HARARE – Former fitness coach of both Zimbabwe men’s and women’s national soccer teams, Gerald Maguranyanga is in hospital for an impending back operation.
Maguranyanga is admitted at a local private hospital for a complex restorative medical procedure to his pain-ridden back.
The trendsetting Maguranyanga was last in the headlines a couple of years ago following a public spat with the then Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze.
The fitness trainer had uncharacteristically snapped and angrily challenged the hugely unpopular Mashingaidze to resign forthwith for poorly treating the Mighty Warriors players in camp at the Zifa Village, where many times, the ladies would go hungry because of inadequate or shoddily prepared food.
The resultant hullabaloo ignited a huge debate in the mainstream and social media with most football fans lambasting Zifa for carelessly abusing the girl child.
The nasty fallout resulted in Maguranyanga promptly getting a dismissal letter from Mashingaidze.
Since then, Maguranyanga has kept a low profile something he attributes to the back problem he is now having corrected.
“I have struggled with major back pain in the past few years, but I have also consulted and been privileged to be managed by rehabilitation experts to ease the pain,” Maguranyanga told the Daily News from the hospital yesterday.
“Lately though, there has been a marked deterioration in the condition. It was time to bite the bullet, so here I am getting ready for the long surgery… I am positive… post-surgery, I will be as right as rain”
Maguranyanga was a focused and determined pacesetter. At 21, he had acquired two rugby coaching badges from the Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU), getting taught and certified by the highly-regarded Collin Osborne.
After the snap interview, Maguranyanga quipped: “I do not want visitors at the hospital, but please ask my rugby mentor… (Temba) Mliswa to come visit me, but only if he is coming to debate the recent rugby Tests between South Africa and Ireland — definitely no politics please!”