors are on the verge of qualifying for the 2017 Afcon finals so the baton has been passed onto the Young Warriors.
“They should keep the fire burning, but for them to achieve that we should all go in thousands to the National Sports and cheer them.
“Forget about the differences among the supporters, this is not about who is leading the supporters it is about national duty,” said Nyatanga.