Sizzling Njobvu blazes the Premier League trail

Danger in the house: Njobvu
Danger in the house: Njobvu

Arriving in a foreign land as a football player particularly as a striker where expectations of a glut of goals is expected, is never easy.

So much is expected and the usually impatient supporters rarely give foreign players enough time to adapt. Many players came into the Botswana Premier League with big reputations, but failed to prove themselves.  Others, on the other hand, arrived and left a big mark among them Terrence Mandaza, who took Botswana football by storm before he moved to South Africa.

Some years down the line, another foreign striker looks set to register his name as one of the deadliest goal poachers to land on the local football turf.

Enter Zebron Njobvu, a Zambian striker and one of the most talked about players in the league at the moment.


It is not surprising that the soft-spoken striker has been a hot property in the second round of the beMOBILE Premier League.  He arrived at Notwane in January as an unknown quantity, but it was not long before the footballing community sat up and took notice marvelling at his scoring instincts.  He has played six games thus far and scored five goals, an amazing 83 percent strike rate in his first season in a foreign land.  He has only failed to score in one game, during the 0-0 draw with BDF XI.

He launched his Notwane career against Extension Gunners in one of the biggest games in the Premier League and scored the only goal of the match as Notwane bagged maximum points.

The following weekend he rescued a point for Notwane, scoring a vital goal in the 2-2 draw against Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

The next team on the menu were the defending league champions, Township Rollers that also failed to escape from the Zambian’s magic feet.  Njobvu scored the solitary goal as Notwane maintained their good run in the second round.

Against BDF XI, he failed to score but was at it again, scoring the only goal of the match when Notwane beat BR Highlanders.  Last weekend, Notwane looked set to taste their first loss since the beginning of the year against Sankoyo Bush Bucks. But, the Zambian striker pulled a goal back to put Notwane back in the game at a time when they were trailing 3-1. Emmanuel Masisi eventually scored the other goal to steal a point away in Maun. With all these brilliant records in such a short space of time, Njobvu is not getting carried away.

He is also not going to put himself under any unnecessary pressure by setting himself targets this year.  “All I want is to continue scoring goals and prove myself this season. Then maybe next season after proving myself, I can aim higher,” he says.

His exploits may have surprised many, but Njobvu is also quite astonished by his performances.  “I am one person who believes in himself and with God I know anything is possible. But quiet honestly, what is happening right now is not what I expected.”  He says scoring on debut against Gunners was the greatest feeling, as it had never happened before in his career to score in his first game for a team.  He attributes his quick adaptation to the warm reception by Notwane management, players as well as supporters.

Now that slowly but surely Notwane is moving out of the relegation zone, Njobvu wants to see the team finish in the top eight bracket.  Just like many other great players in the world, he started playing football at an early age in his home village.  He joined a club called Katapula Stars in Eastern part of Zambia as a young player and rose through the ranks.

At the time, they were playing in Division three and stayed there for couple of years before he moved to Lusaka Celtics after completing Grade 12 in 2006.

The team spotted him while he was playing for the national Under-17 team. He then moved to ZANACO, where he played for two seasons before he was loaned to the City of Lusaka football club.  He then moved to Forest Rangers and later Ndola Lime before he came to Notwane following Ndola Lime’s relegation to the lower division.

Njobvu came to Notwane after recommendation by one of best ever foreign players to grace the local league, Maybin Chama. Chama, according to Njobvu had heard that Notwane were in need of a striker and invited they him to try his luck. He trained with Notwane for about a week and the rest was history.

“When I started training, the coach (Calvin Petersen) was not around. When he finally arrived, I trained for two days and he gave Notwane management the green light to get my signature.

“To be honest, I did not have any idea about Botswana football when I came here,” he explains.  In the six matches he has played so far, Njobvu rates Zimbabwean striker, Morris Ruzivo who plays for Sankoyo as the player who has impressed him the most.  “He was all over us. The match against Sankoyo was the toughest I have played so far,” he reveals.

Despite having signed a six-month contract with Notwane, all he is thinking of is making sure they finish in the top eight bracket and book a place in the Mascom Top 8 tournament next season.

“Of course Notwane management wants to extend my contract beyond the six months. It is just a matter of sitting down with them and chat the way forward,” he says.

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