Where are they now? Chris Sibanda

This week, we reconnect you with former Zimbabwe Saints defensive pillar, Chris Sibanda, one of the players that starred for Chikwata between 1997 and 2003.

Sibanda, who played alongside Ronald Sibanda, Mlungisi Ndebele and Eddie Mukahanana at Saints, cut his first teeth in the game with cross-town rivals Highlanders, as a junior in the mid 1980s.

“It was a very good experience; one I still cherish today because that is where my talents were honed,” he told The Zimbabwean.

“When I later moved to Saints in the early 90s, I was already a polished young player, so it was not that difficult. I already had basic footballing skills instilled in me.”

Taking us down memory lane, he spoke passionately about how Chikwata troubled his former side and always beat Dynamos in the league.

“We were not anybody’s preferred opponents because we played with passion and enjoyed a lot of support, especially in Bulawayo,” he said.

“We found it very easy to beat the so-called big guns who dared underestimate us. I miss those good old days and always wish I could rewind the clock.”

Saints were not a cup winning side, but the mere memory of the blue half of Bulawayo celebrating during and after games brightens the face of the man widely known as “Yoyo”, and makes him look back with a lot of pride.

Among the few accolades he won were some Independence Cup runners-up medals. However, he still has fond memories of the unity that soccer brought him, keeping him and his counterparts off the streets and out of crime.

“We had a strong network of players from the junior leagues: always playing or discussing the game, no time for crime, alcohol abuse or gambling. I really enjoyed the time I was granted at junior national team levels – the Under-17s, Under-20s and Under-23s. I did not make it to the senior national team, but I still feel that I represented my country well.”

Sibanda quit football in 2003 when a number of administrative and financial problems afflicted Saints.

“I realized then that there was no future in soccer or the country as a whole, and when things turned worse both economically and politically, I decided to let go of the career,” said the 46-year-old.

“That is when I decided to migrate to South Africa to pursue a different career because I had to provide for my family.”

He now lives with his family in Johannesburg, where he works in the construction industry and does not think he will be involved in football again.

Post published in: Football

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *