Another football star emerges from Gokwe


GOKWE has a new football starlet in the making hailing from Bomba.
Following the retirement of former Caps United and Warriors goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro and
striker Albert Mbano, it has been quiet in football spaces in terms of players coming from Gokwe.
Now enters Shelton Marabanyika, the gangling Kwekwe United gunman who has been sharpening
his skills for nearly a decade now.
Marabanyika was born in Gokwe, grew up listening to Charles Mabika matchday commentary on
radio. It was only a dream for a young boy born in a football loving family far away from the realities
of the game.
While playing bare foot at Sengwa Primary School, Marabanyika finally made a breakthrough in 2015
when he joined Chipaz Academy based at Hovano High School located at Bomba Business Centre
which is 20 kilometres from Gokwe.
“We always listened to soccer commentaries on the radio every Sunday, and this really inspired me,”
said Marabanyika as he narrated his journey and how he idolised football superstars back then.
“I liked Cuthbert Malajila so much but I did not know him. I only knew about him on radio. When I
joined Chipaz Academy in 2015, this was a game-changer for me as the club assisted me with
everything I needed.
“I was the youngest player by that time and they provided all the resources I needed. I began to
enjoy and love soccer under the watchful eye of club Director Mzondani Chipanga, whom I am very
grateful to for the exposure and opportunities at Chipaz Academy.
“It is a long distance from my homestead to Hovano the training ground, so I walked for five
kilometres every day. At first it was hard but I adjusted to the system and environment in time as I
was still going to school.
Like any other footballer, Marabanyika utilised opportunities which came through and had a chance
to rub shoulders with players at top clubs while trying his luck in the top flight leagues.
“At Chipaz Academy, I played for the junior team. Because of my hardwork and play, I was called for
trials and training stints by different clubs in the Premier League. In 2019, I was training with
Dynamos reserves and at that time, Tonderayi Ndiraya was the head coach. I then moved to
Beitbridge where I joined Division One side Dulibadzimu. My stay there was short lived due to the
Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown restrictions.”
During the same year, he was part of Zimbabwe national U20 (Young Warriors) provisional squad for
the Cosafa tournament in South Africa although he did not make it in the final squad.
“Soon after Covid-19 in 2022, I joined Paramount in Gokwe. I later moved to Yadah U20 side in
Harare and there I enjoyed my game. The environment was calm and good for development.

“When the 2023 season was about to commence, Yadah wanted to register me in the Premier
Soccer League with their senior team. Kwekwe United came calling and I decided to join them
because I needed game time,” said Marabanyika, christened “Gokwe” by Kwekwe United’s legion of
He scored more than 50 goals while at Chipaz Academy. At Dynamos reserves, he scored two great
goals against Cuthbert Malajila Academy (CUMA). So far at Kwekwe United he has banged in four
goals in all the games he has played.
His coach at United Benoni Mhlaigena said: “He is a good player, disciplined and as a striker and
there is room for improvement.”

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