Bruce Bvuma became the talk of the weekend after his heroics helped Kaizer Chiefs shock Wydad Casablanca away from home in a tough Caf Champions League semifinals first leg at the Stade Mohammed V on Saturday.
Even those who were not aware that he had a strange nickname suddenly became aware of it. Yes, Bvuma does have a nickname and it is “Yes Baby”.
The 26-year-old keeper was a somewhat surprising selection to start the game with both Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi back in the squad and fully fit. He managed to relegate the Khune to the stands, and Akpeyi to the bench.New Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter knows all about Bvuma, having picked him in his Bafana squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
But this selection was also about continuity – it was Bvuma’s eighth game in a row, and he had done well in the previous seven. He kept a clean sheet against Simba SC at FNB Stadium in the famous 4-0 win. He also saved Chiefs’ blushes in the second leg in Tanzania, where the score could have been bigger than the 3-0 they suffered had he not been on his game.
And he kept goal well against both Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy in Amakhosi’s last two DStv Premiership games to help them to the top eight and qualify for the MTN8.Bvuma also has a close relationship with Chiefs interim head coach Arthur Zwane, who led the side again on Saturday along with Dillon Sheppard, with Baxter in the stands as he awaits his work permit. There was an emotional moment at the end of the game as Bvuma broke down in tears.
“I think Bruce is growing in stature, he has been working very hard … we are very close, we used to be in the development (together),” explained Zwane.
“Before the game I told him ‘it is very key for you to keep a clean sheet and make sure you don’t concede … it will go a long way, especially for your career.’ It went exactly as we had planned. Maybe that is why he broke down after he game … he was obviously happy he did not concede..”
Bvuma haas some shortcomings that he needs to work on. His distribution on Saturday was a let down. He threw and kicked a number of balls out, giving the advantage to Wydad.But once he masters this, and with Khune having pledged to fully support him, he should be a top keeper. His other attributes make up for the few shortcomongs.
He is good with direct shots and seems very aware and concentrated throughout the game. This is why many Chiefs fans were shouting “Yes Baby” throughout Saturday’s game.