Cricket fraternity mourns ‘Manager’


HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket national assistant coach Steve Mangongo and captain Brendan Taylor joined thousands who conveyed their condolence messages on the passing away of popular cricket fan Clement Masendeke.

Masendeke popularly known as “Manager” in cricket circles passed away at Harare Central Hospital on Friday evening where he was admitted for the past two weeks. Masendeke was 24.

He is set to be buried at Amaveni Cemetery in his home town of Kwekwe on Sunday.

Masendeke was born and bred in Kwekwe where he stayed with mother and sister Chenai.

He attended Fitchlea Primary School before going on to Shungu Secondary School for his Ordinary Level.

Masendeka later moved to Harare and was living with his uncle in Highfield at the time of his death.

His sister Chenai was at a loss of words yesterday and said her brother died a “happy man” after fulfilling his dream of becoming the Zimbabwe cricket’s number 1 fan.

“He was my older brother, the one and only brother I ever had. It was just the two of us in our family,” she told the Daily News on Sunday.

“I can’t put to words how deeply hurt I am. There were some complications with his health and in the last few days he was having breathing problems.

“Clement moved to Harare to follow his dream because he just loved cricket. At some point I’m happy for him because he accomplished his mission, that of being the greatest fan of Zimbabwe cricket.”

Taylor described Masendeke as a true patriot, whose love for the game came second to none.

“So sad to hear the passing of Clement, your patriotism towards our national team was second to none,” Taylor told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Your support and passion is irreplaceable. You will be missed. I remember so well his constant presence and voice of support and the odd bit of coaching advice from the sidelines.”

National team assistant coach Steve Mangongo described Masendeke’s death as “devastating.”

“It’s a devastating loss and such a pity to lose a man like ‘Manager’ whose heart and total commitment for cricket in Zimbabwe is irreplaceable,” Mangongo said.

“I don’t think there was ever a place that he never reached in support of cricket. He was an amazing character and always encouraging everyone even to me as a coach he would come up and share what he thought would help the team attain positive results on the field.

“He was a popular figure and well-liked man and it will be very difficult to replace him.”

Social media was awash with condolence messages to the Masendeke family yesterday after news of Clement’s death filtered through.

“Rest in peace ‘Manager’ from all of us in the cricket fraternity. We have lost a great man Clement, I am still in shock Manager waenda,” wrote one cricket fan, John Grey.

Tats Noel Quincy Cheru wrote: “I remember him from the Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka series at Harare Sports Club a couple of years ago. Ever the one to raise our spirits when the boys weren't playing well. He will be sorely missed. RIP Manager.”

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