By Simbarashe Musaki
THE narrative history of Zimbabwe’s finest goalkeepers will be a broken thread without the mention of former Warriors shot-stopper, Tafadzwa ‘Tadios’ Dube.
He rose to stardom through the now-defunct, Lancashire Steel which placed him on the limelight.
His rich journey propelled him to join, Dynamos, Caps United, FC Platinum, Manica Diamonds and Harare City, respectively, among a host of other several teams.
In simpler terms, he is a football nomad.
Dube is a player who grasped and mastered the skills of modern goalkeeping, from his role model, former Lancashire Steel FC goalkeeper Kennedy Banda.
This exquisite roller-coaster account traces the unravelling of a goal minder who became the darling to many football fans, due to his shot-stopping prowess.
Some fancy footwork and brilliant ball distribution made him such a delightful footballer to watch, especially given the fact that he is a goalkeeper.
Popularly known as Dubes in the football arena, he was born on December 19, 1984, in Kwekwe.
His football journey’s footprints can be traced back to his school days at Kwekwe Primary School from 1991-1997, before proceeding to Kwekwe High School from 1998-2001.
“I started playing soccer when I was at primary school, as a striker, before switching to goalkeeping after getting the inspiration from former Lancashire Steel first-choice goalkeeper, Kennedy Banda.
“Penalty, shot-stopping and brilliant ball distribution are my strengths, since childhood,” said Dube.
On his road to stardom, Dubes cheerleaders were his parents who advised him to join the now-defunct Kwekwe based former premier league outfit, Lancashire Steel after observing talent and fruits of success in his veins.
In 1997, while in form 3, he joined Lancashire Steel FC juniors before he was elevated into the senior team in 2002 and had the privilege to play alongside some of the country’s most decorated players, such as Petros Sibanda, Justice Majabvi and George Magariro.
Dube played for three seasons at Lancashire Steel and was voted ‘most improved and young player of the year in 2002 and 2003’, respectively.
His elaborate performances, which conjured up some sensational last-ditch saves attracted the country’s most successful league team, Dynamos FC under the mentorship of the late Keegan Mumba, who signed him for one season in 2004.
In search for greener pastures, the then Under 20 national team goalkeeper joined the star-studded Masvingo United FC comprising of the late Godfrey “Mai Mahofa Dondo”, Ferdinand Mwachindalo and Costa Nhamoinesu, in 2005 till 2007.
The team won the prestigious OK Woza Bhora trophy twice and ZIFA Unity Cup.
At Masvingo Utd, Dube won the player of the year award in 2005 and 2006.
“My parents were my cheerleaders and encouraged me to join Lancashire Steel FC after observing my talent in 2007.
“In 2002, I graduated into the first team before I left the club for Dynamos FC in 2004. In 2005, I joined the then Tanda Tavaruva owned, well catered for and successful team, Masvingo Utd,” he narrated.
In 2008, Dube returned to Harare giants, Dynamos FC for one season prior to joining Gunners FC then coached by Moses “Bambo” Chunga in 2009, and the team won the PSL Championship with the services of other veteran footballers, such as Ramson Zhuwawo, More Moyo and Ali Sadiki.
He was voted the most consistent player of the year at his club.
In 2010, he was part of Gunners FC team, which represented Zimbabwe at Champions League and knocked out by Egypt’s Al Ahly in the third round after winning 1-0 at home and losing 2-0 in Cairo.
After a successful stint at Gunners FC, Dube moved to FC Platinum for two seasons and later joined the Taurai Mangwiro coached Caps United FC in 2013 for two seasons, where he played alongside Hardlife Zvirekwi, Nicholas Alifandika and Dominic Chungwa, among others.
Dube’s ability to stop spot-kicks, instinctive style with a spoonful of unconventionality made him difficult to beat and became a darling of every progress hunting club.
He was then signed by the ambitious Harare City FC in 2015 and helped the team to win the Chibuku Super Cup and represented the country at the Confederations Cup the following year. The team comprised of Martin “Chimudhudhu” Vengesai, Tendai “Jahman” Samanja and Jimmy Tigere.
“In 2008, I rejoined Dynamos FC and left for Gunners FC in 2009. We won the PSL championship before we went on to represent Zimbabwe at Champions League.
“In 2011-2012, I played for FC Platinum, before I was snatched by Caps Utd for two seasons. In 2015, I joined Harare City FC for two seasons and we won the Chibuku Super Cup and represented the country at Confederation Cup in 2016,” he added.
Nomadic, he was, the 2009 and 2011 goalkeeper of the year, left Harare City FC in 2017 and since then he has been playing for small clubs implementing the first law of hyena “don’t be choosy; eat what is available.”
He then joined the Prophet Walter Magaya owned Yadah FC for one season in 2017 and moved to Mutare City Rovers the following year and abandoned the club after five months.
In 2019, he was signed by Manica Diamonds FC for one season before joining TelOne, where he is currently the first-choice goalkeeper.
The former Warriors and Young Warriors goalkeeper, Dube has more than 20 national team caps and boasts of being one of the best penalty stoppers in the country, due to his quick reaction and close monitoring of the penalty taker’s feet.
Unfortunately, despite his successful career in the domestic league, he never played for a foreign club.
In an attempt for a foreign job, he went and passed trials at South African premier league outfit Golden Arrows, but unfortunately, the deal failed to materialize.
“I’m one of the country’s best penalty stoppers and I have lost count of the penalties I saved. The secret is monitoring the non-kicking foot of the penalty taker and quick reaction. I haven’t played for a foreign club, but I once went for trials at Golden Arrows but the move collapsed due to reasons beyond my control,” said Dube.
Dube, who was part of the historic Young Warriors Under-20 national team, which won the Vodacom Cup and COSAFA Cup is dissimilar to most football players who dream of being soccer coaches after hanging the boots, as he plans of being an entrepreneur.
By Simbarashe Musaki