‘I BECAME A GOALIE BY DEFAULT’
1 February 2018
. . . Chipezeze speaks on days as a striker
BANGING in goals was Elvis Chipezeze’s passion at an early age.
But all that changed in an instant when the Chicken Inn goalkeeper showed how good he was at stopping them too.
The 2017 Goalkeeper of the Year has opened up to H-Metro about the journey that has seen him become one of the best in the country.
“I was in grade five and we were playing a game and the person who was the goalkeeper that time, got injured so I decided to take his position.
“It was my first time playing as a goalkeeper because I only played as a striker, so when I took that position everyone was impressed and said that I should be a goalkeeper instead of a striker,” says Chipezeze.
“I also enjoyed being a goalkeeper that day, so since that day I started playing as a goal keeper.”
More than 15 years later, Chipezeze has suddenly become one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the country.
“I joined Chicken Inn in 2012 when I was coming from Divison 1 where I was playing for Zim Arrows.
“Chicken was and are still the team to beat. I enjoyed the way they played and how professional they were so that’s when I decided that I should play for a team like this,” he says.
“Coming from Division 1 and being new in the Premier league, it was not easy at first since I had to adapt to the system. The team had their first choice goalkeepers.
“It was hard for me because I spent two years on the bench and people were now talking you know. Mughetto vanhu vanenge vakutaura. Imagine two years going to training without playing.
“But I was patient and comforted myself knowing that my time will come and for sure it came.”
The Chicken Inn episode seems long, only until he starts to talk about where he really came from.
He was born in Bulawayo and his family relocated to Gweru when he was just five years old.
He attended Mkoba Primary 4 and Mkoba I High and played football during his time at school.
It was at Mkoba where he changed from being a striker to goalie.
He never turned back since then and all that he has gone through is water under bridge.
“It’s a tough decision saying I am one of the best goalkeepers because all the goalkeepers are good and I think I have a lot to learn,” Chipezeze responds when asked if he is the best.
“There is no specific person locally that I can say is the best, because everyone is the best in his unique way. But internationally, Manchester United goalkeeper David Degea is the best for me,” he says.
He adds that his best moment was when they were crowned champions in 2015 and his worst moment was last season when they lost to Highlanders by four goals to nil.
The goalie says it is never easy being in that position.
“I remember when I saved a penalty this other time, I was voted man-of-the-match.
“The disadvantages are that if you make a mistake during the game, people will always remember that, even if you had made about 50 saves, they will always talk about that mistake.
“The other disadvantage is that you are the last man in defence,” he says.
The Chicken Inn goalie says being a medical doctor was next in line if he had not become a footballer.
“It was my father’s wish that I become a doctor but I opted for football instead because it’s in me and it’s something I love and enjoy doing.
“Unfortunately he passed on when I was still young. It’s sad that he did not live to see what I have become,” he says.
Chipezeze is married to Marvelous Ngwenya and they are blessed with a three year old boy, Junior Chipezeze.
The goalie is the first born in a family of two. He has a younger brother Evans Chipezeze who is also a goalkeeper for TelOne in Gweru.
Asked about moments he will never forget, he said: “My scariest moment is when I collided with Wisdom Mutasa during play and I got injured.
“It was bad to me because I thought that my career had ended, but I thank God that I managed to pull through,” says Chipezeze.
Chipezeze dreams of playing for the big three Highlanders, Dynamos and CAPS, but has vowed to try and win another title with Chicken Inn before doing that.
“If all this is done, then I will be able to move to a bigger club.
“I must say that Chicken Inn have been a home to me and I have enjoyed my work here.’’
He dreams of playing with his former teammates that have moved on.
“If given a chance, I would bring Danny Phiri, Tendai Chirambadare, Tendai Ndoro, Kuda Mahachi and Mitchelle Katsvairo because we have a history.
“I have a history with these players so I would love to be on the same team with them,” he says.