Mabaleka’s legacy lives on

21 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Mabaleka’s legacy lives on Tymon Mabaleka as a music producer and footballer

The Sunday News

Don Makanyanga , Harare Bureau

A man of excellence, who mesmerised the Highlanders Football Club fans with his great football skills while the songs he produced in the studio are still a melody even up to this day.

It could not have been a coincidence that the documentary, which chronicles the life of the former Highlanders legend and renowned music producer, Tymon Mabaleka was titled, “Tymon Mabaleka: A man of all seasons”

The documentary, which is set to premiere on 25 April tells the story of how Mabaleka fought adversity from a disadvantaged background in a war-torn small district of Umzingwane in Matabeleland South Province to become a renowned football great and music producer.

Mabaleka passed on in 2014 at the age of 64.

Renowned for his works in the country’s music history, having worked with the greatest musicians to ever come out of Zimbabwe in the likes of the late Oliver Mtukudzi, the late James Chimombe, Lovemore Majaivana, Solomon Skuza, Ebony Sheikh, The Frontline Kids, Shepherd Chinyani and the Vhuka Boys, Leonard Zhakata, the late John Chibadura, The Essentials, Kassongo Band and the Zimbabwe People’s Band.

With his music still telling the story of how great a producer he was, the football story seemed to have died with him a decade ago.

However, the documentary seeks to correct what seemed to have been a missing link in the story of Mabaleka as it tells the untold football story of the former Highlanders great.

Tymon Mabaleka as a music producer and footballer

The documentary produced by Albert Chawandamira features former players, administrators, Highlanders supporters and musicians.

In all their description, the featured characters describe the late Mabaleka as a multi-skilled and multi-talented person.

Among those that tell the story of Mabaleka include Modern Ngwenya, Ndumiso Gumede, Mpumelelo Dzowa, Peter Ndlovu, Bruce Grobbelaar, Sunday Chidzambwa and Albert Nyathi just to mention a few.

Former Highlanders club vice-chairperson, Ngwenya describes Mabaleka as a larger than life character, sentiments which are shared by the late George Shaya.

“We are talking about a larger than life character, a luminary about a hero in many spheres, a barometer in which multi-skilled is measured,” said Ngwenya.

The sentiments are shared by one of the greatest players to ever emerge from Zimbabwe, Shaya who describes Mabaleka as one of the greatest players.

“He was ever smiling, a player who never got overwhelmed by the support he got when you played Highlanders in Bulawayo.

“He was a very good player, a good man,” said the late Shaya in the documentary.

Born in Nswazi, in Umzingwane District, Mabaleka rose from the rural background to become one of the greatest players to play for the Bulawayo giants, Highlanders.

Mabaleka joined Highlanders in 1973 before helping the Bulawayo giants to win the Chibuku Cup.

Gifted with great controlling skills that those who played with him bear witness to in the documentary.

Mabaleka’s former teammate at South Zone, Gregg Fassen is of the belief that the former Highlanders great is a victim of the colonial rule who could have made a big name for himself and the country had he played after independence.

“I think that Tymon was born at the wrong time and he was at the wrong place, unfortunately.

“If you think of people like Peter Ndlovu who had a chance to go overseas, Bruce Grobbelaar, I think Tymon would have graced many stages overseas.

“But, because of the war and the time he found himself in, he showed his talent to half of the country because there was no one to play against because of the isolation.

“Tymon was one player that never got a chance to showcase his talent at a bigger stage and if there is one person who missed in that era, I do believe it is Tymon,” said Fassen.

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