Sancho speaks to Norman Gumbo: Former Zimbabwe Saints midfielder
In this series of exclusive interviews, South Africa based Zimbabwean football player turned commentator and journalist, Sancho Zamorano interviews UK based 1988 championship winning Zimbabwe Saints midfield maestro Norman Gumbo.
Sancho: “Pana Norman “Hombarume” Gumbo, kuri kuhalf yevakomana veChauya Chikwata kwakadziva kustand yeSoweto…Rufaro vanoiti Vietnam……”
NG: hahahaha ….those were good old days
Sancho: Choga Gavhure really liked you hey, i even went on to be your young brother’s friend Nkosana “Sancho” Gumbo.
NG: hahaha…is that why you are Sancho too?
Sancho: Kind of…… though my real name from birth is Sanction so most of my friends liked to call me “Sancho”.
Sancho: Thanks Hombarume, why did they call you that name?
NG: Honestly…I’m not sure…i don’t know were Choga got it from.
Sancho: Blaz mairova doro here muri kuSaints that time? Who were the sober men in ur team?
NG: Mayor Eric…Dave Sibanda,Stanley Mutasa…John Sibanda (but later joined the boozers)…Agent also…but now he drinks.
Sancho: Hey linkman where are these legends George Ayibu, Misheck Sibanda, Obey Sova, Jimmy Phiri, Chemi Hunidzarira, Garikayi Rwodzi, Innocent Rwodzi, Josphart “Mazhambe” Humbasha?
NG: Chemmie is in Botswana,….Gari is in Byo (church elder…madzibaba)…. Mazhambe is living somewhere in SA. George, Obey, Shakes.. Inno Rwodzi are all late. Jimmy is a “mufundisi” in Sizinda …Byo…i understand he lost his right arm at work.
Sancho: Shame…..those were great players….and all these players who was ur buddy?Who was a good player?
NG: hahahaha….my buddies were Obey and Ben Nzelengwe…we did everything together….I cant single out one very good player as the team was spoilt with talented players.
Sancho: Any left sided players besides Joe Machingura?
NG: Bully….Obey…Dave Sibanda all were operating on that flank.
Sancho: oh I had forgotten the Bully though his left foot to me was not that clever….Any dribbling wizards besides Joe Machingura in this team?
NG: We had team players mostly…..only Joe and maybe Ajira enjoyed dribbling.
Sancho: Who was the fastest of all in a 100m dash?
NG: Melusi was the fastest and the fittest in the team.
Sancho: oh Nkiwane? i thought Joe Machingura was the fastest?
Sancho: Are you only 3 brothers …yourself, Rahman and Sancho?
NG: we have other 2 brothers Charles and Jimmy.
Sancho: oh ok….so where did you grow up in Byo? Where is ur rural home? How many are you in ur family?
NG: We are a football family….my late father had his own team Njube United….we all started playing for the team from U12 going up…..We were 10 in our family …5 brothers and 5 sisters…lost one sister.
Sancho: Oh so sorry Hombarume…..so did you ever meet Choga Tichatonga in person?
NG: Yeah ….many times….we used to hang around with him when we were in Harare. Evans Mambara also was a good friend of mine and Obey.
Sancho:….oh ok Lt General Mambara what a character he was, so Cde Choga how was he as a person?
NG: Very nice….always laughing ….liked cracking jokes..didn’t drink alcohol but would hang around till early hours of the morning.
Sancho: Great……so you only played for Zim Saints only or what?
NG: Had a year loan spell at Eagles…later went to Botswana.
Sancho: All of ur brothers who was the best?
NG: Tough one hey…….not sure.We had that debate last December when i came to visit Zim.
Sancho: But who could you pick first in your team?
NG: Very difficult….we had different strengths all of us.
Sancho: You played a defensive linkman is it? Rahman striker then linkman, Sancho linkman also as a left-back.
NG: Yep…..all versatile
Sancho: In the championship winning side which position did you play?
NG: Roy Barreto encouraged us to be versatile…..I played left..right..central midfield…..I remember one time in Harare i played twin center-back with Melusi as Ephraim Rocky Chawanda was away on trials in Germany.
Sancho: Who was the captain in that 1988 team?
NG: Jimmy was…..guess what….i was speaking to Roger Russel and Aubrey Sauramba just now #excited#
Sancho: Oh great stuff Hombarume….oh i told Ephraim Rocky Chawanda that you said he was a “colour TV”. He told me without doubt it was Norman Gumbo who told you hahahahaha….soon will be chatting to captain Ephraim Rocky Chawanda.
NG: Thanks Sancho…please say hi to him Rocky.
Sancho: I will do that, it was a pleasure talking to you Hombarume.
NG: Thanks my man……
This was the interview I had with the 1988 Chauya Chikwata championship winning linkman Norman Gumbo who also happens to be ex-Bosso, Eagles and Zimbabwe soccer player Rahman Gumbo’s brother….he also had a brother who played for Zimbabwe Saints and Delma Lupepe’s side Amazulu. Nkosana “Sancho” Gumbo who was also my best friend.