Tobias Mandoreba in Hwange
FORMER Black Horrors, Highlanders and Hwange striker and executive committee member Lemmy Munenekwa has died.
According to his son Eddie, Munenekwa (63) succumbed to a chronic disease myositis at the Hwange Colliery Hospital last Tuesday after a six-year battle with the ailment.
“My father sadly passed on last Tuesday after a long battle with myositis and as a family we are in mourning. This a huge loss for us but we are realising that it’s an equally devastating loss for the football loving communities of Hwange, Bulawayo and Plumtree where he played his football as their condolence messages are pouring in. The tentative date for the burial is tomorrow as we await some relatives but mourners are gathered at our Makwa homestead here in Hwange.” he said.
A Plumtree football legend, Munenekwa started playing for the famed South Zone league side Black Horrors FC in the border town from 1972 to 1979 where he featured in a menacing striking partnership with Grey Mkandawire Ncube and Onias Musana.
That team won the South Zone title in 1977 and also reached the Chibuku Cup semi-finals in 1979 which they lost 2-0 to eventual winners Caps Rovers which had big names like Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa, Stanley “Sinyo” Ndunduma, Shackman “Mr Goals” Tauro, Stephen Chisango, Friday “Amayenge” Phiri and Charles Sibanda.
In a “Yesteryear Greats” Sunday News exclusive interview with former Chronicle Sports Editor Lovemore Dube last year, Highlanders goalkeeping legend Peter Nkomo described the striking combination of Munenekwa, Ncube and Musana at Black Horrors as “fearsome”.
“Those were strikers who could pack shots from a distance or outpace defenders and shoot at goal. I feared them like any other goalie at that time.” said Nkomo.
In 1980 Munenekwa left Black Horrors to join Highlanders for two years and featured in a team which had the likes of Nhamo Shambira, Douglas Mloyi, Majuta Mpofu, Peter Nkomo, Mark Watson, Ernest “Mapepa” Sibanda and Madinda Ndlovu among others.
Munenekwa retraced his steps back to Hwange and coached Wankie Amateur Football Association (Wafa) team Railton FC from 1990 before assuming chairmanship of Victoria Falls-based Division One side Intundla FC in 1995 up to 1998 before he ventured into family business.
The love of football saw him bounce back into the Hwange FC executive from 2011 to 2012 as technical committee head.
From 2013 up to the time of his death he was running a liquor business at his Makwa homestead and was also in the process of setting up a photographic safari.
The social media also went overdrive in recent days with football lovers and Wankie residents paying tribute to the deceased. Wankie former goalkeeper and coach Weekly Mwale in a social media post said football was poorer without Munenekwa.
“We celebrate the life of a giant who has left a mark on our football. Munenekwa’s history in football speaks volumes of his appetite of the game of football. From Plumtree’s Black Horrors, Byo’s Bosso, Hwange Railton, ZPC Hwange, Vic Falls’ Intudla and Hwange’s Chipangano his footprints are doted all over these clubs. Lemmy was simply a hero of our football. May his soul rest in peace.”
Munenekwa is survived by wife and 12 children and 14 grandchildren.