AT THE turn of this season talented midfielder Denver Mukamba diluted his blue blood by crossing the great divide to join cross-city rivals CAPS United from Dynamos in a move aimed at reviving his drug-dogged and nose-diving career, and behold it was beautiful.
With the passage of both time and games, he started playing starring roles for his new paymasters with some assists, and behold it was beautiful. It got even better when he started scoring, including that gold-coated solitary strike and winner against his parent club DeMbare, and behold it was beautiful. And he appeared to be steadily regaining his mojo that this new catch earned effusive and high praises from MaKepeKepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe, a fastidious stricter, and behold it was beautiful!
Then disaster struck!
Denver Mukamba went AWOL!
He has not communicated with the club since beginning of this month that his whereabouts and the ace up his sleeve remain shrouded in mystery.
All this false dawn about Denver coming clean, as it is turning out and proving itself to be now, was never a Saul-to-Paul moment.
Whether he still bleeds blue we cannot tell. Whether he had genuinely grown green we are not sure either. DeMbare had given up on him, at least for this season, and chucked him out to MaKepeKepe.
But what is discernible is that the player is back to his truant and delinquent usual self.
And already nursing a battered and bruised ego as well as a soiled dignity, the last thing Mukamba needed was a ruined reputation, a tattered image. But has Denver become so incorrigible that he cannot come around to a Damascene moment? Is it hopelessly hoping against hope to hope on Denver, that he will hop to his deliverance?
Is Mukamba still battling those dirty demons, trapped back in the ruinous drug dungeons which continue threatening to devour him?
If only he was around perhaps the boy, whom we had sincerely anticipated would grow into a man, would proffer some answers to some of the burning questions even rhetoric as they might seem or sound.
Hence we ask: Where art thou, Denver Mukamba?
We truly thought that he had turned a corner that in one of the installments on this space he had been a subject; though tinges of our qualms would be detected in that piece. That article, headlined “Mukamba makes a mark” and published on April 13, was peppered with a pinch of salt with which we had taken Mukamba’s turnaround and subsequent revival at CAPS United, with the line “Will he turn a corner and prove naysayers — some here at Footy Footnotes included, we must admit – wrong” betraying our skepticism which, sadly, is now echoing aloud.
But even as he disappeared from the Green Machine radar, CAPS United have conceded that they miss him as their technical director Nelson Matongorere was quoted as saying recently: “ . . . we miss him, he is our player but if he doesn’t come for training he doesn’t play, that is our principle. The door is still open for him because he is our player. No one has chased him away from the training ground of CAPS United. He is part of the family.”
That he has relapsed must be laughable, while his recovery should be laudable and linger longer.
Now even Jomo Sono, the legend of the South African game under whom Denver played at Jomo Cosmos, has also thrown him under the bus with his stinging criticism of the player. “Denver was a shame . . . had everything, but the lifestyle in South Africa killed him . . . his lifestyle was not good,” he told The Herald last week.
A few more excerpts from the eccentric Sono.
Football, women and liquor are incompatible – like oil and water – they do not mix, cannot go well together. “There are too many beautiful women. I also don’t know if the liquor there is different to the liquor here . . . ,” as the Jomo Cosmos boss quipped, suggests the boy was hooked on dangerous substances and abusing them.
And that our dear Denver boy did not “go to school” so he has a life cushion to fall back on and absorb the shocks of his sordid life further handicaps him!
Yet the fervent prayer, though, is that MaKepeKepe’s patience with Mukamba will not wear thin because, by Jomo’s admission, “What a player he is!”, but if Denver does not mend his deviant ways the inevitable end is that “When you are finished you don’t have friends,” Sono dives right in to reminds us.
After this, where next Denver?
Reason we are calling you out, not to crowd you out but for answers: Where art thou, Denver?
If it is about football that you care, let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
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