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8 goals in 12 matches! – The rise and royalty of Prince Dube

By Sikhumbuzo Moyo

His first goal for the senior national team came in the 56th minute on June 30, 2017 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in South Africa when the Warriors mauled Seychelles 6-0 in the Cosafa Cup Group B encounter.

Zimbabwe international forward, Prince Dube who plays for Azam in the Vodacom Tanzania Mainland Premier League
Zimbabwe international forward, Prince Dube who plays for Azam in the Vodacom Tanzania Mainland Premier League

He was 19 at the time.

Although he was later on replaced by then teammate at Bosso, Know Mutizwa with four minutes left before fulltime, Prince Dube had announced his arrival on the international scene and with the way he is playing, its safer to conclude that indeed he is still here with us.

Almost a month later after his debut goal, Dube gave the Warriors a one-nil lead on the stroke of half-time in a second leg African Nations Championship (Chan) match against Namibia to level the teams one apiece on aggregate after a shock 0-1 loss by Zimbabwe in the first leg in Windoek.

The qualifier ended in agony though as Zimbabwe crushed out 4-5 after penalty shootouts at the National Sports Stadium.

Dube’s third, fourth and fifth goals in national team colours came in spectacular fashion on August 4, 2019 when he joined an elite list of Warriors players who have scored a hat-trick for the nation.

The Warriors beat Mauritius 3-1 in a Chan qualifier at Barbourfields Stadium with ‘Mgadafi’ scoring all the goals for Zimbabwe, his first coming in the 16th minute, second in the 67th minute and third goal seven minutes before time.

That hat-trick list has the legendary Shackman Tauro, who was the first to score a hat-trick for Zimbabwe in 1982 against Zanzibar.

Ex-Dynamos dribbler Vitalis Takawira followed suit against Cameroon in 1995 and two years later it was Gilbert Mushangazhike against Vietnam. Agent Sawu made his mark against Eritrea in 1999 before the great man himself Peter Ndlovu grabbed one against Swaziland in 2004.

The Warriors had to wait for 13 long years before Knowledge Musona celebrated a hat-trick in a match against Liberia.

‘Mgadafi’ followed up on his hat-trick with a brace the following month against Lesotho as Zimbabwe sealed their place in the Chan finals. Despite all his prowess in the national team, Prince was still being overlooked with the coaches preferring the foreign- based players, regardless of whether they were getting game time or not.

Even at club level at Tanzania’s Azam, the 23-year- old has been in terrific form, scoring an incredible seven goals and providing five assists in only 10 games, Prince was still deemed only good enough for the bench in the first leg of the Total Caf Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Algeria last Thursday. The Warriors fell 1-3 with coach Zdravko Logarusic having cast doubt on the former Highlanders striker’s scoring prowess. Loga argued that the Tanzanian

League was not competitive enough.

On Monday, with the Warriors trailing 1-2 and time certainly not on his side, the Croat turned to the player from the Tanzanian League. With just 17 seconds on the field of play, Prince jerked the Zimbabwean bench.

From where he was, it was clear that the boy had positioned himself well, hence some analysts will tell you that he is gifted with positional intelligence, that you cant take away from him.

Now records speak for themselves, eight goals in 12 appearances for the national team, an average of 1.5 goals per match, is what any coach, except Loga before Monday’s account, can never ignore in a player.

Read Mathew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” The Chronicle

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