- The talented Kandi said he was also into music whilst playing soccer at the same time. He said he played alongside great Musicians who included the late music icon the late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and Tanga wekwa Sando whom he grew up with in the high-density suburb of Highfield,” I started playing music in 1965 before I joined Dynamos and I played music together with Oliver Mtukudzi and Tanga wekwa Sando whom I grew up with,” said Kandi.
- According to Kandi, he formed his first band with his classmate Robert Mathanga at Highfield Secondary School in 1968 and we called themselves ‘ The Dead Civilisation Rock Band’. ” I had my first band in 1968 alongside my friend Robert and the band is still around though now based in Victoria Falls with another name called ‘ Mandebvu’ ” said Kandi.
He used to deny the then feared strikers’ chances to score goals with some breathtaking and acrobatic saves and after the matches he could be seen playing music and entertaining audiences with sweet music. He could save penalties and was a darling to many fans with good catching abilities until he hung his gloves. The former first choice goalkeeper of Dynamos ” Dembare” or “seven million’ as the club was known by its legion of fans, later hung his boots and is now concentrating in music, screen plays and movies where he is making a big name for himself.
Born in Murehwa 69 years ago, Kandi now an actor, director, writer and producer for small screens grew up in Highfield in the Capital City of Zimbabwe and the former Dynamos goalkeeper said he started playing football at a tender age but found himself wearing the Glamour Boys gloves in 1975 until he retired in 1984.
During the interview with the paper, Kandi took back the memory lane as he narrated how playing for a big team was during their hey days. ” Playing for a big team like Dynamos or Caps United was everyone’s dream and every game in a Dynamos colours was memorable regardless of the result,” said Kandi. ” It was obvious that a win was always welcome,” continued Kandi.
Laban Said he was privileged to play alongside great players to come out of the Country during his playing days. ” I had privileged and honoured to play with some of the finest footballers to emerge out of this Country,” said Kandi.
The finest goalkeeper played alongside George Shaya, Shaw Handriade, Kuda Muchemeyi, Oliver Kateya, Daniel ‘ Dhidhidhi’ Ncube, David ‘ Yogi’ Mandigora to name only but a few and the cream won almost everything that was on offer including the Championship, Castle Cup, Chibuku Trophy, Independence Cup. ” We played as team a team and we won almost everything that was on offer and the medals are in my cabinet” narrated Kandi.
The talented Kandi said he was also into music whilst playing soccer at the same time. He said he played alongside great Musicians who included the late music icon the late Dr Oliver Mtukudzi and Tanga wekwa Sando whom he grew up with in the high-density suburb of Highfield,” I started playing music in 1965 before I joined Dynamos and I played music together with Oliver Mtukudzi and Tanga wekwa Sando whom I grew up with,” said Kandi.
According to Kandi, he formed his first band with his classmate Robert Mathanga at Highfield Secondary School in 1968 and we called themselves ‘ The Dead Civilisation Rock Band’. ” I had my first band in 1968 alongside my friend Robert and the band is still around though now based in Victoria Falls with another name called ‘ Mandebvu’ ” said Kandi.
Asked if he was able to balance soccer and music, Kandi said he was good at balancing his schedule so that they were not clashing. ” During my playing days, I budgeted my time so that my music, acting and football didn’t clash and I extremely enjoyed my activities”. Said Kandi who is a proud grandfather of 4 granddaughters.
Kandi is now into screen acting and is doing wonders with a lot of plays he has written, acted, directed and produced. His first drama career was in 1987 when he acted in an adult literacy Comedy which he wrote. ” My first drama play which I wrote and was directed by the late Vambe Jirira was a comedy titled ‘ KUSAZIVA IDONGO RAKATAMWA’ which was screened on National Television,” said Kandi. From that play, the naturally talented actor never looked back and continued to write and directing. He even acted in several plays with the most notible plays being ‘ Inheritance Court’ and the most humourous drama series ‘ Gringo’ which featured the most talented actor Lazarus Boora who acted as Gringo a Kandi acted as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the same series. ” Since my first play to hit the screen, I continued to act more plays and I played alongside Lazarus Boora in one of the most humourous drama series Gringo,” said Kandi.
A motivational speaker himself, Kandi has written and produced many dramas, movies and skirts (short films). ” I am still writing and producing some movies and drama series,” said Kandi. Some of his movies he has written and directed include ‘ Dai uriwe?’, ‘ Private eye’, The Haunted’ and the latest movie ‘The Card’ to name only but a few. Kandi’s movies have been receiving positive response from the viewers. The man is also a motivational speaker and has been writing Inspirational quotes since1965 when he was still a Primary School child and he said he is now amending some of the quotes in order to move with time.
“I started writing inspirational quotes since I was a primary school kid, and I am now amending some of them so that they move with time,” said Kandi. ” Above all I give Glory to God for giving me the wisdom to share with others through the quotes,” continued the motivational writer.
Like most retired soccer players, Kandi spends time with kids on the football field helping in identifying and nurturing their talents. Kandi has an Academy called LABAN KANDI GOALKEEPING SCHOOL of EXCELLENCE which he runs and is helping in his area of strength as a veteran goalkeeper. ” I also run an Academy and I train, nurture and identify their talents and I am happy that I am identifying them.” said Kandi who recently saw off one of his kids 19 year old MacDonald Motsi who is a graduate at Laban Kandi Backyard Stadium. Motsi is set to join Gulf United Fc and Kandi has hopes that one day that boy will break into top leagues in Europe. ” I also help other kids with my Laban Kandi Backyard Stadium and I have a kid who went abroad recently and he is a wonderful kid and I have faith that he will break into the top leagues,” said Kandi who resides in Braeside Harare.
Kandi views Zimbabwean Art Industry as a perfect one which is growing in leaps and feels that the Government should relax on import duties on film and other equipment that are used in making productions and it will be easier for those who want to be in the industry to have quality productions. ” I am glad to say that art in Zimbabwe is growing so fast in leaps and bounds and in right direction though I feel that our government should just relax on some of its duties like film making equipment so that we can produce excellent world-class movies which in turn help boosts the economy in our own small way.” said Kandi.
The gifted artists had words of wisdom to the upcoming actor and writers who are still growing in the industry to learn to be patient I’d they want to become successful in any venture. H said that they must take each step as it comes for success was not built in a day.
“Our upcoming artists should learn not to take shortcuts but to be patient because success in any venture is a process just like Rome which was not built in a day,” said Kandi who is married to Marian and has 3 grown sons.