THE local volleyball family was yesterday plunged into mourning following the death of one of the country’s top coaches Tendai “Blacka” Matema.
Matema, who was the head coach of the Police Support Unit women’s volleyball team, was killed in a car accident in the early hours of Sunday morning near Chikurubi Support Unit camp in Harare, according to the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association.
He was 40 and is survived by his wife Chengetayi Matarutse and three children — two boys and a girl.
Mourners are gathered at No. 41 Chikurubi Support Unit camp in Harare.
Matema will be buried today at his rural home at Zaranyika Village in Murehwa.
The fatal car accident happened when Matema, his brother and two colleagues, who escaped with serious injuries, were coming from the Zimbabwe Open volleyball tournament which was held at the City Sports Centre.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing on of coach Tendai Matema of Support Unit hours after concluding our 2019 Zimbabwe Open tournament,” the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association said in a statement yesterday.
“Coach Matema had earlier in the day led his Support Unit women’s team in the third and fourth place play-offs that they lost to Manyame Falcons.
“He was involved in an accident in the early hours of the Sunday morning whilst in the filter to turn right into the Chikurubi Support Unit complex.
“Reports from those that visited the scene of the accident are that an oncoming vehicle crashed into his vehicle as he was slowing down to turn right into the Chikurubi Support Unit camp.
“His brother, who was in the same vehicle, suffered a broken leg and is seriously injured and currently admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital.
“May we all remember our friend and all those who were involved in the car accident in our prayers.
“To coach Matema (we say) thank you, thank you our friend for your contribution to the game of volleyball in Zimbabwe.
“Our hearts bleed especially when we think that we were together a few hours ago.
You left too early our friend,” the ZVA said in their statement.