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FORMER Black Rhinos utility player Pasanduka Pakamisa has died.

He died on Tuesday night at Parirenyatwa Hospital after having been admitted there for the past three weeks suffering from eye cancer, according to his niece, Washington Pakamisa of Dynamos.

He was 48.

Pasanduka Pakamisa started his soccer career at Nharira Primary School in Harare’s high-density suburb of Mbare before he played for a number of top local teams, including the now-defunct sides Heritage, State House Tornados and Darryn T.

At State House Tornados in the late 1980s, Pasanduka Pakamisa, who could play either as a striker, midfielder or defender, played alongside fellow talented players such as Godfrey Paradza, Mpumelelo Dzowa, the late David “Chikwama” Mwanza, Danny “DJ” Jambo, Forbes Ndaba (late), Jonah Tasanangurwa, Ernest Makosa, Cosmas Pritchard, John Phiri, Fanuel Ariberto, Allan Jalasi (late), Dadirayi Dube and Noah Cox.

Former President of Zimbabwe, the late Canaan Banana, was the patron of State House Tornados who were then under the guidance of Joe Quinn who later handed the hot seat to the late great Peter “Thunderboots” Nyama.

After playing for State House Tornados for a number of seasons in which he also helped them to gain promotion into the then Super League, Pasanduka Pakamisa briefly played for Darryn T under Polish coach Wieslaw Grabowski before he was lured by army side Black Rhinos in the early 1990s.

At Black Rhinos, Pasanduka Pakamisa rubbed shoulders with the likes of Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera, Langton Mutimba, Jack Mutandagai, current national team coach Ian “Dibango” Gorowa, Stanford “Stix” M’tizwa, the late Stewart “Jomo” Kembo, Douglas Ndalama, Allan “Jah Bhora” Gwaze, Jimmy Mbewe, Leslie Kamuyoyo, Jerry “Dzungu” Chidawa (late) and Cosmas Kabote. Rhinos were then under the guidance of their late colourful coach Ashton “Papa” Nyazika.

Popular local soccer commentator Charles “CNN” Mabika yesterday described Pasanduka Pakamisa as one of the most underrated players in the history of Zimbabwean football.

“I think he (Pasanduka Pakamisa) was probably one of the most underrated players in Zimbabwean football history because I personally think that he was one of the most versatile and utility players I’ve ever come across.

“He started off as a central striker and a deadly one at that at (the now-defunct lower division side) BAT Ramblers where he played alongside the late Wilbert Musiya and Henry ‘Beefy’ Chari before switching to play at any position in the rearguard or as a midfielder at Black Rhinos. He also had a successful stint at State House Tornados who later became Darryn T where he was used as a roving right or left wing-back, centre-back, a defensive and attacking linkman hence he earned the nickname ‘Dhiziri’, a Shona name for diesel, because he was a like a diesel engine as he never ran out of energy.

“I actually recall one weekend when he played a full game for the Black Rhinos’ reserve side at Rufaro before coming on as a second-half substitute for the A team and one could not notice that the guy had earlier played for the reserve side for the entire 90 minutes. I think the (senior) national team selectors then could have called him just to have a look at him but that never happened,” Mabika said of Pasanduka Pakamisa yesterday.

At the time of his death, Pasanduka Pakamisa, who is survived by several children, was still attached to the Zimbabwe National Army and was at one stage part of the technical team of Mutare-based Premier League side Buffaloes.

His burial arrangements were yet to be finalised by late yesterday and mourners are gathered at No.14 Canaan Chipunza Street in Mbare.

Source : The Herald