Will Benyu bring life to the Warriors squad?

by | Jan 5, 2022 | Sport | 0 comments


Alex Ndhlovu

The 2022 AFCON tournament kicks off on January 9 with the host Cameroon taking on Burkina Faso for the opening match.

Zimbabwe play the following day against the star-studded Senegal.

The Warriors are in the same group with Senegal, Guinea and Malawi, top two teams in the group will qualify to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Coach Norman Mapeza announced the 30-men squad into camp before trimming them to 23.

There were outcry from football lovers saying the team lacks a creative midfielder, described traditionally in football terms as a Number 10.

Others suggested that Ngezi Platinum star Denver Mukamba –who has had a decent season with his club- be included to thread his intelligent passes to the front line.

Norman Mapeza took a gamble and included Iceland based Kundai Benyu, who was not in the original 30-man squad.

Mapeza believes Benyu has the much needed touch to split midfields and defenses.

“We spoke about it at length we wanted someone who will give us the box to box runs and Kundai will give us that,” he said.


In the past Zimbabwe had a gifted playmaker Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda who belonged to a rare breed of Zimbabwean footballers.

Gidiza was a creative midfielder who would dictate the attacking flow of the game from an advanced position behind the forwards.

Will Benyu fill in the big boots left by Gidiza, Shingi Kawondera, and most recently, Ovidy Karuru.

Who is Kundai Benyu?

He was born in England to Zimbabwean parents 24 years ago. He plays for Vestra, in the Icelandic second division.

He one played for Celtic, under former Liverpool and current Leicester coach, Brendan Rodgers.

He is described as a technical fast player who thrives on either flank with excellent ball control technics.

Benyu last played for the warriors in 2017 for the friendlies against Namibia and Lesotho.

Back in 2003 when warriors qualified first ever to be at the AFCON finals in Tunisia, it sparked wild celebrations across the country.

The then Coach Sunday Chidzambwa announced his 23-man squad to do duty for the nation.

In the team there was little known player who was roped in the last minute Joel ‘Dubai’ Lupahla who was based in Cyprus.


Many fans questioned the inclusion of the lanky forward but Coach Chidzambwa stuck to his guns, and Lupahla went on to justify his inclusion.

Lupahla dazzled at the tournament with his lightning pace and trickery to gain praises from the soccer legion.

All eyes will be on Benyu to justify his last minute inclusion to the team.

Will he be Zimbabwe`s new age Lupahla?