By Simbarashe Musaki
FORMER Kambuzuma Utd FC and Underhill FC midfielder Stany Karimatsenga was so good and incredibly brilliant in the middle of the park and was renowned for his powerful long kicks, which earned him the nickname Chivhiri (wheel) during his heydays, as a professional footballer.
The BusinessConnect in its quest to bring back a flood of memories regarding the country’s yesteryear football stars vestige Karimatsenga’s rise to the public eye.
Karimatsenga whose role model was the legendary Caps Utd FC forward, Stewart ‘Shutto’ Murisa was born on September 30, 1982, and did his junior education at Zengeza 5 Primary School and later enrolled for secondary education at Zengeza 2 High School in Chitungwiza.
He started his career in 1994 playing for Elvis Nyalo coached Hackney FC Under 11 team together with the late Tapfumaneyi Gweshe and David Rediyoni, simultaneously he was a regular player in his school team.
The dedicated, committed and disciplined Karimatsenga rose steadily through the ranks and in 1997, he was signed for three seasons by then Division 2 side, Terracoat FC.
“My football journey started at Hackney FC juniors and Zengeza 5 Primary School in 1994. In 1997, I joined Terracoat FC, which was in Division 2 and was coached by our Zengeza 2 High School team coach, Mr Chirapa,” he said.
In 2000, he crossed the floor to another Division 2 outfit, Modzone FC, which was under the tutelage of David Zulu and showed his true colours with a dominant display that caught the eye of Division 1 side Fire Batteries FC gaffer, Mike Maringa and was subsequently signed for the 2001 season. During his stint at Fire Batteries, he played alongside Chamu Kawondera and Tendai Nyamadzawo, amongst a host of other stars.
In 2002, he was signed by Division 1 side Circle Cement FC coached by Charles Sibanda ‘Raw Meat’ playing with the likes James Matola ‘Van Damme’, David Guyo and Peter Chibwe.
Karimatsenga who was a free-kick specialist was signed by PSL side Kambuzuma Utd FC in 2003 after impressing the club’s team manager Felix Masunda and coach Never Gombera, who were closely monitoring and convinced by his type of play.
His premier league debut was a nil-all draw against Hwange FC at Colliery Stadium, he came in as substitute replacing the injured Charles Machapa and his first touch was a free-kick which hit the crossbar.
Unfortunately, despite his maximum effort, the club was relegated to Division 1 and he played for the club for two seasons in the lower league under the mentorship of Fidelis Phiri.
“In 2000, I was signed by Division 2 outfit Modzone FC. In 2001 joined Division 1 side Fire Batteries FC before crossing the floor to Circle Cement FC in 2002. In 2003, I was signed by then PSL club Kambuzuma FC,” added Karimatsenga.
In 2006, he was signed by Beitbridge based Division 1 club Underhill FC and captained the team which he helped to win promotion in top-flight football (Premier Soccer League) in 2007 after winning the Southern Region Division 1 title together with the likes of Harare City FC goalie Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Tendai Mukambi and the late Marizani ‘Jata’ Mucheni.
In 2009, Underhill FC collapsed and Karimatsenga spent three years on football terraces before an approach from then late Hippo Valley FC coach, the late Lindile Dube in 2012 to join his star-studded Division 1 club, comprising of Ronald Pfumbidzai, Steven Makatuka, Dominic Chungwa and David Kamhanga among others.
He hung his football boots in 2015 out of frustration after the newly appointed Hippo Valley FC coach Moses ‘Bambo’ Chunga showed reluctance in acquiring his services.
“In 2006, I joined the now-defunct Underhill FC and became the captain. We won the Southern Region Division 1 title and played in PSL in 2007. In 2012, I was signed by Hippo Valley FC for three seasons. I quit football in 2015 out of frustration after then head coach Bambo Chunga refused to renew my contract saying every hunter goes for hunting with his own dogs,” he said.
A holder of ‘Level Two’ coaching certificate, Karimatsenga’s vision is to revive the country’s junior policy for the betterment of our domestic football.
In walking the talk, he founded the Wheels of Africa 2018 Soccer Academy based in Chitungwiza’s Zengeza 2 area.
By Simbarashe Musaki