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Mashumba has got what Mashaba needs

If life were that simple, and players could just play for any country without restrictions, many of Zimbabwe's strikers would have easily walked into a Bafana Bafana starting line-up.

Imagine if Bafana had Wilfred Mugeyi, Benjamin Mwaruwari or Gilbert Mushangazhike in the late 1990s. Not that scoring was a problem at the time for Bafana, who had the likes of Shaun Bartlett, Phil Masinga and Benni McCarthy to rely on for goals.

But over the years the wasted chances in front of goal have left Bafana coaches scratching their heads, wondering who can shoulder the responsibility of banging in the goals regularly for the senior team.

Current Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba would kill right now to have someone as lethal as Jomo Cosmos' Zimbabwean striker Charlton Mashumba, who finished the season with 19 goals in Ezenkosi's promotion-winning campaign.

Mashumba, born in Chitungwiza, is not quite at the level of Mugeyi or Mwaruwari, but the 22-year-old is well on his way to becoming a top star.

He joined Ezenkosi from Blackburn Rovers in 2014, and no one is more pleased about his progress than his parents.

"We were not rich and we were not poor at home. By the grace of God I managed to get to where I am today. I am not where I want to be, but I will keep working hard," said Mashumba, who has played for Zimbabwe's under-17 and under-20 national teams.

"My parents were the first ones to suggest that I should play football. They saw that I have the talent. My father made sure that he bought everything for me and he and my mother got me through school. I did not have too many challenges. My parents are happy now and I am able to support them financially. I am so excited that we won promotion," said Mashumba, whose favourite player is Real Madrid's Karim Benzema.

His coach Jomo Sono said: "We are going to sit down and discuss his future. We would like to keep him.

"If he does not go overseas, somebody locally has to come with a very good offer."

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