Marvelous Nakamba Biography: Early Life | Europe | Aston Villa | Luton Town | National Team | Personal Life
Marvelous Nakamba is a Zimbabwean professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the English Premier League club Luton Town and the Zimbabwe national team. He is known for his defensive skills, work rate and passing ability. He is also one of the few Zimbabwean players to have played in the top leagues of Europe.
Early Life And Career
Nakamba was born on 19 January 1994 in Hwange, a mining town near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. He started playing football at a young age and joined the youth academy of Highlanders FC in 2005, one of the most successful clubs in Zimbabwe.
He made his senior debut with Bantu Rovers, another local club, in 2010, when he was only 16 years old.
Move To Europe
He attracted the attention of French side Nancy, who signed him in December 2012 for an undisclosed fee. He played mostly for their reserve team in the fourth division but also made two appearances for the first team in Ligue 2.
In August 2014, Nakamba moved to the Netherlands and joined Vitesse, a club in the Eredivisie, the top division of Dutch football. He signed a four-year contract with them.
The midfielder made his debut for Vitesse on 27 September 2014, coming on as a substitute in a 6-2 win over Dordrecht. He gradually established himself as a regular starter for Vitesse and helped them win their first-ever KNVB Cup, the Dutch equivalent of the FA Cup, in 2017. He scored one goal and provided four assists in 67 league games for Vitesse.
In June 2017, Nakamba joined Belgian giants Club Brugge on a four-year deal for a fee of around US$5.2 million. He made his league debut for them on 29 July 2017 in a 4-0 win over Lokeren.
Nakamba played an important role in Club Brugge’s domestic double in the 2017-18 season, as they won both the Jupiler Pro League and the Belgian Super Cup. He also featured in their Champions League and Europa League campaigns. He made 53 league appearances for Club Brugge without scoring any goals.
At Aston Villa
On 1 August 2019, Nakamba signed for Aston Villa, a newly promoted club in the Premier League, for a fee of US$13.5 million. He became the fourth Zimbabwean player to play in the English top flight, after Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari.
Nakamba also reunited with his former Club Brugge teammates Wesley Moraes and Björn Engels at Villa Park. He made his Premier League debut on 16 September 2019, starting in a goalless draw against West Ham United.
He quickly became a fan favourite for his energetic performances and his humble attitude. Nakamba played 58 league games for Aston Villa without scoring any goals. He has also played nine games in the EFL Cup, reaching the final in 2020, where Villa lost 2-1 to Manchester City.
Marvelous Nakamba At Luton Town
Nakamba joined Luton Town on loan from Aston Villa in January 2023 in search of more regular game time. He made his debut for the Hatters on 4 February 2023, starting in a 1-0 win over Reading at Kenilworth Road.
He quickly became a key player for Luton, forming a solid partnership with Ryan Tunnicliffe in the midfield. He impressed with his defensive contributions, interceptions and passing accuracy, earning praise from manager Rob Edwards and the fans.
Nakamba helped Luton climb up the table and secure promotion into the Premier League for the first time in their history. In July 2023, Luton Town signed Nakamba on a permanent deal.
Marvelous Nakamba’s International Career
Nakamba made his international debut for Zimbabwe on 13 June 2015, starting in a 2-1 win over Malawi in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. He has since become a key player for his country, earning 26 caps so far without scoring any goals.
He was part of the Zimbabwe squad that participated in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 and 2019 but missed out on the 2022 edition due to a knee injury that required surgery in December 2021.
Marvelous Nakamba Personal Life And Foundation
Nakamba is married to Chipo Makurumure, whom he met while playing for Bantu Rovers. They have a son named Kupa, who was born in 2019. Nakamba is a devout Christian and often thanks God for his achievements. He also wears the number 19 shirt, which is his date of birth and his favourite number.
Nakamba is the founder of the Marvelous Nakamba Foundation, a charitable organisation that aims to support underprivileged children in Zimbabwe through education, health and sports. The foundation was launched in 2019 and has since sponsored several schools, clinics and football academies in Nakamba’s hometown of Hwange and other parts of the country.