HARARE – Nyanga Mountain, located in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and scenic drives.

The road leading to Nyanga is winding and narrow in some areas, but offers breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape.

Along the way, you pass through some small towns of but goo-looking towns of Zimbabwe: Marondera, Rusape, Juliasdale, then Nyanga.

One of the best experiences is the villages in between – exploring local markets or sample traditional delicacies. The journey to Nyanga is some five hours from the capital city of Harare.

Once you arrive at Nyanga Mountain, there are several hiking trails to choose, they offer stunning views of the landscape and waterfalls.

There are also campgrounds and lodges available for those who want to spend the night and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Overall, a road trip to Nyanga Mountain in Zimbabwe is a rewarding experience for outdoor lovers. What a scenic paradise it is!

           The Game

On the 14 October, an exciting and dramatic football match was played between Nyanga Legends and Ashpackers SSC at Rochdale Country Club in Nyanga. Our hosts won 1-0.

The match got off to a somewhat slow start, with the visitors arriving in Nyanga at 3pm, a long road trip taking heavy toll. But Nyanga Legends themselves arrived late for the game at home!

The Ashpackers players were visibly smashed due to the drinking for 300kms prior to their arrival. Part of the fun on the road, and why not!

The match eventually kicked off at 1630 under fading light, on rough terrain – anybody for farming, not football!

One Nharican visibly in another world for the Castle Lager in his blood, made the first 11. The jolly could have stolen victory for the visitors had his fortuitous attack at goal not gone direct to the keeper.

The game was an entertaining one, particularly in the first 20 minutes, where Ashpackers just couldn’t convert their territorial advantage into goals. They managed the midfield very well, thanks to the strength of Pasmafy and his troops.

Well, Nyanga Legends were quick to take advantage of their knowledge of local conditions. They did indeed gave Ashpackers a tough time throughout the game. They were consistently attacking, but still struggled to score because Kundai Teta, in goals for Ashpackers, made more than 8 brilliant saves.

Novatec and Papa Kez played their hearts out in midfield and defence respectively. Kundai Teta, for me, should share the man-of-the-match award with Jedza. He had the best opportunity to take the game to the visitors failed where it was harder to miss than score. Such is football!

The referee ultimately gifted Nyanga Legends a goal after stretching the game further than its regulation time. It was scored in darkness, the sun had already gone down.  The game was over!

Novatec, Kundai Teta and Papa Kez shared the an-of-the-match award. Jedza produced the miss of the game, when it was easier to score than to miss!

Despite the defeat, Ashpackers SSC players will undoubtedly consider the journey to and from Nyanga as being the real winner of the day. It was clearly a vacation, a vacation before the festive season comes around! The trip was filled with drama, which included the players suffering from kombi leg and then arriving in Nyanga to find that the playing field resembled a farmland than a soccer field.

Ras Jimmy and Papa Kez turn braai-masters!

At one time Captain Ninja, after gommandising sadza and nyama yemusoro plus strawberries, failed to control his bowels! He was lucky we were travelling in a mountainous region! Ninja comically conceded upon our arrival in Nyanga that he had depositing 9 kgs of lavatory stuff, 4km from the venue! He didn’t need any toilet paper, thanks to Muzeze hahahahaha..ndomamiswa chete nhasi!

But what an experience of a lifetime!

The journey was so refreshing as the team was accompanied by an unusual dose of humidity. The humidity which got Machape assuming an uncharacteristic tittle as a Geography lecturer, albeit kutaura hake dondo Hahahahah.  Machape always the hilarious one kept the travellers busy with his hoarse voice, churning out song after song. The Soul Jah Love wanna-be left his childishness at departure point and carried a more mature persona around the trip. Well, at least until he almost switched on the boom gate on several times!

Two lucky vendors in Rusape had an early Xmas party as the Ashpackers touring party descended on their wares. One had all her Super Chibuku beers sold out in a flash. The other selling full chickens sold more than 20 of them in thre minutes. Full chickens as in boiled eggs, of course!

If the road trip was crazy then the night was crazier. After a sumptuous meal of mabhonzo the “boiz” were given volumes of liqour and a tournament of snooker.

That was a big mistake for the host. They had no idea the group consisted of people that play  snooker daily and footy weekend. Ashpackers raved Nyanga legends to a pulp. The home team only won two games of 10. In all logic therefore it was one all.

Natural, the gangling cool ruler, whose deep pockets facilitated the match, graced the occasion. The usually soft-spoken descendent of the Manyeku ancestry kept his cool as he smothered in the activities of the day. On our way back to Harare we stopped at Rusape where I think Natural bought a whole goat. Well done Nachu and God bless you more!

Despite the loss, both teams played some beautiful football. The home team received high praise for their hospitality, having served a lavish dish of well-cooked mabhonzo to Ashpackers as well as providing comfortable accommodation.

The winner of the day, however, was Natural, who made it all possible.

Ngerengende Ngerengende!

*Friends of SportsCast, we kindly invite you to submit such social colour pieces as this one by Ras Jimmy.


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