The Sunday News
THE history of Caps United would be incomplete without mention of the Chimedza brothers Cephas and Elton who were instrumental in the team’s successes of the 2004-5 seasons.
They joined a long list of siblings to leave an indelible mark on the game for their own family and Zimbabwe legacies.
While Cephas hogged more of the limelight, Elton was truly one of the workers who ensured success came the club’s way with hard battles at the team’s heart of defence.
Sunday Life caught up with him in Harare on Thursday where he spoke about his football life and his time at one of the country’s biggest clubs Caps United.
The 38-year-old was born in Harare Hospital and grew up known among his friends as Softaz or Blah Ella.
This was in reference to his soft feel of life and even on the field of play he was never too much of a hard tackler, often fair and firm punctuated by careful attention on detail of his opponent.
He rates Norman Maroto of Dynamos as having been the toughest marker he ever came across.
“He was strong on the ball,” Elton describes the former Dynamos hitman.
He went to Support Unit Primary School where his talent began to shine at an early age and he would later move to Mabvuku High School.
Churchill, famed for its rivalry with Prince Edward, would be his next destination at secondary school which is where his career began to blossom playing along Caleb Chakwamba and Moses Mukwesha with his footballer father Cephas Chimedza his biggest influence.
“Our dad played football for Black Mambas and Support Unit,” said Elton.
Playing as a central defender, Elton recalls the joy of winning the 2000 Coca-Cola Cup with Churchill High School.
He says competition was stiff as other schools brought very good players like Petros Ngodzo, Mtshumayeli Moyo and Vusa Nyoni.
It was not an ordinary Churchill High School side but one bubbling with the talented Leo Kurauzvione, Eddie Mashiri, Samson Choruwa and young brother Cephas.
He describes it as great that he comes from a footballing family but is quick to remind Sunday Life that contrary to wide held speculation, he is not related to the legendary Steven “Fakasimbi” Chimedza from the 1960s and early 1970s who graced the first Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year calendars.
A winner of the 2000-5 league championships with Kepekepe Bhora, Elton says he enjoyed his football most at the club in a defence partnership which he says delivered when expected to.
“My best defence partners were Silent Katumba, Laughter Chilembe and David Sengu. It was sweet having my young brother in the side when I was selected too,” he said.
His brother Cephas says: “It was a dream come true. We always looked up to the Neville brothers of Manchester United even though we are Liverpool fans.
“We played together growing up and at Churchill but doing it in the PSL was special,” said Cephas who with his brothers joined a long list of footballing siblings who include Leon and Stanley Ndunduma, Isaac and Skeva Phiri, Nyaro and Taurayi Mangwiro, John, Nasho and Thomas Banda, Adam, Madinda, Mark and Peter Ndlovu, Dickson, Kembo and Moses Chunga, Abraham and David Mwanza, Misheck and Sunday Chidzambwa, Allan and Neil Boonzaier.
Elton says of the 2004-5 season with his brother at Caps United: “I cant explain the feeling but it was great.”
The right-footed central defender said he grew up supporting Dynamos, a club that defined local football ever since the introduction of semi-professional football in 1963.
Ronald Sibanda is the best player Elton played against on the domestic scene.
Sibanda, the former Plumtree High School, AmaZulu, Dynamos and Zimbabwe Saints matchwinner had the knack to split defences with his deceptive body swerve and a killer pass which made him the enemy of many opposition defenders who would not read which space he would attack or thread the ball through to.
Elton says the match he would love to forget quickly was a match against Highlanders FC.
“It was when we lost 3-2 to Highlanders. I made a mistake on the edge of the box leading to Highlanders’ winner,” said Elton.
He describes it as great seeing his younger brother Cephas leaving the country for Europe where he played in Belgium.
His most memorable match was a victory in 2005 in Kwekwe where they beat David Muchena’s side to claim the league title.
The smart marker retired from football content with his achievements from the game especially the success laden stay at Caps United.
In his football journey, Elton who hung his boots in 2016 at the age of 34, played for Shooting Stars, Morris Depot, Flame Lily and Shooting Stars.
He is now concentrating on his job at the Zimbabwe Correctional Services Department in Harare and enjoys watching his championship chasing Liverpool FC who are European and World Club champions.