Esrom Nyandoro of Mamelodi Sundowns holds the ball up ahead of Nhlanhla Shabalala of Ajax Cape Town during the 2013 Nedbank Cup game© Ryan Wilkisky - BackpagePixAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaThe story of Esrom ‘Yellowman’ Nyandoro is a very interesting one. From travelling around the world as a performer in the theatre to sending his curriculum vitae via fax to Mamelodi Sundowns requesting a trial, the soft-spoken midfield combatant is a man of several talents. These days, the former Sundowns Captain works as a scout at Chloorkop and also features as a football pundit across several TV channels on the African continent.
Esrom spoke about the motivation for experimenting with entertainment during his early years, “I got introduced to theatre as an extracurricular activity while growing up as it was a viable way of keeping kids away from the streets. Fortunately, I fell in love with the art of entertaining audiences and I was afforded the opportunity to travel around the world. Even to this day, I still go and watch plays when I have the chance.”

The transition from being a performer to becoming a footballer is not very common nor an easy one. However, Esrom Nyandoro not only embraced the challenge but he thrived and became one of the finest Zimbabwean talents ever to grace the South African football space.

I will never forget the days when I was in the theatre and the trip I made to Scotland as a singer, poet, and actor. I still remember what it feels to be an entertainer and performer on the stage. During those moments, I knew there was more to achieve in entertainment and I am glad I took that step towards playing football when I joined Zimbabwe Saints Academy when we returned from Scotland." Esrom stated.

The Yellowman further described his first experience with The Brazilians and how his talent was honed at an early stage.

“My journey with the club started with a ten-day trial with Coach Paul Dolezar. It was under his guidance that I first experienced going to training three times a day. Coach Dolezar made things easy for me as he was aware of my talent. He spoke highly of my abilities which he had seen on videos whilst I was playing for the National team.”
Esrom Nyandoro of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Telkom Knockout match between University of Pretoria and Mamelodi Sundowns© Muzi Ntombela - BackpagePixEsrom who currently works as the Head of the Mamelodi Sundowns scouting department, joined the Brazillians in 2004 from AmaZulu. During his time with Sundowns, he developed into one of the most iconic midfielders in the Premier Soccer League. His ferocious competitive nature, coupled with his immense aggression, physicality, and technical prowess saw him become a fan’s favourite at Chloorkop.

"When I joined the club, there were a couple of other newly acquired players like Thabiso Rammile, Vuyo Mere, and Surprise Moriri, just to mention a few. The team had so much talent across the pitch with stars like Clement Mazibuko, Raphael Chukwu, Daniel Mudau, Sipho Nunens, Godfrey Sapula, and Lucas Sebona." 

"Spending 10 years with the club showed how well I was taken care of. At a club like Sundowns, the competition for places is always high and I had to fight for my place on the team. That quest to maintain my starting spot in the team made me a better player,” Nyandoro reminisced. 
Esrom Nyandoro with his teammates © Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixOn the reason why he was nicknamed ‘Yellowman’, Esrom explained, “It was due to my never-say-die attitude and commitment in a Mamelodi Sundowns shirt. I became a symbol of the Yellow Nation’s resilience and character, hence the nickname.”

Esrom also showed his brilliance for his native country Zimbabwe. During their maiden outing at the 2004 African Cup of Nations, the midfield engine scored a thunderbolt against Cameroon that was unanimously voted the Goal Of The Tournament. The Yellowman speaks on that epic strike and his joy of being an African.

“That goal has never left my mind and it will remain one of my most memorable moments as a footballer. I represented my country for 11 years and I get goosebumps whenever I hear the national anthem of my nation before a game. I love the continent of Africa because we are distinct in our languages, fashion, food, music, culture, and much more. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa gave us a perfect example of how Africans can be united and we must continue to embrace that,” concluded the Bulawayo-born midfielder. 
Esrom Nyandoro’s
Best player to have played with?
There are too many to mention but I will go with Ronald Sibanda and Surprise Moriri.
Best Coach ever?
It has to be Angel Cappa. He made us play that shoe shine and piano footy.
Best Goal scored?
Two goals will always stand out. The strike against Cameroon at the 2004 AFCON. The other one was against TP Mazembe in the 2007 Confederation Cup. I scored a long-range volley on my left foot while I was struggling with a hamstring injury.
Best dribbler you played with?
It has to be Surprise Moriri. He had a way with the ball and could make things happen with it. He had a great first touch.
Most stylish footballer played with?
Peter Ndlovu, Teko Modise, and myself of course.
Favourite African dish?
I am a big fan of pap, wors and chakalaka.
Favourite movie?
I love comic, action movies and TV series.
Ideal five-a-side team?
Brian Baloyi, Vuyo Mere, Surprise Moriri, Raphael Chukwu, and myself.
It has been more than two decades since Esrom made that switch from the stage to the pitch. While he was a great performer during his entertainment days, his contributions to football at Mamelodi Sundowns will always be talked about for generations to come.