Saturday, January 12, 2013

Adam Ndlovu must be honoured

Historically, the Barbourfields Stadium stands had been known as Soweto, Mpilo End and lately Edgars and Empankweni. I have no idea if Luveve Stadium and White City Stadium have any names. I really can neither confirm the dressing rooms have names also.

I have been thinking deeply about this following the departure of Adam Ndlovu (MHSRIEP), particularly an attempt by many to have him laid at a special place and also because as a football person and having worked with Miro, I received unbelievable personal messages like many close to the club and game.

The Bulawayo community should start honouring their own first. There is five grand stands, two dressing rooms and other special rooms and a lounge at BF. There are two or so gates. There are several turnstile entrances. Add that to the five Luveve Stadium stands and dressing rooms as well as what is at White City, one counts up to a minimum of thirty ways of honouring the footballing heroes.

For Highlanders Football Club in particular, there are many rooms at the Club House and offices. One can never doubt how honourable it would be to name the office building the 'Adam Ndlovu' house. The Club House has that Vana Hlabangana Lounge and that was a starting point that was never followed up.

The time to respect the living and departed can never be more appropriate than now. In the Adam Ndlovu House can have the Tanny Banda room, the Peter Nkomo room, the Tymon Mabaleka room, the Thulani Ncube corridor or whatever.

Still at BF, why not have the Peter Ndlovu, Mercedes Sibanda grand stands? And as for the Mpilo end, it would be human enough to call it the Ephraim Chawanda or Ronald Sibanda grand stand. Muzondiwa Mugadza and William Sibanda or any other huge Bulawayo football names deserve a mention.

All the training grounds at the back of BF stadium can be named after great servants of the game like Ali Baba Dube ground. At White City Stadium people like Boy Ndlovu, Joseph Machingura and the list is endless.

The names like Benjamin Nkonjera dressing room at BF would inspire young players who come up the ranks looking forward to have their names given to the gate next to the police station or another structure. The youth need to see these things happen. They have to know their names will be immortalised.

Such things do not need to be done by Harare as it can be an excuse. The Board of Directors and the Executive may have to be active, but waiting for these busy people to take the initiative can be futile. The people on the ground need to take the bull by the horns and honour the faithful servants.

The stadium is the property of the City of Bulawayo council and I can place my balls on the vice that they will not hesitate naming the stands and even the stadia. It may take some consideration if BF can be renamed Madinda Ndlovu Stadium or someone of that stature.

To start with, the understanding would have to be on the construction of the committee that would be formed to see out the project. As essential as it is that Highlanders is a massive team, Bulawayo is and has been home of great football personalities that played for Eagles, Zimbabwe Saints, Amazulu and even Railstars.

The committee's task would include setting up an obvious criteria that among other things should be national caps and international football. The temptation to look at administrators will be great, but it is the coaches and players that deserve the praise and the honour particularly of the dressing rooms, stadia, and training grounds.

The Ndlovu family are still in mourning like all of us, and our prayers are still for the complete and speedy recovery of Peter Ndlovu. We will have to see that as soon as convenient, lest we forget, we get the motion and project going as a matter of urgency.