Alois Bunjira

‘l miss the naughty players’

 Alois Bunjira
The Zimbabwe national team was invited by Namibia to celebrate their Independence and that of Walvis Bay in early 1995.

Zifa decided to send the National Under-23 team as we were preparing for the All-Africa games. We went to Walvis Bay and got accommodated at some hostel in Swakopmund. We didn’t care much as we were enjoying the beauty of Swakopmund and the clean beach. For some players it was the first time to see a beach.

The match was to be played on a Saturday at 10AM at the stadium where the Walvis Bay Independence rally was taking place. On the Friday, a Zimbabwean guy based in Swakopmund came to our camp and promised to take us out in the evening after a few guys had asked him where we could have some fun, fresh air and obviously get to check out some beautiful ladies of Swakopmund as the guys had promised.

You know boys, we agreed on the evening date. After supper when Wieslaw Grabowski (head coach) and coach Lovemore Nyabeza had gone to their rooms, we all sneaked out of camp, jumped into hired taxis and drove off to a township called Mondesa.

Our tour guide took us to a night club. That club was firing!

I remember vividly Edelbert Dinha dominating the dance floor while his tracksuit jacket was tied to his waist. Vusi Laher (team captain) was his supporting act. Who cared about the Walvis Bay trophy at 10AM the next morning? We left the night club at around 2AM. When we arrived coach Nyabeza was standing by the gate.

He grouped us by the gate and all he said was:

“To tell you the truth guys ,God does not like this.”

He said it in a very sad tone and then walked away to his room. We were left standing there quietly. Then I remember Eddie (Dinha) saying:

“Guys we have to win the match.”

We retired to our rooms. We had breakfast that morning and headed for the match. We played like men possessed against the Namibia Senior National team.

We beat them 2-1. Robert Zvomuya and I scored the goals for Zimbabwe. We were the inaugural Walvis Trophy champions. Coach Nyabeza didn’t say a thing. He joined in the celebrations (May his soul continue to rest in peace).

Grabowski never knew what happened the previous night. Maybe he’ll know after reading this article.

I miss that bunch of talented, naughty footballers. We had some great times.

*Alois Bunjira is a Zimbabwean former international footballer who played mostly as a midfielder from 1994-2009.

Fact File
Date of birth    29 March 1975 (age 43)

Place of birth    Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe

Height        1,74 m (5 ft 8 1/2 in)

Playing position    Midfielder

Senior career*
Year     Team        App    Gls)

1994    Darryn Textiles

1995     Blackpool

1996–99 Caps United

1999    QwaQwa Stars    8     1

99–02     Bidvest Wits    84     18

02–03    Sundowns         22    2

03–05    Bidvest Wits    62    12

05–07    Jomo Cosmos    10     1

07–09    FC AK

Total            176+    34