Mmegi Online :: The forgotten foreign legion
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The forgotten foreign legion

In the past decade, the Botswana Premier League has seen an influx of players from beyond borders, some exceptional, others outright mediocre. Mmegi Sport takes a look at some of the players who blasted their way into the hearts of local fans, but melted like ice cream under the Kalahari desert heat.
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 05 Dec 2014, 22:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The forgotten foreign legion








Bernard Semakwezi (Zambian)

The Zambian arrived as a little known quantity from Malaysia but was soon on every fan’s lips with smashing displays for BDF XI. The lanky marksman was so devastating that traditional giants, Township Rollers were forced to snatch him from BDF XI. His runs on the wide side of the last third of the pitch made him a football candy. He had a lukewarm stay at Rollers. Before he left BDF XI, he went down in history as the man who stood between Rollers and the Coca Cola Cup after his move was disputed. Rollers were ordered to replay their semi-final tie against BDF XI but refused and got eliminated.

 

Robert Tamba (Zimbabwean)

Tamba was a regular Mochudi Centre Chiefs irritant. A player known for his darting runs and keen eye for goal, Tamba consistently troubled Chiefs during his stay at ECCO City Greens. He was part of the title winning ECCO side, which had the likes of Bonolo Fraizer, Malepa ‘Chippa’ Bolelang, Trinity Nko and Zeco Makafiri. But when the ECCO slide began, Tamba’s form took a dip. He was once linked with a move to South Africa before a low-key switch to Nico United.

 

Master Masitara (Zimbabwean)

Masitara wasted no time in settling at Nico United following his arrival from Zimbabwe. He asserted himself as a deadly marksman, notching 18 goals in his debut season before rattling the net 27 times in the next campaign. He left for Mozambique before the season ended but no other player managed to surpass his goal tally. The war

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battered Mozambique proved unaccommodating as Masitara struggled to settle in.  There was optimism that his return to the Premier League would re-ignite the spark. He joined Miscellaneous but never got going before re-uniting with Nico. His nomadic track took him to Zimbabwe’s Highlanders before Elijah Chikwanda lured him to BDF XI where he is struggling to recapture his old form.

 

Mandla ‘Sukunyetsa’ Sibanda

(Zimbabwean)

The gangly Sibanda was easily the most noticeable character in the devastating ECCO side, which won the league title in 2007. His towering frame was hard to ignore and his runs on the flank were a menace to many teams. He was constantly linked with moves away from ECCO with Chiefs mentioned as one of his destinations. However, a big money move never materialised until BMC signed him two seasons ago. But the trip from Francistown to Lobatse proved torturous. He re-joined ECCO, but the menacing Sukunyetsa was a pale shadow of himself. The player was wrapped and ‘sent back to sender’ in Zimbabwe where he is currently holed-up.

 

Given Mpundu (Zambian)

He was a solid defender who took no prisoners and his fierce look summed it all. Mpundu was the rock upon which the Chiefs’ unbeaten title run was built. Many felt he deserved the player of the season award, which went to team mate, Oteng ‘Limkokwing’ Moalosi.  Mpundu was a brilliant reader of the game from his centre back position. He moved to Gaborone United in 2010 and that marked the beginning of the end for the Zambian who was quickly forgotten.

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