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.