Zimbabwe is an African country where your natural first go-to isn’t to think of Premier League footballers. But you’d be mistaken if you thought there hadn’t been any from the region or with connections to it in the past. As there have been, and continue to be, Zimbabwean players plying their trade at the highest level in English football, and there will be more in future.
We’re going to start this list by mentioning not only a current Premier League footballer but a current Zimbabwe international too. Jordan Zemura, born in the UK, came through the ranks at QPR and Charlton before progressing to Bournemouth, where he’s currently a first-team regular for the Premier League outfit.
The twenty-three-year-old plays at left-back and is renowned for his lung-bursting runs down the flank. While many respected sports betting bookmakers who are experts in this particular space are tipping Bournemouth to be relegated from the top flight this term, Zemura’s youthful exuberance and determination will be key if they’re to beat the drop and retain their Premier League status under manager Gary O’Neil. If the Cherries were to do down, Zemura, capped six times by Zimbabwe, would likely have plenty of suitors.
Marvelous Nakamba, like Zemura, is another full Zimbabwe international currently contracted to a Premier League club. Nakamba, who made the switch to England’s top-flight in 2019 when he swapped Club Brugge for Aston Villa, has played over twenty times for his country, and while he’s now out on loan at Championship side Luton Town, he could still yet return to and perform at the highest level.
Nakamba is a tough tackling twenty-nine-year-old midfielder who enjoys nothing more than breaking up play and getting his team on the front foot. During his career, Nakamba has played for AS Nancy, Vitesse, Club Brugge, Aston Villa and Luton Town, all after leaving Zimbabwean outfit Bantu in 2012. During that time, he’s also become a champion in Belgium and won the Dutch Cup.
As far as footballers from Zimbabwe go, they don’t come any more iconic than Benjani, who was and remains very much a cult figure in English football. Benjani, who hails from Bulawayo, played as a striker for no fewer than four Premier League teams – Portsmouth, Manchester City, Sunderland and Blackburn, scoring a total of twenty-six goals. And for anyone who follows English football, they will likely remember the season at Portsmouth that earned him a big-money move to Man City.
Benjani’s exploits in England’s top-flight did a lot to promote the Premier League in Zimbabwe, a country the striker played for a total of forty-four times, scoring an impressive twenty-nine goals. He wasn’t always known for being the most prolific striker in his club career, but his industry was his standout attribute, and this was the reason he managed to secure so many high-profile moves throughout what was ultimately a career to be proud of.