Where are they now? Stanford Mutizwa

Mbare has produced quite a number of talented footballers. David Mandigora, Friday Phiri, Stanley Ndunduma, Clever Muzuva, Brenna Msiska and, yes, - Stanford ‘Styx’ Mutizwa.

Stanford Mutizwa.
Stanford Mutizwa.

“I grew up playing football at Mbare’s Number 7 Grounds,” he told The Zimbabwean recently.

“Our opposition always fielded 12-players, claiming that I was worth two players because I always tormented them. My exploits continued at Chirodzo Primary school, until one neighbour bought me my first ever pair of boots and asked my parents to allow me to play soccer seriously. He had been captivated by the talent and promise I showed.”

Mutizwa’s dazzling skills took him to the Dynamos Under-16 team at an age of 14-years, but he later joined Mutambara United, then a respected Harare social soccer outfit.

“I signed for them with my close friend, David Mandigora and we became part of a team of great players, including Petros Tata and Never Gwaze, who inspired me a lot.”

He later worked with Ashton “Papa” Nyazika at then third division side, Glens Strikers, where he linked-up with the great Kembo Chunga and Joseph Chingudo.

“Nyazika taught me everything about football and played a father figure role both on and off the field. I left them with a heavy heart when I joined Caps Rovers (Caps United now), but that later proved to be a blessing in disguise.”

At Caps, Mutizwa played with greatest players like Stan Ndunduma, Joel Shambo, Shackman Tauro, Friday Phiri and Brenna Msiska.

“Caps were one of the best teams in the country, although we always encountered stiff competition from other great clubs like Highlanders, Black Rhinos and city rivals Dynamos. All these clubs had players in the national team. Players like Willard Khumalo, David Mwanza, Joseph Zulu, Ephraim Chawanda, Garnet Muchongwe, Moses Chunga, Japhet M’parutsa, Leon Ntawatawa and Owen Munemo made soccer a very competitive and exciting sport. I really enjoyed my days with the green machine.”

Mutizwa got his first Warriors call-up in a 1980 match against Malawi, a tightly contested Harare match in which he scored the solitary goal from the penalty spot. He joined army side, Black Rhinos a few seasons later, establishing himself as one of the most talented midfielders ever produced locally.

Among the many medals he raked in during his career were league championship medals, Players Player of the Year, Player of the Year, BAT Rosebowl runners-up, Independence Cup, Castle Cup, Chibuku Trophy, Rothmans Shield and the Heroes Shield.

His career ended in a 1990 league match against Zisco Steel, where he fractured his ankle.

Mutizwa has a number of coaching badges, which include a FIFA A coaching badge and a coaching licence. He has mentored clubs like Air Zimbabwe Jets, Mwana Africa and was assistant coach of the Mighty Warriors under Benedict Moyo when they finished runners up in the COSAFA Cup played in Harare in 2000. He is now employed with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority as a shop attendant in their sports shop.

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