Sat : 4 Mar : 15:30
Home Team Versus Away Team
FNB Stadium
The Gentle Giant won’t be forgotten
Friday, November 25, 2016

Kito Petrus ‘Ten-Ten’ Nzimande was one of the best players Kaizer Chiefs ever had. He could play as a defensive midfielder or as a centre-back. He joined Kaizer’s XI in late 1969 and continued to play for Kaizer Chiefs, founded on 7 January 1970, until 1978.

Nzimande was born in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal, but grew up in Mooi River. He started playing soccer as a youngster for the local side, Mooi River Hungry Vultures, joining African Wanderers at an early age in the beginning of the sixties.

When the Kaizer XI was set-up in late 1969, the late Alfred ‘Bomber’ Chamane felt that the side lacked a ‘number 4’. “Do you know somebody?”, Kaizer Motaug asked the striker. He did, suggesting Ten-Ten.

Chamane, who came from Maritzburg City, was a good friend of Nzimande. Soon thereafter Ten-Ten joined Kaizer’s XI, first on a temporary basis, then later fulltime.

Nzimande, became part of the hugely successful Kaizer Chiefs team in the seventies which included Ace Ntsoelengoe, Computer Lamola, Banks Sethlodi, Shaka Ngcobo, Ryder Mofokeng, Pelé Blaschke and Bizzah Dlamini.

That side won numerous trophies. “The one we enjoyed most was winning the first league title in 1974 and beating Hellenic in the second leg of the Chevrolet Champion of Champions final,” Nzimande once reflected, “because that was the first time a black team beat a white team.”

“We are all standing on the shoulders of players like Ten-Ten,” Amakhosi Chairman Kaizer Motaung reflects. “They are the founding fathers. If Chiefs didn’t have the success we had in those early years, I don’t know where we would be today.”

Nzimande also played in the first Soweto Derby on 24 January 1970, 17 days after Chiefs’ foundation. He scored a goal, even though the game was lost 6-4.

Another fond memory of the midfielder was playing with the Brazilian 1970 World Cup winner, Jairzinho. “It was special to play with a teammate of the great Pelé,” Nzimande commented.

“Ten-Ten was a bit like the Brazilian player David Luiz,” reflects his former teammate and friend, Bizzah Dlamini. “He was as strong as an ox and he was the kind of player a team needs when the chips are down. Ten-Ten was a good header of the ball, scoring regularly.”

‘Gentle Giant’, as Nzimande was also nicknamed, was built like a heavyweight, physically strong and tall. He was highly intelligent, often intercepting passes by being in the right position at the right time. This also meant that the midfielder didn’t need to tackle much.

He was also a clever distributor of the ball. Nzimande would often ask Bizzah Dlamini, “Where do you want to have the ball?” The striker would answer, “Anywhere behind the opponent’s defence.” Accordingly, Ten-Ten would deliver a clean through-ball for the speedy striker to finish.

“Ten-Ten was not a big talker,” Motaung remembers, “and on the field he led with his actions. He was very strong and a player everybody looked up to. He was not only a great teammate at Chiefs, we became good friends too.”

After arriving at Kaizer’s XI, Nzimande stayed for a while with the Motaung family in their house Phefeni, before moving to Diepkloof.

He got his nickname already during his days at African Wanderers, because he was as strong as ‘ten opponents’, as if it was ten (Nzimande) against one, hence the nickname ‘Ten-Ten’.

Nzimande took over Chiefs’ captain’s armband from Pro Kgongoane in the mid-seventies. And even though he was not a big talker, Ten-Ten was a real Glamour Boy being popular with the girls. He also followed Kaizer Motaung in having an Afro.

He never smoked or drank alcohol. Ten-Ten loved to play cards and at times formed a nearly unbeatable partnership with Banks Sethlodi. His roommate while on camp before a match would often be the late Pelé Blaschke.

“That wasn’t easy in the beginning,” the midfielder said. “As Pelé came from Namibia and in the beginning only spoke Afrikaans, a language I didn’t speak. However, he quickly learnt to speak English and even Zulu, becoming good friends.”

“Ten-Ten was a humble person,” comments Amakhosi’s former right-back Ryder Mofokeng, who took over the captaincy armband from Nzimande, “very quiet also, only talking to people he knew. However, when you had a (personal) problem, he would be the first to assist, always being very supportive.”

After leaving Chiefs, Ten-Ten went on to coach, for example, Bloemfontein Celtic and African Wanderers. Later on, he loved working with kids, teaching them the basics of football. “Soccer teaches discipline and obedience,” he used to say, “aspects that can help a person to succeed in life, even if it’s not as a footballer.”

Nzimande suffered a stroke in September which was followed by a second a month later. He never recovered.

The Gentle Giant was born on 26 May 1947 and passed away on Tuesday afternoon, 22 November 2016.

He leaves behind his partner Dudu and four children.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!

1. February 27, 2017 Chiefs Reserves close MDC with a win
2. February 26, 2017 We regret the lost points - Komphela
3. February 25, 2017 Chiefs get a point in Cape Town
4. February 25, 2017 Páez and Lebese start against Ajax
5. February 24, 2017 Chiefs geared up for Ajax – Komphela
6. February 24, 2017 Amakhosi youngsters join Amajita to Zambia
7. February 23, 2017 New KCTV show premiers on Friday night at 7
8. February 23, 2017 Soweto derby ticketing
9. February 22, 2017 Chiefs Reserves and Supersport Reserves in MDC finale
10. February 21, 2017 Maluleka had a calf muscle strain
11. February 21, 2017 Gordinho reacts to Highlands Park win
12. February 20, 2017 Chiefs confirm contract extensions
13. February 20, 2017 Chiefs visit Ajax at Athlone Stadium
14. February 19, 2017 Compliments to Highlands Park – Komphela
15. February 18, 2017 Gordinho’s matchwinner helps defeat Highlands Park
16. February 18, 2017 Baloyi and Cardoso start
17. February 18, 2017 Digital education brought to Mtwalume
18. February 18, 2017 Quickly back to basics after each win - Komphela
19. February 18, 2017 People love Kaizer Chiefs - Abraw at Umlazi Roadshow
20. February 17, 2017 It’s all about the mindset - Maluleka
21. February 16, 2017 KC Roadshow in Umlazi on Friday
22. February 16, 2017 Rama looks ahead to Highlands Park game
23. February 16, 2017 Supporters of Love & Peace
24. February 15, 2017 Chiefs insert in today’s Isolezwe and Daily News
25. February 14, 2017 Who will be on the KC Couch?
26. February 14, 2017 It’s not a one man show - Khune
27. February 13, 2017 Chiefs host Highlands Park in Durban
28. February 13, 2017 We worked hard to win - Komphela
29. February 12, 2017 Chiefs Reserves lose it narrowly
30. February 11, 2017 Chiefs go past Maritzburg
31. February 11, 2017 Unchanged line-up for Chiefs
32. February 11, 2017 I had to improvise - Katsande
33. February 10, 2017 Lebese is available for Maritzburg – Komphela
34. February 10, 2017 Parker’s thoughts on Maritzburg game
35. February 9, 2017 Honoured to partner with Toyota – Jessica Motaung
36. February 9, 2017 Chiefs travel to Pietermaritzburg
37. February 9, 2017 It’s Chiefs Reserves against Sundowns Reserves
38. February 8, 2017 It was an okay game - Komphela
39. February 8, 2017 Kaizer Chiefs and Toyota Announce Partnership Agreement
40. February 7, 2017 Chiefs easily go past Stars
41. February 7, 2017 Khune back in the line-up
42. February 7, 2017 Páez available for selection - Komphela
43. February 6, 2017 Tower and Tight in new Amakhosi Magazine
44. February 6, 2017 Hard work pays off - Gordinho
45. February 3, 2017 Chiefs draw Stellenbosch in Nedbank Cup Last 32
46. February 2, 2017 Wonderful opportunity to join the Kaizer Chiefs Family - Páez
47. February 2, 2017 Chiefs Reserves host Arrows Reserves in Asidlali
48. January 31, 2017 Chiefs sign Paez and Mathoho extends
49. January 31, 2017 Chiefs return to action against Free State Stars
50. January 26, 2017 Chiefs Reserves tackle Cape Town City in MDC
51. January 26, 2017 Shabba and Itu in tonight’s KCTV show
52. January 24, 2017 We will be back in 2019 – Katsande
53. January 21, 2017 Chiefs face Celtic in MDC
54. January 20, 2017 Toure no-show on return flight
55. January 19, 2017 Four Amakhosi youngsters in Amajita squad
56. January 18, 2017 Transfer window update
57. January 17, 2017 Draw felt like a defeat for Shopane
58. January 16, 2017 Chiefs reserves share points with Pirates
59. January 13, 2017 A dream comes true - Katsande
60. January 12, 2017 Orkney’s fallen will always be in our memory
61. January 11, 2017 Chiefs’ reserves face Pirates on Sunday
62. January 10, 2017 Shabba’s decade of Love & Peace
63. January 7, 2017 Happy 47th Anniversary Amakhosi
64. January 7, 2017 Congratulations Sundowns - Motaung
65. January 6, 2017 Amakhosi resumes training
66. January 2, 2017 Chiefs youngsters jet off to Fulham
67. December 31, 2016 Happy New Year - Kaizer Motaung
68. December 24, 2016 Best wishes – Jessica Motaung
69. December 21, 2016 Chiefs give fans an early Christmas present
70. December 21, 2016 Letlotlo’s first start for Chiefs
71. December 20, 2016 Charged up for Arrows - Parker
72. December 19, 2016 Molangoane is grateful to be back
73. December 18, 2016 Chiefs beat Polokwane in thriller
74. December 18, 2016 Molangoane’s first start for Chiefs
75. December 18, 2016 Komphela looks for three points
76. December 17, 2016 Baloyi: ‘We can turn it around’
77. December 16, 2016 ‘We have to show more hunger against Polokwane’
78. December 15, 2016 All we need is a win – Komphela
79. December 14, 2016 Chiefs and Celtics share the points
80. December 14, 2016 Baloyi starts against Celtic
81. December 14, 2016 Chiefs youngsters shine at Cosafa Cup
82. December 14, 2016 Mathoho eyes return
83. December 13, 2016 We are positive – Cardoso
84. December 12, 2016 Eyeing three points – Tshabalala
85. December 8, 2016 Kaizer Chiefs give hope to Children
86. December 7, 2016 The game against Celtic is important
87. December 3, 2016 Chippa edge Chiefs
88. December 3, 2016 Xulu and Khuzwayo start
89. December 3, 2016 We will be on top soon - Cardoso
90. December 2, 2016 Gaxa DRC outcome
91. December 2, 2016 Molangoane signs for Amakhosi
92. December 1, 2016 Chiefs tackle Maritzburg in Asidlali Festival
93. November 30, 2016 Chiefs travel to PE
94. November 30, 2016 Chiefs and City share the points
95. November 30, 2016 We should have won – Komphela
96. November 29, 2016 Cardoso and Khumalo start
97. November 29, 2016 Khumalo returns against City
98. November 29, 2016 It's a turning point - Khune
99. November 28, 2016 Gaxa now at Wits
100. November 26, 2016 The Citizens visit us