Langton Nyakwenda in Windhoek
ON the pitch his career has been an ocean of success: four league titles with two clubs, including three straight championships with Dynamos, and an on-off flirtation with the national team.
But financially it’s not making sense for footballer Ocean Mushure. “I have done all I can on the domestic front. I have won titles with Monomotapa United and DeMbare but something is still missing,” says the 32-year-old defender.
“After playing for so long, winning a lot of championships, one would rush to think I now have it all. But actually, I feel like I have nothing to show after all these years of toiling on the field. I have two (residential) stands in Harare but I can’t develop them because I don’t have the financial capacity.”
With age not on his side, Mushure is yearning for a life-changing move to a foreign club. The Dynamos left-back was impressive as Zimbabwe bagged a historic fifth Cosafa Castle Cup title in South Africa and is now the subject of interest among Absa Premiership teams on that side of the Limpopo.
And it’s not the first time that Mushure has attracted foreign interest. Over the years the cultured left-footer has been linked with a number of sides but it has all come to naught. Now, the former Monomotapa and Motor Action star is said to be on the radar of Absa Premiership side Maritzburg United, and Joey Antipas’ AmaZulu, who recently bought a top-flight franchise from Thanda Royal Zulu. Long-term admirers AS Vita of DR Congo are also understood to be back in the picture.
“On being linked with foreign clubs, I really cannot say much because my management is handling it. But yes, there has been some interest and I am hoping that something fruitful will come out of it this time around,” he says.
The veteran wing-back will captain Zimbabwe as they begin their latest Africa Nations Championships (Chan) campaign with a first leg qualifier here in Namibia this afternoon. And Mushure wants to make another statement to the clubs that have admired him from a distance over the years.
“As locally-based players, we just have to perform to the fullest so that we impress foreign scouts. Yes, we can’t all play in foreign lands but there comes a time you feel time is ripe or it is actually running out and that is the case with me,” Mushure says.
The defender won the league title with Monomotapa in 2009 before winning three on the bounce with DeMbare between 2012 and 2014. Mushure also won the Mbada Diamonds Cup with Dynamos in 2012.
A devout Johane Masowe eChishanu follower, Mushure has been praying for “this last chance” so that he can build a house for his wife Audrey and five-year-old daughter Mufaro.
“I just have to provide for my family and make sure that years from now people will not read about how I am struggling since retiring from the game. Sometimes people are quick to criticise us but the truth is playing locally is not as lucrative as it appears,” says Mushure.
Warriors coach, Sunday Chidzambwa said he was looking for crucial away goals, ahead of the return leg in Harare. Chidzambwa also roped in veteran goalkeepers coach to bolster his technical team that also has Lloyd Mutasa and Bongani Mafu as assistants. Should Zimbabwe prevail over Namibia as expected, they will face one more opponent before they qualify for the finals.
Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya, Hebert Rusawo. Defenders: Obey Mwerahari, Devine Lunga, Jimmy Dzingai, Dennis Dauda, Jimmy Tigere.
Midfielders: Ocean Mushure, Moses Muchenje, Gerald Takwara, Liberty Chakaroma, Talent Chawapiwa, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Raphael Manuvire, Denver Mukamba. Strikers: Abbas Amidu, Prince Dube, Francisco Zekumbawire.