“No man is a man until he has been a soldier,” said English novelist Louis de Bernières. And no man can suffer a career threatening injury at 32 and go for four years fon the sidelines and returns at 36 to inspire his team to victory if he is not Lot Chiwunga.
The Black Rhinos veteran striker had last played competitive football in 2018 when he suffered an injury against Mushowani Stars. Faith kept Chiwunga going all these years until his return against Dynamos at the beginning of the month.
Although he did not score in that game he was too much to handle for the Dynamos defence, with the same aggression, he punished Yadah with a brace in the 2-0 win over the Miracle Boys the following match.
“It feels great to be back and Glory be to God because mine is an extraordinary recovery. It only had to be God. It’s a miracle recovery,” Chiwunga said.
“It was my second injury in two years and at first I thought it was the end but my mother Reverend Katifa Banda who is based in South Africa called me and told me to go for prayers at Prophet Walter Magaya’s church. She is the one who restored my faith. I limped from Highfields to Prophet Magaya’s church, he prayed for me and told me that I will be back. I saw the hand of God in all this because even the doctor who did the operation on me Doctor Mutero also assured me that I will recover and play again.”
“Even when I wanted support from the club for my medicals, all the things were smooth sailing. The executives at Black Rhinos were very supportive. I really appreciate their patience with me until I recovered and also their trust in me to come back and lead the attack.”
Chiwunga said his mission now is to save the team from relegation and their focus is the clash against the team just above them Sheasham.
“I don’t know how I can explain my bond with Black Rhinos. This team is in my blood stream, I was pained a lot seeing my team struggle and God answered my prayers. I will be turning 37 in December but I’m rejuvenated like a teenager. It was nice coming back against Dynamos, I pushed hard for a goal but it wasn’t to be and as fate would have it, I scored a brace against my father’s team Yadah. It was bitter sweet because it was Prophet Magaya who prayed for me and gave me faith that I would be back.”
“This is a very crucial match for us because we are up against a team that is just above. A win will help us to close the gap and also swim towards safety. It’s going to be tough because Sheasham are in a kind of same situation with us but I believe we want it more than them because we are a bigger brand and we want to preserve our status. We are going to fight hard for the victory. Now are are beginning to understand each other, the old players and the new players. What I can promise is that Rhinos are not going to be relegated and goals are going to come. I’m going to score a lot in the remaining games.”
The brace from Chiwunga gave coach Saul Chaminuka his first victory since taking over from Stanford ‘Stix’ Mutizwa. Chiwunga will once again be relied up to lead the attack and get goals for his team. A win for Black Rhinos will put them at the same number of points with Sheasham on 13 points.
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