Former tough-tackling Masvingo United and FC Platinum right back, Godfrey Dondo, affectionately known ‘Mai Mahofa’ has retired from professional football on his 44-year birthday. He celebrated his birthday with Masvingo soccer-loving fans on Sunday at Mucheke Stadium.
Dondo who comes from a humble background in Gutu is currently Masvingo United FC’s assistant coach. He started his career at Division 1 side Mimosa FC and moved to the now-defunct Zimbabwe Saints juniors where he was later elevated to the senior team popularly known as ‘Chauya chikwata’ in 1996.
In 2000 Dondo found his new home at Masvingo United. After joining Una Una as Masvingo United is known by its fans, the fearless tight-marking defender was immediately offered the captain’s armband and earned his nickname ‘Mai Mahofa’. At one time Dondo captained Zimbabwe national team while on national duty in Mozambique.
The naughty nickname is said to have been coined by a group of mischievous fans that were referring to the late Zimbabwean politician and a member of Zanu-PF politburo, Shuvai Mahofa’s big backside because of the watertight defence marshalled by the right-back, Dondo.
The Mirror got a chance to speak to Dondo who has just retired as a professional soccer player, to start a new career as a coach.
“It has been a long soccer journey and I don’t regret hanging my boots. I’m very happy to retire now as a player because I have done my level best in football. I want to focus on coaching that’s why I retired as a player.
“I was able to coach and play because that’s my talent. As for now, I’m not going to concentrate on the team because we are fighting for a promotion into the Premier Soccer League (PSL),” said Dondo.
One of the event organizers, Taurayi Mudzviti, popularly known as ‘Bucho’ lauded Dondo for his contribution as a football player which helped to put Masvingo province on the sporting map.
“We decided to join our living football legend to celebrate his birthday because he represented Masvingo when he played for big football clubs in Zimbabwe including the national team.
“We hosted this event in Mucheke Stadium because this is where the nickname “Mai Mahofa’ came from. His good performance led the team to become a force to reckon with in PSL,” said Mudzviti.https://masvingomirror.com/