Football legend Enerst “Maphepha” Sibanda remembered

By Mthokozisi Dube

A year after his demise, former Warriors team manager and Highlanders chairman, Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda’s legacy lives on, with the revered football administrator remembered for his immense contribution to the development of local football.

Better known for his antics in intimidating opponents at Barbourfields Stadium, Enerst “Maphepha” Sibanda became a darling of many, Highlanders fans included.

To the majority, he was the superman behind the team’s glory days at the turn of the millennium as Highlanders turned Babourfields Stadium into a fortress.

A close confidante to the late Maphepha, Sydney Ncube, speaks about the good and the bad times they shared.

“We started as friends up until we became brothers. He is the one who recruited me to assist him at Highlanders when he was at the helm as chairman, but one thing for sure was that he wanted to see everyone living in harmony. He was a frank guy who could call a spade a spade. When we had quarrels at home, he would take time to mediate. We surely miss him,” said Sydney Ncube, Sibanda’s friend.

‘Umalume’, to his neighbours, Sibanda would take time to lecture them about the spirit of togetherness.

“He was one of our own. We went with him to church. He wanted unity in the church.”

Maphepha died on August 10 last year after succumbing to diabetes.