ADAM Ndlovu’s death in a crash on Sunday plunged a nation into mourning as former and current players, including his teammates in Reinhard Fabisch’s Dream Team, remembered a “gentleman”.
Ndlovu’s young brother, Peter, is admitted at Bulawayo’s Mater Dei Hospital although he is expected to pull through after the accident shortly after 1AM near Victoria Falls.
The two former Highlanders and Zimbabwe stars, younger brothers to Madinda Ndlovu, a former international himself, were travelling to Victoria Falls for a match featuring Highlanders Legends and a local side when the vehicle left the road and hit several trees.
Former Zimbabwe and Highlanders coach Rahman Gumbo, who was already in Victoria Falls for their match on Sunday, was at a loss of words.
“I am in shock. We were in Victoria Falls for the match but we are going back to Bulawayo right now,” he said on Sunday as a grief-swept nation waited for news on Peter, the only survivor in a crash which also killed a female passenger.
Former Dream Team defender Ephraim Chawanda said: “He came into the national team when there was a lot of competition, but he played very well. He was kind, full of joy and was always laughing with everyone including us the senior players. It’s sad and I wish Peter a speedy recovery.”
Willard Mashinkila Khumalo said: “I am at a loss of words. I am shocked by all this and just can’t believe it.”
Former Zimbabwe Saints and Warriors striker Agent Sawu had to go to Adam’s house in Selbourne Park and get confirmation of his death.
“I’m coming from his house now and I cannot believe it. I’m at a loss of words,” he said.
Zimbabwe defender Noel Kaseke, speaking from Cyprus where he plays for AC Omonia, said: "I will remember Adam as a fine gentleman. I was a youngster when he invited me to his house once after training and a day later I was playing in the same team as him when he scored an amazing overhead kick against CAPS United. He was a great guy, the type of person you would like to hang out with."
Former Highlanders chairman Kennedy Ndebele, now the Premier Soccer League secretary general, visited Peter in hospital on Sunday and spoke of his grief.
He said: “It’s a terrible tragedy. I was with Adam at the Soccer Star awards ceremony on Friday night and he was his usual self – chatting to everyone and ever smiling. Nothing can prepare you for any death, it’s worse if the person involved is an absolute legend like Adam.”
Peter was wheeled into Mater Dei shortly after 1.30PM on Sunday in the company of his brother, Marko.
An hour later, an update from family members said he had regained consciousness and was now speaking.
Marko, handling the proceedings while awaiting the arrival of Madinda from Botswana, who was expected on Sunday night, then rushed home to Selbourne Park where mourners are gathered to assure them Peter was expected to pull through after rumours he had also died.
His ex-manager and friend Winston Makamure said: “He is now conscious and is communicating. He has internal injuries, head injuries, broken ribs and a broken leg.”