Willard Katsande: African Football’s Fashion Trailblazer

Boss Ya Mboka Kitoko Makasi is translated as Boss of the Whole Country, a parlance that has consumed the Southern hemisphere of African football. The sentence is vague to the everyday looker, but not to Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwe midfielder WIlliard Katsande.

On the field of play, Katsande is an opponent’s nightmare, a pest. A classy ball-winner, he will roughen you up, toss you up and again with his style, reminiscent of one Claudio Gentile (World Cup winning Italian defender). There is nothing friendly about this guy on the pitch. He packs a powerful shot, hence a penchant for the spectacular.

Eiy, it is the PSL, South Africa’s First Division is the home of spectacular football.

In Mzansi, football is expression. It is Diski our way, whether you are Ezenkosi, Amakhosi, Urban Warrior, Bucaneer, Brazilian, Clever Boy, Student or Matsasanta, soccer is a way of life.

Freedom of expression, connecting varying sectors of the society, hence, making the footballers, models whom children in the community want to emulate, both role and fashion models. “I wear the same shoes as Boss Ya Mboka” is for bragging rights in school. Fashion and sport are Siamese twins, always holding each other, influencing and defining society in a major way. Africans do not joke with their fashion. Remember when Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang attended the CAF Awards clad in a casual attire? Fail. Emmanuel Adebayor and Yaya Toure clinching their maiden awards clad in their impeccable traditional attires or Sadio Mane’s all black outfit when clinching his award? Style is King, be it the African Player of the Year Winner or the Boss of the Whole Country.

Auba was dressed very casually at the 2017 CAF Awards.

It is why there is fervor with the #BossYaMbokaChallenge, orchestrated by Katsande. A stylish man by standards, Katsande’s Social Media captions have always had the hashtag. However, as a virus kept us all at home, he decided to show his full fashion style, donning various outfits ranging from an all-white outfit that covers his bulky frame, to the brown waistcoat and pants he rocked that revealed his well-toned muscles for a man built like a machine.

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Kitoko makasi Boss Ya Mboka @kcfcofficial

A post shared by Willard Katsande (@kingsalt31) on

The pictures were a catch, but the videos are the game changers, with Katsande, either showing a new dance step, or checking whether his ankles are in a shape, perhaps a rehearsal for when football returns (defenders, beware!). The Chiefs vice-captain has received encomiums from teammates, club and even journalists alike. Commentaries from Ace journalist, Robert Marawa, who calls him Mr Kunzima, brings warmth to the heart.

Katsande’s fashion trailblazing was influenced by his parents, he told Buhle Madulini of Radio 702, “My Style is influenced by my father because he was a neat and fine dresser. My mom is the influence in regards to the doek.”

Recently, Katsande has been unable to feed us #SaturdaySwag as Kaizer Chiefs hope to wrap up the PSL title in the Bubble. However, while he still tries to protect us all in his Green Bullet Proof vest, Yellow shirt and Black Denim, we can only applaud #BossYaMboka. It may be an outlet upon retirement for him. He may not have the model gait of Cristiano Ronaldo or Achraf Bencharki, or sweep ladies of their feet with the charming smile of Aubameyang, footballers who have also endeared us with fashion trends, but this is the boss of the whole country, and when he isn’t winning tackles and interceptions, he is telling everyone to stay confident. Hail The Chief.