When Daniel “Dhidhidhi” Ncube kissed good bye to this beautiful world to another realm little did he know that his son Daniel “Tiger” Bingandadi will carry on the family football legacy.
Those who had the opportunity to watch the former Dynamos striker in the early 70s will testify that he was a terrific footballer.
“If Dynamos were awarded a corner kick most defenders used to mark no one except Ncube. He was a fearless striker who would score goals with his magical left foot,” says Highlanders legend Tobias Mudyambanje who watched him during his hey days.
Today the late Ncube is being remembered through Tiger who has written his own piece of history and kept the family name etched on the minds of many football pundits. He earned the name Tiger after a dance with Green Tigers.
“When I joined Mutare United from Green Tigers most of the coaches called me Tiger and the name gained popularity and became part for the entire part of my footballing career,”he shares.
The pint-sized right back that was named after his father cut his football teeth at Dynamos when he turned out for the juniors and rose through the ranks to have a dance with the reserve side. In that reserve side outfit they were coached by the veteran mentor David Mandigora.
In that reserve squad he played alongside yester year greats such as former Dynamos FC and Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa, Tichaona Diya, and Desmond Maringwa.
He says he picked worthwhile lessons at DeMbare.
“When I joined Under-14 juniors I was taught to have a winning mentality and adopt a team work spirit. I adopted that attitude throughout my entire career. Infact that has become part of me and whatever I’m doing I tell myself that I have to conquer no matter how difficult it is,”he says.
While at DeMbare Tiger was lured to join Green Tigers in 1994 when the team was still in the Northern Region Division one league, until the team gained promotion into the Premier Soccer League.
“I didn’t hesitate to grab the offer as they had promised me a job for being a dispatch clerk. The team was sponsored by Grain Marketing Board. We played well in the first quarter of the season. But our team found the going tough in the second season and as such at the end of the season we finished on the eighth position,” he recalls.
Seeing that the team had not done well in the elite league the sponsors decided to sell their franchise to Arcadia United FC.
The determination to showcase his exploits for a PSL outfit kept him on the lookout for a possible move where he could settle and prove his worth. He then headed for Manicaland where he joined Mutare United FC.
He shares his fond memories while at United. “I was welcomed well at Mutare United and played alongside Blessing Gumiso, Arnold Tsunga, and Shadrack Mutungarisani. These players made sure I feel at home and they helped me in fitting well to the coach’s brand of play.”
In no time United also sold its franchise to a Midlands outfit Gweru United. He turned for the Midlands team for a few matches and found it difficult to travel from Mutare to Gweru every weekend.
“I decided enough is enough and gave up playing for Gweru United as I could not cope with the travelling expenses that were involved. Moreover I thought I was wasting my time,” he says.
He spent about three months without playing professional soccer.
Zimbabwe Saints scouts enticed him with a lucrative remuneration and good pecks. Without hesitating he joined Chauya Chikwata as Saints was known in the length and breadth of the country. His aunt Anna Katsa made his maiden stay in Bulawayo enjoyable as she welcomed him well and offered him a place to stay.
“I had only one relative in Bulawayo, my aunt. She welcomed me well as she played a parental role and encouraged me to go to church. I believe her unquestionable parental guidance helped me to become the person I am today. If it was not for her I was going to lose track in life,” he says.
He says the Saints officials lived up to their promise as they offered him a job at Insport. The job and good salary was a motivational factor that spurred him to give his all in the field of play. His strength was pace, overlapping and crossing. But his height was the biggest letdown especially when tussling for a ball against towering strikers.
The players that made him prove his worth at Chauya Chikwata are Ronald Sibanda, Chipo Tsodzo, Sikhumbuzo “China” Banda.
“They were like brothers to me, especially China who had leadership skills and used to motivate me. That helped me gain confidence and give my best in the field of play and as such I became a regular figure in the first-team line up,” he recalls with a smile.
The undoubted highlight of his career was when his side clashed against Highlanders in a blockbuster league match played under floodlights.
His side won the match courtesy of his sterling performances and team work too.
“It was a tension filled match as we were playing for the bragging rights and pride. We knew that if we beat Highlanders we would walk tall with our chests out and the emotion was going to be same for them. We played that match under floodlights at BF. We won 2-1. Chipo Tsodzo and Nelson Chiku scored and propelled our team to a sweet victory,” he recalls.
The success made a mockery of the obituaries that were written about his career when he joined Chauya Chikwata, where many football pundits thought he would not make it as they had concluded that his career was done and dusted. They believed if he was lucky he would be a bench warmer. Needless to say they had to bury their heads in the sand in shame as the Tiger thwarted opposition with aplomb. Due to that it dawned on many pundits that talent is permanent.
The talent to overlap and pick out perfect passes earned him a regular place in the first team.
He draws back the hands of time with a bitter memory when his side was sent packing to Division One league by Highlanders FC.
“We thought Highlanders were good neighbours but they beat us in the last match of the season which eventually condemned us to Division One league. What made that more hurtful was that in the previous season we had helped them in their run to clinch the league title by beating Dynamos and we thought they were going to reciprocate the gesture but it was not to be,” he recalls.
A career threatening injury forced him to quit football. He opened a sports wear shop in the city centre. He is also greatly involved the revival of Zimbabwe Saints. They have set up Zimbabwe Saints Academy.
“We have set up Under-14, 16 and 18 juniors’ level. The turn-out has been overwhelming and as such I believe after three years Chauya Chikwata will bounce back,”he said.
He says the juniors are coached by Field “Stoke” Mlambo and Philip Tangarembwa and the president is a former Saints player Eddy Mukanana who is based in Canada.
Bingandandi has a level 3 Zifa coaching certificate. He has an ambition to head either Zifa or PSL in the future.
“I have enrolled for a Sports Science Degree and I want to do more coaching badges and I believe that would brighten my chances to lead either Zifa or PSL in the near future,”he said.
Tiger pays tribute to Kennedy Ndebele, Cosmas Tsano Zulu and Omega Sibanda for having imparted football administration skills to him. He is also the Zifa technical and development officer.
“My task involves imparting theoretical knowledge and skills to learners. I would be dealing with Early Child Development (ECD) up to University level learners,” he said.
He is married to Sibusisiwe Bingandadi and they have four children. They are Dylan (15), Tatenda (11), Tanaka (6) and Ruth (2). They fellowship at United Family International Church (UFIC) led by prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and hold leadership positions.
He is also involved much in the Christian League and provides counselling services.