HARARE – Highlanders forward Roderick Mutuma had low-key birthday celebrations yesterday as he focuses his attention on Sunday’s league match against Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium.
The forward, who turned 29 yesterday, had a disappointing 2016 with his former side Dynamos where he was often accused of not taking his game seriously and was part of a group of senior players alleged to have been abusing alcohol.
It came as no surprise when Mutuma, who is also known as the Prince, was offloaded by DeMbare together with the likes of Sydney Linyama, Stephen Alimenda and Jacob Muzokomba at the end of last season.
Football is, however, a funny sport as Mutuma has found a new home in Bulawayo by signing for one of DeMbare’s biggest rivals — Highlanders.
The forward has already won the hearts of Bosso supporters and is already a cult hero in the City of Kings.
Last weekend, Mutuma made his league debut for Highlanders in the 2-0 win over Bulawayo City as Erol Akbay’s side started the season on a good note.
Mutuma is hoping to regain the scoring touch that helped him win the Golden Boot in 2011 starting with the game against Shabanie Mine.
“It’s my birthday today (yesterday) but I will not be celebrating much because I still have a job to do this weekend,” Mutuma told the Daily News.
“I hope that I get to score on Sunday… then I can properly celebrate my birthday.”
Mutuma added: “Shabanie will not be an easy game for us. If we take them lightly this weekend, we will pay dearly; we have to be at the top of our game.”
Never the one lacking self-confidence, Mutuma says, after his dishonourable exit from DeMbare, he was always sure he would land a deal with a big club.
The Mvuma-born forward together with Stewart “Shutto” Murisa, Lovemore “Ma Gents” Ncube, are among the few local footballers to have all three local big clubs — Highlanders, Dynamos and CAPS United — on their CVs.
“I believe in my ability and even if I had gone to play for Yadah FC, I would have still given my best on the pitch like what I’m doing here at Highlanders,” Mutuma said.