Friday , April 23 2021

Mapeza sings Ebenezer | Sunday's Mail



NORMAN MAPEZA has listened to a lot of reverend Togarirepi Chivaviro's mentally-filled songs, especially in the 2015 "Ebenezer" chart.

Why should not he?

The text resonates well with Mapeza's current settings, as the FC Platinum coach appears to have packed his second consecutive league title with the Zvishavane-based page.

Pure Platinum Play was crowned 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer at Mandava yesterday with Mapeza as the first coach of Zimbabwe's football history to win the top flight twice with a team outside Harare and Bulawayo.

Mapeza also received the name coach for the month of October last week and is reddish favorite to retain the Premier League Soccer League Coach of the Year award.

He says that's all God's doing!

"If I look at the difficult trip I've traveled from the first day I joined FC Platinum, I can only say that it's God who has taken me so far.

"That's why I listen to Rev Chivaviros" Ebenezer "and some spiritual songs from Baba Mechanic Manyeruke, because I've realized with God everything is possible," said Mapeza The Sunday Mail Sport.

The 46-year-old gaffer rarely opens his inner life, but Mapeza chose his 5505 day in charge of FC Platinum, which was Pure Platinum Plays Crony Day, the platform to remind a platinum tour that began on August 10, 2014.

Mapeza has built an average machine that is so ruthless at Mandava Fortress where FC Platinum has hit only four losses in the 69 league matches they have played in Zvishavane since the revered gaffer took charge.

But with all these statistics to back up his success, the former Warriors coach, who also won another league title with Monomotapa back in 2008, refused to be self-centered.

"It's not about Mapeza or pride in itself, but it's all about the FC Platinum family," he insisted.

"Everything from my technical team, players, club and the Zvishavane community have all played a part.

"Without my support, I would not have achieved this. It's about hard work, determination and dedication, and building a good collaboration with the players.

"Everything I do in football, even from my early days at Darryn T in Chitungwiza, I do that seriously. You can ask my childhood friend Lloyd (Chitembwe), he knows how much effort we take during our formative years.

"We would wake up at 6 o'clock and work on our own before we joined the rest of the Darryn T-player and then train again alone after the team session."

Born to a peasant family in Honde Valley back in 1972, Mapeza came to Harare only at the age of five.

He grew up with a midwife after the death of his biological death back in 1986.

Mapeza credits his late mother to plant it "never give up the seed" in him.

"My mom always reminded of the need to work hard in view of our background. And I've been working hard since then. Watch my story, play for the national team, go to Europe, it's all because of hard work," said former Galatasaray user.

Mapeza's passion for the game is unknowingly and his handsome antics have always given the photographers some nice backside pictures.

"If I do not, my players will close. Football is our job and my players know it's time to work when they see me animated on the touch line.

"I'm also strict with these boys because football has become more scientific today. I have to know what they eat, how they spend their social time, I have to literally control everything, otherwise we will not have suitable players here." Mapeza players know What a gaffer he is, sure you do not smoke.

No fast food, no nightlife and more work is the culture of FC Platinum.

After the match celebration is usually short with focus transition to the next match, there is little time for social media and Mapeza itself is neither active on Twitter nor Facebook.

"I do not have time for social media, it wastes my time," he said.

Mapeza is a disciple of Chelsea Italian coach Maurizio Sarri, whose scintillating brand of expansive attacking football transformed his former Naples into a power plant back in Series A.

"I do not support any club in Europe because I'm just watching football to learn. Of course, I like Barcelona's style and I also followed Naples's progress when Sarri was there. I like Sarri's methods a lot.

"I also read a lot about Manchester City coach Pep (Guardiola) and I also get some things from Brazilian football, yes I read a lot about Brazilian teams," revealed Mapeza.

The 2018 season began at a low level for Mapeza, which experienced a back injury in a freak gym incident before its surgery on March 2.

It was a terrible period for Mapeza as he missed FC Platinum's first seven games.

"It was painful but on the flip side, it showed the period of support my family is. My wife, Blandina, is always a pillar, my children Njabulo (15) and Sasha (12) were there too.

"My kids do not play football, they are in cricket but they ask a lot about my profession. They want to know if I'm okay.

"My siblings also stood by my side, you see my family has always been there since the days I started professional football," he said.

While some find it hard to agree with him, Mapeza believes that opposites are healthy for the game's best.

"I think we struggle to make each other better, I've had some disagreements with some football journalists and yes, sometimes we're disgusted, but in the end we all need each other. In fact, I'm learning a lot about what you write.

"To my colleagues coach, let's continue sharing ideas to better ourselves. You're all good coach," says the FC Platinum Mentor.

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