Go Ye Well Johnson.
By Martin Muleya.
Mutare, Zimbabwe. (News Of The South) -It is one of life’s laws that many die with their boots on, so was the great Johnson ‘Johnso’ Mbaradza!
Yes, the legendary Johnson achieved a lot- fame and fortune as a player from his early days at Tanganda Football Club and during his stint at Mutare United, but our beloved yet departed Johnson still had a lot to achieve in his new career of coaching.
No doubt, his project- Mutare United- showed potential and great promise and naturally many aniticipated to watch Johnson and his team scale dizzy heights in forthcoming seasons.
Alas, that was not to be!
The former Tanganda midfielder breathed his last 20years ago after a horrific car crash while his friend who was in his company, Emmanuel Maluwa escaped unhurt.
As we mourn the legendary midfielder, we cannot help reminiscing how Johnson loved football as much as football loved him. He will forever be hugely missed, as an iconic ex-player and promising coach.
We find ourselves only drawing comfort in the lessons that we learnt from Johnson, whose humility was unmatched, especially among celebrities of similar status.
His heart dripped with love, care, honour and gentleness for all who were blessed to have known and interacted with him on this earthly journey, and none could have known that a promising coaching career would be so rudely, wickedly and painfully terminated by the cold hands of death.
We all admired his courage, humility, forthrightness and simplicity. Indeed, this was one man who helped raise our city’s flag high and fought to build a prosperous city through his chosen sport- football.
Today the nation is left with fond memories of an amazing and beautiful soul he was. Johnson was exceptional in everything about him, and to his credit he appreciated the exceptional in others as well.
Johnson had a huge heart and warmth to his spirit that was both embracing and endearing. For all these reasons and so much, we cannot and will not forget Johnso, which keeps bringing us back to search out how the accident occurred thus leaving us with more questions than answers.
We are deeply saddened at the news of his loss and a profound one at that. The absence of Johnson Mbaradza’s bright presence for nearly two decades is still deeply felt in the hearts of all who had the privilege to know and work with him.
We will always miss him!
How sadness could be, when it just takes away our hearts’ desires.
Death is so cruel!
There is so much pain!
Yes, we have hope that the younger generation may learn something as we celebrate the life of an exceptionally talented player-turned-coach who was just like a cult hero to those who witnessed his exploits as a player and briefly as a coach.
But we have pain in having to accept that we can no longer see and talk to him like we did in this life. He was a hard worker to the end and humble.
Today we thank him for the role he played, guidance and being a brother to many of us and a loving dad to his children.
The onus is now on us the living. Let us now dedicate ourselves again to serve our people and nation in the same way the Johnson Mbaradzas of this world did.
To the youths, here is an inspiration that all things are possible as we know that Johnson roe from the dusty streets of Sakubva in Mutare, to become one f the most respected football personalities in the country.
My heart is so full of countless thoughts that i wish to write more, but i will sum it up in one word; again regarding one word that deeply and passionately endears my thoughts at this moment of Johnson; HUMILITY!
He lived it. Humility, like love never dies. To that end, Johnson Mbaradza lives on!
With deepest respect, sympathy and love rest in eternal peace JOHNSON!
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