Dr. Obadiah Thembani Moyo
The late Ndumiso Gumede was a dedicated and honest sport administrator who dedicated his professional life to the growth of football in Zimbabwe.
Our football history will not be complete without the mention of Gumede and the immense role he played in promoting local and national football administration.
As a former Inyathi High School student, I worked closely with Ndumiso Gumede in the Former Inyathi Students Association (FISA) where we implemented a number of projects that benefited Inyathi High School.
In the mid-1980s when I served in the then Sports Council, which was later transformed into the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), I met Gumede on several occasions when he was carrying out an assessment of sporting facilities in the country.
His dedication and attention to detail made us in the Council get detailed and reliable information on the state of our sporting facilities in the country.
Between 2009 and 2015 I served on the SRC board as an appointee of the then Minister of sport.
As chairman of the SRC’s Sport & Recreation Development Committee I had much contact with Ndumiso Gumede, as we made efforts to improve the administration of football in the country.
In response to challenges that were facing the Cuthbert Dube led Zifa executive, in August 2015, the SRC commissioned a committee of inquiry into ‘The State and Administration of Football in Zimbabwe’.
I was appointed chairman of the committee and immediately started to bring together football stakeholders, including the Zifa structures throughout the country.
My committee received a lot of support and input from Ndumiso Gumede and other football administrators. Gumede’s vast experience in football administration made us come out with a forward looking report.
The Fifa Southern Africa Representative Ashford Mamelodi who participated at one of our stakeholders engagement meeting pledged Fifa’s support in efforts to improve the game of football in the country.
The inquiry report was released in September 2015, three months prior to the election of the Philip Chiyangwa led Zifa executive committee.
Following his receipt of the committee of inquiry’s findings report from Zifa, Gumede met me and expressed his happiness with the findings of the inquiry.
He indicated that if the findings and recommendations of the committee were implemented by Zifa, football administration will usher in a much improved outlook.
The findings of the report established among other things that there was poor governance, gross mismanagement of financial and other material resources and serious fraudulent activities at Zifa.
Also, the findings established that the administration of football in Zimbabwe was in shambles and that Zifa was bankrupt and technically insolvent and in a serious financial crisis.
The committee also noted that grassroots football, the life-blood of the game had virtually collapsed in this country.
The road-map in addressing the findings and resolutions of the committee was for Zifa, SRC, football administrators like Ndumiso Gumede, other stakeholders, collaborate in supporting Zifa improve its administration of football.
My term of office at SRC board ended in December 2015 and since then the various stakeholders who contributed into the inquiry remain in the dark as to the implementation of the recommendations of the inquiry into ‘The State and Administration of Football in Zimbabwe’.
Ndumiso Gumede passed away at a time Zimbabwe football administration is at cross-roads, lacking in wisdom and with Zifa in conflict with the supreme sporting body in the country, the SRC. It is at such times that we miss the wisdom and experience of Gumede, to give sound advice for a progressive way forward.
Gumz, as we affectionately called him, contributed so much to football in this country.
His dedication to the business of football and honesty bears results that we all see at Highlanders Football Club.
His foot-prints and documented contribution to football administration at national level is unparalleled; a source that those keen to improve football in the country can tap into.
Sports, arts and culture bring joy and help nations express their values, whilst building bridges between peoples, regardless of their ethnic differences.
Sports and the arts improve individual well-being and achieve a happy mood within societies.
This is what Ndumiso Gumede achieved for Zimbabwe – a rich sports and arts legacy that he is leaving with us. We are proud that we had him among us.
It is my hope that our government can learn some lessons from the life of Ndumiso Gumede and create policies that contribute to the quality of life of sports, arts and culture administrators whilst they are still alive.
Farewell legend – your works will live with us.
Legends do not die, they are turned in their bones.
Dr. Obadiah Thembani Moyo former Sports & Recreation Commission (SRC) Board Member, writes in his personal capacity.
Article Source: The Chronicle