THE 1989 Copa Coca-Cola boys champions Mzilikazi High School say a lot has changed in the game and there are no longer any small teams.
Between the late 80s and the turn of the century Mgandane as they are affectionately known ruled Copa Coca-Cola. They are the 1989, 1993, 1999 and 2001 champions.
a�?It has been 17 years since we last won the prestigious contest and ita��s not like we are not doing something right. Schools all over the country have become very competitive in playing football after hiring professional coaches. We can longer expect to have it on a silver platter as everyone has upped their game,a�? said headmaster Bhekokuhle Dube.
Cuthbert Chiromo who was the all conquering headmaster during Mzilikazia��s trail blazing era said headmasters are now serious about sport hence the general improvement.
a�?Many school heads have woken up to this competition. When Mzilikazi dominated in this tournament, a number of school headmasters did not know the location ofA� their institutionsa�� playing fields. In that regard, times have changed and there is now so much competition for this accolade,a�? said Chiromo on the sidelines of a text books donation ceremony at Mzilikazi High School by Coca-Cola Zimbabwe.
Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda handed over textbooks to the acting Bulawayo deputy provincial educational director Thabani Sibanda and Mzilikazi High Schoola��s headmaster Dube at a ceremony that was graced by Delta Beverages regional sales manager a�� southern region, Thembiso Muzvagwa, National Association of Secondary School Heads vice-president Arthur Maphosa, National Association of Schools Headmasters (Nash) headmaster in charge of football Albert Mucheka, the Nash Bulawayo leadership and former players Johannes Ngodzo and Castro Ndebele, winners of Copa Coca-Cola with Mzilikazi were also present at the occasion.
The winnera��s trophy was also paraded at the school with Chibanda making a symbolic presentation to Mzilikazi High School.
a�?With Copa Coca-Cola in its 30th edition this year, it made sense to visit Mzilikazi, winners of the inaugural tournament in 1989. Sport has everything to do with education. We have come to leave books, education is key to success and it is key to our soccer stars. We have thought of recognising schools that have done well in this tournament. Mzilikazi High School is a special school where we trace our roots,a�?A� Chibanda said.
Mzilikazi headmaster expressed his appreciation to Coca-Cola for the textbook donation which he said will play a huge part in the schoola��s efforts to implement the new curriculum.
From Mzilikazi, the Copa Coca-Cola trophy will be paraded at Hippo Valley and Churchill, who have also won the competition four times.