WHEN Clement Masauso Kamwando was growing up in Turk Mine, Matabeleland North province, community members never knew that he would be one of the best players to turn out for top flight league teams. Why? When he was at the rural areas he did not show any interest in football.
No one knows, maybe it was due to lack of exposure to professional football because he developed interest when he relocated to Bulawayo’s Makokoba suburb in 1965.
Masauso’s career began in the dusty streets of Makokoba in 1966. During that year he joined Mashonaland FC Under-14 and rose through the ranks to break into the senior team.
His determination and authority in the middle of the park convinced coaches to include him in Under -16 Castle Cup final against Salisbury Callies.
“Although we played well our team was beaten 2-1 by Salisbury Callies,” he recalls.
He broke into the first team when he was 19 years old. His undoubted ball distribution coupled with flair in thwarting opposition earned him a place in the senior squad.
Some of the players that he found in the senior team are Patrick Kashure, Milton Mbedzi, Jenkings Pasipanodya, Jimmy Sibanda and Pharoah Jele.
He made his debut against Highlanders and hit the ground running.
“My first match was a derby against Highlanders and it was tough. But I managed to stamp my authority in the midfield department and after that I became a regular in the first team,” he says.
One of the notable milestones in Masauso’s career was his selection, at the age of 21 into the Rhodesian National Football team.
“Although I did not play in any of the matches in national team colours, to me being part of the national team squad was an achievement,” he says.
His love for Zimbabwe Saints enticed him to join the side but despite being the captain for Chauya Chikwata developmental side he failed to break into the senior team.
“The coaches denied me a chance to display my talent for the team that occupied a special spot in my heart. Turning out for it was going to be a dream come true,” he explains.
For him the restriction at the developmental side created a love-hate relationship with coaches and supporters.
The die-hard Chauya Chikwata supporters used to watch the team’s training sessions, as such some supporters were convinced with his displays and recommended him to the coaches. But Ebson “Sugar” Muguyo and his lieutenants stood their ground and shut him out of the senior squad.
He says as a result that evoked emotions of hate towards the coaches as he felt they were bent on suppressing his talent.
“Muguyo denied me a spot in the first team saying I was not cleared by my former team. Despite being the captain of the developmental side and being on top of my game, the coaches shut me out,” he said.
Masauso then left and joined a Division One outfit Red Seal FC. He had a sweet relationship with the side and called shots in the middle of the park.
After spending half a season with the side he called time on his career. In no time he secured a job as a fireman with National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). He spent 29 years with the company. While he was still with NRZ now based at Hwange, he joined hands with former Highlanders FC defender Nehemiah Dube and formed a social football club team.
He holds the following players in high esteem; Tymon Mabaleka who used to make the ball stick to his chest as if there was a magnet attracting it; Barry Daka who could chip the ball into a hat worn by a decoy during training sessions, 1985 Soccer Star of the Year Stanley Ndunduma and five-time Rhodesian Soccer Star of the Year George Shaya. He won it in 1969, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977.
Clement Masauso Kamwando was born in 1954. He is married to Cathrine Ndlovu. They have one child, Henrieta (30). He did his primary education at St Columbu’s Mission. For secondary education he went to Mzilikazi Secondary School (now a high school). He was born in a family of four boys and girls. His team (Mashonaland United) used to camp at a house in Mzilikazi E square in Bulawayo. He supports Highlanders Football Club.