BLACK Leopards coach, Rodwell Dhlakama, said out of sorts midfielder, Denver Mukamba, can hit his best form once again if he is treated like a baby.
Dhlakama redeemed Mukamba’s career when he was rejected by almost every Premiership club in 2019 by signing him for Chapungu.
The gamble paid off as Mukamba ignited a career which had stalled.
Unfortunately, Chapungu got relegated that season and the duo packed their bags and joined Ngezi Platinum Stars.
The Ngezi leadership was not keen on signing Mukamba, but Dhlakama stood up for him. The 29-year-old had a blistering start at the club and some even called for him to be included in the Warriors’ squad for the 2021 AFCON finals.
But Mukamba’s resurgence was tested when Dhlakama left the club prematurely. His form deteriorated and Ngezi terminated his contract early this month.
“Mukamba has a special talent, but it’s unfortunate that he has a deviant character which makes him unacceptable. But that doesn’t mean he should be labelled and assaulted for abusing drugs. He needs a coach who makes him feel special. Believe it or not, that’s what keeps his batteries charged.
“People with such personalities do exist in our society and it’s wrong to constantly remind them what they are because they will continue doing what’s wrong knowing that people are expecting certain things from them,” said Dhlakama.
He challenged coaches to play psychologists’ roles when dealing with hot-headed players.
“Coaches need to change their approach when dealing with players. They all come from different backgrounds and you can’t expect them to grasp your message and behave in the same way.
“Some need a gentle approach and some are okay with everything, but those who know Mukamba on a personal level can confirm that he is a shy person.
“Mukamba is not scared to do something ridiculous because he knows that people expect the worst from him, but my plea to coaches and fans is to treat such players with compassion. They will change; that I can promise,” he said.
He hailed international football agent Gibson Mahachi for being an all-weather friend to Mukamba.
“When Mukamba was being rejected everywhere, Mahachi called me and told me what the player was going through. I accepted the challenge and took him to Chapungu and I never had a problem with him at the club. Even when I moved with him to Ngezi, he showed me respect without putting more effort and I was not surprised with his resurrection because I had discovered what was missing in his career.
“Mahachi has demonstrated what it means to be an agent and he deserves credit. Mukamba can still play for more than six seasons if he people start to treat him differently.
“In the back of his mind, he assumes that everyone thinks that I’m bad news, I can’t breathe without taking prohibited substances.
“We have all identified his problem, let’s all direct our energy in helping him to forget what was said about his past, it’s never too late. People need to change their perception and treat him like a clean man, from the coaches, social media and fans.”