HARARE – Nicknames generally denote what we do in society and by their nature the more you try to brush them off the more popular they get.
Former Black Aces, Wankie and Zimbabwe international central defender Charles Kaseke is a happy man and has no qualms about being nicknamed “Star Black” because it was a combination of his complexion and talent rolled in one description.
HEYDAY: Charles Kaseke, standing second from left, poses for a photograph with his Black Aces teammates before a league match at Gwanzura Stadium in 1990.
Now based in Glasgow, Scotland, where he relocated to in 2002, nine years after the tragic end to his career due to an ankle injury.
“I am dark in complexion and being a star in everything I did my colleagues called me Star Black,” Kaseke told the Daily News from Scotland.
Growing up in Mufakose meant that he had to extend his “stardom” to as far as street fighting although he regrets being associated with such childhood hooliganism.
“I was also a star in that department,” he quipped.
“Growing up in a tough neighborhood one had no choice but to be strong and stand up for yourself, I have done some despicable things along the way, something that I’m not proud of but I’m happy that I got saved 2007 and now proudly a servant of God with AFM church.”
Kaseke took his football skills to a greater heights while turning out for Moleli High School, having grown up playing the game on the streets. His introduction to professional football came in 1986 just after completing his Ordinary Level and never looked back since then.
In 1986, he joined Black Aces’ reserve side. Through the inspiration of Thomas Muchanyarei and the late Webster Lonjezani and in a year later he found himself playing for Wankie now Hwange just for a season before returning to Aces.
“This was my hobby from childhood having been born and bred in Mufakose, an area which is very rich in talent. Having been an admirer of Thomas who was one of the best strikers ever produced in Zimbabwe his invitation for me to join Aces was a click of the finger having watched me playing soccer at school,” he said.
“As a young boy going to rub shoulders with soccer greats was a dream come true and I must also thank Steven Kwashi for encouraging me and most importantly for having that stubborn faith to thrust me in the first team at an early age.”
The move to Wankie was inspired by the need to have a feel of premiership football since Black Aces was still playing in Division One during that period. He met Earnest Kamba who had spotted him turning out for Aces.
“It was a chance to play Super League football having been spotted by Kamba and I went together with Thomas and we were both recalled after Aces got promoted into the top flight league and obviously our stint with Wankie brought a little experience in the team.”
At Aces Kaseke, he played alongside the Mbidzo brothers, John and Farai, Ernest Chirambadare, Emmanuel Nyahuma and the Mugeyi twins Wilfred and William among other players.
His best moment in football was when he was crowned Black Aces player of the year in 1990, the same year he was capped by the Warriors.
“It can only be in 1990 when I played for the national team under Ben Koffi and partnered Francis Shonhayi in a friendly game against Coventry City but we lost that match 1-0 at Rufaro Stadium,” he said.
“Unfortunately Aces was in the relegation zone so my national duty got cut off because I had to help my team fight relegation and I’m glad we did survive relegation that season.”
The 1990 Soccer Stars calendar comprised players such as Percy Mwase, Stanley Mashezha, Francis Shonhayi, Masimba Dinyero and Stix Mtizwa.
Kaseke is happily married to Gloria Majecha and are blessed with six kids.
The country’s former footballers resident in the UK have come up with an association called Zimbabwe Legends.
“It's like a players union to help each other in times of need u know we are far away from home,” Kaseke concluded.