Makomborero Gold Mutimukulu, Sport
And so against the backdrop of pandemonium, which the Sports and Recreation Commission insists is a price worth paying to bring tranquility to our ever tormented football landscape, the Warriors resume their pursuit of greatness.
Greatness itself being a subject of conjecture.
What is greatness in Zimbabwean football terms?
Winning the Africa Cup of Nations trophy would be awesome and the ultimate hallmark of greatness.
But then again realism is royalty.
Ours is a team that has never made it past the group stages of Africa’s blue-riband tournament on the past four occasions they have dined at this top table.
Expecting them to pull off a Houdini Act and win the Afcon will be patriotism on steroids!
For Zimbabwe making the group stages at the fifth time of asking would be great.
But fate has given the Class of 2022 an uninspiring look with some senior players missing and boardroom issues trending more than events on the training ground.
It has been far from normal for Norman Mapeza and his men.
But then again we have never had it normal in the Isles as far as football is concerned.
Our football and chaos are like Siamese twins, stuff made for each other like gin and tonic.
For all the chaos Zimbabwe start their Afcon campaign with a chance to once again remind the world that this game’s beauty is embedded in its unpredictability.
At the last Afcon we arrived in the Land of the Pharaohs believing that Knowledge Musona would turn out to be our Moses.
But Alas, instead of skippering us to the Promised Land the Warriors captain had a stinker of a tournament.
Three years later Musona, now 31, is back on the big stage but the hope the nation has in him is not at the same level as the hope we had as the boys headed for Egypt – past experiences and the effect of time on a fine talent counselling us against too much expectation.
But Musona has shown several times that he can rise like a phoenix.
If he fires in the goals, we will then have to worry about keeping our own goal virgin territory.
Ever since our last game at Afcon 2019 when Elvis Chipezeze had a horror show as the Warriors got pummeled 4-0 by the Democratic Republic of Congo the nation has been in the throes of a goalkeeping pandemic.
Big Talbert Shumba had his chance and fluffed his lines.
Spain based Martin Mapisa got a run but was found to be a promising 23-year goalie who is, however, still very wet behind the ears.
At one time it got so bad that the idea of resurrecting Tatenda Mukuruva’s football career looked a smart move yet it was far from one.
Enter Petros Mhari!
The FC Platinum goalkeeper has spent the past decade on the peripheries of the national team – always good but not good enough.
This is Mhari’s chance to shine as he makes his Afcon bow at the ripe age of 32.
Is this the Warriors’ chance to be great?
Yes, it is!
If the Heavens smile on us and the Warriors find their range in Cameroon we will be happy again, trending on YouTube more than Winky D.
Its Gold again!