NDUMISO-GUMEDE-NEW (1)

Veteran soccer administrator Gumede calls time on soccer

Fungai Muderere
CANDID Highlanders chief executive Ndumiso Gumede seems to be reading from the Bible scripture of Ecclesiastes 3:1 which reads : a�?There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . .a�? amid revelations by the veteran football administrator that time is now up for him to leave football, a game that gave him fame and little fortune.

It has been indeed a long expedition in the football circles for Gumede.

The journey has seen the former Zifa vice-president, come face-to-face with the countrya��s football mother bodya��s internal conflicts, heartbreaks from two divorces, the Warriorsa�� high-ceilinged success, and underperformance. Among the most disheartening moments that Gumede experienced, there was the Asiagate match-fixing scandal that rocked the nation.

a�?I will be calling it quits come June next year. I signed a two year contact with Highlanders mid last year and ita��s not renewable. I am two months into my last lap. Ia��m now an old man and I must now go. I might have the wisdom but I can no longer keep on with the pressure of new demands. Even if you are a champion you will need to give others a chance. My time has come and I must say it took over a year for Highlanders officials to take the Chief Executive Officera��s post. Kusinwa kudedelwana,a�? said Gumede.

He thanks all that made his journey an interesting one.

a�?I would like to give gratitude to Highlanders. Bosso gave me the pedestal on which I have stood to further my football (not as a player) career. I would also want to thank the Zimbabwean Government, which nominated me at independence to come to the aid of a disjointed football administration at Zifa,a�? he said.

Gumede, a former Zifa vice-chairman served the countrya��s football motherbody in different capacities since being invited as a committee member by then Minister of Youth, Sport and Recreation Joice Mujuru in 1980.

While he alleges that football cost him two marriages, the 69-year-old divorcee adds that in the game he also lost two vehicles.

a�?I cannot hide that I divorced twice. A man has to concentrate on his family but I must say I dedicated a lot of time to football and it cost me two marriages. I also lost a lot of money in football.

It wrecked two of my cars in a bid to serve Highlanders as a club. I had to fuel my cars and ferry players to matches but I must say I was not the only one who did that. There were also people like Luke Mnkandla among others who also did that,a�? said the former ZBC continuity announcer and ex-Bosso chairman who has been a divorcee since 1993.

a�?Ia��m not in a mission to find another wife. What pains me a lot is that there was a recent story that alleged that I had impregnated a young city girl. That was not true. My England-based sisters were recently in the country and were asking me about the alleged baby that I have with the city girl.

Where is the girl now? I openly told my sisters that was not true and I will deal with the alleged miracle baby when it surfaces,a�? thundered Gumede who was bestowed with Bulawayo Civic Honour in 2005 following his outstanding contribution to the development of sports and arts in city.

The former Mzilikazi High School and Highfields High School teacher once had acting stints in local dramas and films that include Xola, More Time and Yellow Card to mention a few.

He said while his name is no longer in the list of people who are serving in the Caf Appeals Committee, he will continue serving as a Fifa Interpol match fixing trainer.

Gumede became a Highlanders executivea��s representative in Harare in 1974. He joined Bossoa��s fundraising committee the following year at a time when he started teaching at Mzilikazi High School in 1975.

Three years later he became the cluba��s executive chairman and was instrumental in making sure that the club returned to the Super League following their break away in 1975 to form the South Zone.

By negotiating Bossoa��s return to the national league, Gumede had shown traits of a national leader and the Government took notice towards the end of 1980 when he was invited to join the Morone Mushambadope-led executive.

He obtained his refereeing certificate in 1981. He became Zifa vice-chairman in 1987 and two years later he became the substantive secretary. Thereafter he left the country to follow his wife in Botswana in 1991.

In Botswana he worked for Notwane Chiefs.

He bounced back into the country to assume the position of Zifa chief executive officer in 1998, a post which he held till 2004.

He went back to claim the Zifa vice presidency in 2012 after the current president Cuthbert Dube asked him to be his running mate.