Best of the best – Ephraim Chawanda

Nicknamed the “Rock of Gibraltar”, Ephraim Chawanda was a solid defender for both Zimbabwe Saints and Reinhard Fabisch’s famed “Dream Team” of the 1990s. Having also played in Germany, he stood out as one of the most talented defenders Zimbabwe has ever produced. He shares his Best of the best memories with us.

Ephraim Chawanda shares his Best of the best.
Ephraim Chawanda shares his Best of the best.

Best player in the world

Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs: he is a classy player who represents a loyal, disciplined and dedicated star.

Best team

Zimbabwe Saints: we were a force in local football. I was treated with so much respect. During those days success was a natural habit at Saints and we really walked tall.

Best stadium

It is definitely National Stadium because it holds wonderful memories for me. It made us play easy, enjoyable carpet football. Supporters were also always there for us as the 12th man and the atmosphere was always electrifying.

Best defender I partnered

The now late Francis Shonhai: in every game we played together in the Dream Team, we were solid as rocks.

Strikers struggled to penetrate and we managed to silence even the best strikers in Africa. I will always remember and salute these two late greats in Zimbabwean football, Fabisch and Shonhai.

Best Zimbabwean player

I cannot pinpoint a single player, but the most talented were in Fabisch’s “Dream Team” and the crop of players who qualified for the African Cup of Nations in 2004 and 2006.

Best game

I remember vividly in 1988 a game against one of Zimbabwe’s football power-houses, Highlanders, in a Chibuku Cup Final. Saints lost 1-0 in that game, but we gave it our best performance ever. To me it’s like that game was played yesterday.

Best coach

Tendai Chiedza, our coach at Zimbabwe Saints: under him, we were respected in local football and our efforts were noticed. That is why we ended up being nicknamed Chikwata. He was a great tactician and motivator. I learned a lot and he groomed me as he would always say, “Don’t forget you are a future leader” and that came to pass when I was named captain of both Saints and the Dream Team.

Best Zim 11

Japhet Mparutsa, Ephraim Chawanda, Francis Shonhai, Mercedes Sibanda, Willard Khumalo, Rahman Gumbo, Benjamin Nkonjera, Henry Mckop, Adam Ndlovu, Agent Sawu, Peter Ndlovu and the coach Reinhard Fabisch. This was the most organized and formidable team, full of talent.

Post published in: Football
  1. John Sango

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