Tafadzwa Chigandiwa, Sports Reporter
Former Highlanders FC midfielder, Johannes ‘Tshisa’ Ngodzo has expressed sorrow over the death of former teammate, Richard ‘Dabuka Express’ Choruma.
Choruma died in South Africa at a hospital in Thembisa on Tuesday morning.
Speaking to H-Metro on Wednesday, the 2002 Soccer Star of the Year first runner-up, said he is shocked and devastated with the death of his former teammate.
“This is devastating, I am shocked that my friend Choruma is no more. Richard’s death left me with a heavy heart. It is not easy to believe that he is gone. We played together at Highlanders FC and Bantu Rovers.”
Ngodzo said he had last communicated with Choruma just a few days before his death after he complained of mild stomach pain.
“I last spoke to ‘Richo’ few days before his death. He only told me that his stomach was giving him problems and had not visited the toilet for days but he said it was not serious. He had promised to come over to his family for Christmas celebrations.
“We always spoke almost every day and we were very close. He was more than a friend to me, more than a former teammate; he was like a brother.
“Whenever I wanted something in South Africa I communicated with Richard and whenever he wanted anything in Zimbabwe he would phone me to do some of his errands,” Ngodzo revealed.
The former Warriors left footed midfielder portrayed the late Choruma as a fighter who always longed for victory throughout his career.
He also mentioned that Choruma’s determination and effort in the field of play helped Bosso win the Championship in 2006.
“Choruma was always a fighter, whenever he was in the team i knew i had to up my game, because he was motivational and would challenge every player to work hard.
“I remember in 2006 when we were fighting for the championship, trailing to Black Rhinos at Barbourfields Stadium by a goal to nil, Richard took the ball in the middle of the park, dribbled past a number of players until he secured an equaliser for the team.
“That goal helped us a lot, we drew with Rhinos and won the championship, that’s when I started to understand why he was nicknamed Dabuka express,” lamented the former Warriors midfielder.
Choruma is believed to have succumbed to stomach pains and kidney failure.
In 2001, Choruma was named Soccer Stars of the Year runner-up.
Choruma started off at Air Zimbabwe Jets in 1998 before moving to Bulawayo giants, Highlanders FC under British coach Eddie May, he also played for Bantu rovers under coach Methembe Ndlovu.
He then moved to South Africa where he played for Celtic and Pretoria University.