In the mid-80s, my uncle used to visit us armed with endless stories about his indomitable volleyball team at Hartzell. He was left-handed and used to carry the No. 11 shirt, if my memory serves me right. Any volleyball player will tell you how difficult it is to defend a gaucher, as we say in French. His team indeed dominated Mutare during that period and so he was vindicated for bragging.
Until we arrived at MBHS in the late 80s. Our frenemy, Hartzell, rikava zuru rakapinda nyoka! We turned them into an ordinary toothless team.
One afternoon in 1988, we arranged a friendly match against their first team. Under the guidance of Mr Mwase, we left MBHS just after lunch in our cozy green van and arrived at Hartzell around 3pm. It took a while to get the game started as the host team was a bit disorganised. However, we were fired up and unstoppable once the game was in motion!
I remember Tendai Mashapure doing his trickery at setting, Darlington Khumbula on the wings and I on short and medium hits! They failed to figure out what had hit them and could not wake up throughout the match. Vakarohwa nezveusiku! To the extent of walking out of the game just before we concluded a 3-0 whitewash!
Tendayi Munyebvu – 1988
This was the volleyball team leaving MBHS one early morning, smartly dressed in our school colours. We snuggled under the canopy of our fairly-luxurious school van. The final destination was Marist Brothers but we had to pass through and pick up a team from Hartzell.
As it turned out, they had four (2 boys and 2 girls) teams. So we had to dump our transportation in lieu of Hartzell’s, which, to our surprise was an old dirty truck not fit to carry concrete aggregates. Come to think of it, we were never asked to fill out any consent forms! And, you know what, we jumped at the back without giving it a second thought.
We were surely not prepared to travel to Nyanga in the back of an open truck. However, the Hartzell guys were ready because they brought blankets with them. To my surprise, this pretty girl chose to come and sit next to me and share her blanket. I shall quickly mention that the lady turned out to be a life-long friend but back then, it was a dream come true for a young boy with a large imagination.
I dare say, “kwakanaya chando musi iwoyo” but that did not bother me. At the end of the day, I was chosen to go for the Zimbabwe volleyball team trials in Harare. What more could I ask for!
-Tendayi Munyebvu, 1989
This is not a criticism of anybody in particular…but in the years 1983, 1984 & 1985 our Rugby First XV team was famous for mostly losing matches rather than winning! Fortunately the tide started changing from 1986-1987! By 1988 the majority of that undefeated under-14 team that played flawless Rugby with names like Hilton Bayayi, Albert Rwarasika, Captain-Alexio Kadira, Pension Mandimutsira, Farai Zharare, Dhini Zulu Masuku, Duua Mubvumbi, the late Ashley Sithole and many others…had come of age!!! In 1988 MBHS Rugby had completely transformed itself.
And Boy oh boy did we see, experience a true rebirth of Rugby at MBHS!!! I’ll NEVER FORGET…the courage, the selflessness and heart of that 1988 Rugby FIRST XV team that decisively defeated PRINCE EDWARD at their home field. (In the process buried all the running jokes about MBHS Rugby).
– Julius Magodo, 1988
On the cross country to Wise Owl, Zharare and I were the laziest and slowest. So to make it work, Julius devised a wise plan. He convinced us that if we didn’t participate the cross-country exercise wouldn’t work. He also knew that taizosiiwa zvinonyadzisa nemaBorder. He then convinced us that we were the only 2 trusted to take roll call at Wise Owl! So yes we would start off around 3.30am towards Wise Owl, 30 minutes before the borders started jogging. Our jogging was a mixed grill of talking, jogging and reminiscing about our days in Zambia! Although Julius and Farai were renowned sprinters, Farai was no cross-country runner at all. I was no runner at all – short, long or extended distance! I had 2 left legs! Julius would somehow arrive in time to help with roll call and head back with the boys as well! Ohhh! Memories. We were never late nor too tired for class!
– Tapiwa Matondo, 1988
I remember the day Mr Drivjers was introduced during morning assembly by the Headmaster. A few other new teachers were also introduced at that same assembly. One of the other new teachers was named Miss Mugwagwa. After assembly, a classmate named Shepherd Gunda remarked: “Ndinofunga tikapihwa Mr Drivjers naMiss Mugwagwa zvingafamba!” Silly joke I know, but it tickled us!
– Hendrix Munowenyu, 1987
Shumbas, does anyone remember a character by the name: “Shadreck Nyamhondoro”, I am trying to locate him.
Shadreck came to MBHS for his A Levels 85/86. He was in the hostels. A quiet chap. This guy did not participate in any sport whatsoever. He simply came for the pure purpose of getting an A-level exam set of results.
Shadreck walked past Fleming one Saturday during a short break from one of his daily, lengthy study sessions. He stopped for a moment as he walked along the touch-line on the far side, with his hands casually holding behind his lower back to watch us play rugby. He gazed with an expression of wonder as if to say “what on earth are they doing with that egg-shaped ball?”
Back at school on the Monday, Shadreck slowly approaches me and gently remarks: “Hooo saka trinity unomhanya stereki ka iwewe nhai, ndakakuonayi zvangu mu ground musi we Saturday navana Machakaire na Mwatunga muchisimudza guruva.” I laughed, thought no more of it and went on for a biology lesson with Mr Dunken White”
Come the day of athletics finals, later in the year, who do I see forcing a desperate place on the 100m dash finals line up? Yes! The book worm Shadreck Nyamhondoro!! First time seeing him in white shorts and a yellow vest since he came to the school. How he made his team, I have no clue.
The gun went off and we were all looking out for the likes of Stanie Mwatunga and Simba Machakaire to come through like arrows but, lo and behold, booky Shadreck obliterates the track as if he had come out of a high velocity rifle! The chap was impossibly fast and easily put 3 m between him and the runner in second place. Moreover, he ran with one hand raised in the air showing out his pointing finger signifying no. 1! What if he had applied full body effort to running motion rather than carelessly swinging one arm in the air, how much more pace did he have boxed in him?
To this day, having seen the likes of Alan Faber wreak havoc down the white lines from 1981, I think Shadreck is one of the fastest men at 100m to walk the fields of MBHS. Shame the race was not timed.
The gripe we all had with him, then on, was why he had not told us about his pace so that we could use it at Fleming. If he ever had a son/daughter with those genes, I am certain he or she is creating chaos on the tracks somewhere.
Does anyone, by any chance, know where he is?
– Trinity Munowenyu, 1986