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Rahman Gumbo – A Football Man… a true legend of football in Zimbabwe

I attended that blockbuster match when the newly christened Dream Team put the recently assembled Bafana BAFANA who were returning from years of international isolation due to the racist policies of the Apartheid Regime to the sword.

Rahman Gumbo, “Rush ” contributed to the joy with a thirty meter thunderbolt!

What a hit that was and it sent the 60 000 fans into delirium! We were in football heaven!

In my discussion with legend Moses Chunga he asked me in his usual intelligent way..

“What is a legend .?!”

I felt trapped by the question..where is this leading to, I wondered?

Bemused by my confusion he decided to help me out…

“Legend = legacy !” he said!

Allow me to say “Bla Ra “as many called Rahman Gumbo, is a true legend of Zimbabwe football.

From his early days at Eagles FC when he was an out and out striker, to Bosso where he earned the nickname “Rush” for banging them home while playing as an attacking midfielder, to Cyprus, and the National team his legacy is indeed secure.

His National Team days (Dream Team ) will be remembered for this thunderbolt Vs BAFANA BAFANA. He will also be remembered for the raging debate which engulfed the Nation..”Razorman” or “Rush?”

Fabisch decided to go with “Rush”

It is fair to say some fans were not happy. But such is the nature of football, hard choices are made and they cannot please everyone!

After hanging up his boots he went straight into coaching.

His coaching pedigree was cemented at Bosso.. 2 league titles on the trot, now that’s LEGACY in capital letters!!

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Legend Blessing Gumiso credits him for converting him into a defensive midfielder of note. Initially he had joined Highlanders as an attacking midfielder. Rahman ‘s football eyes saw the potential and he partnered him with another defensive linchpin, Charles Chilufya.

That Bosso midfield was unplayable!!

He later came to Caps United with great expectations but did not exactly conquer, Motor Action , FC Platinum and Chicken Inn . The league titles eluded him.

He also had a stint with the National team but the Okocha show at the NSS put paid to his short spell.

He also coached in Malawi where he won a title.

Then he went to Botswana and in this Nation he was highly regarded. He was a Football Ambassador and won titles.

Unfortunately at his last job, he did not last long.

After 6 matches he was relieved of his duties and barely a week later he suffered a heart attack.

Did it have anything to do with the sacking?

We will never know but I think the legend was in football long enough to develop a thick skin. Sackings are part of the package, I do not think that triggered the heart attack.

Outside of football many who interacted with him describe him as a humble, down to earth man.

“He was like a brother to me !”said Dennis Madzingo who had the opportunity to spend time with him.

I know he was a sociable character and yes he did love a drink. I remember the profiling of the Dream Players in one magazine, was it Horizon or Parade? He was asked about his favourite drink ..”Black Label !” he said without hesitation.

We mourn the passing of a true football man, a man who spent all his life in the game, one rightly described as an “Football Ambassador” by ZPSL Chairman Farai Jere.

And if we accept the definition as given by another legend Moses Chunga in its loaded simplicity: Legend =Legacy then the departed Coach is a legend in the true sense of the word!

He has left a Legacy, a football LEGACY!

Our condolences go to his immediate family and the Zimbabwe Football fraternity at large.

What a career!!