Bernard Dzoma

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Bernard Dzoma
Personal information
Born9 October 1941
Died11 April 2019
Years active1964-1976

Bernard Dzoma was a Zimbabwean, born October 1941, died 11 April 2019. He gained qualification at Harare(Salisbury) Technical college as a Carpenter and Joiner. He worked for Rothmans tobacco company, then Rio Tinto Group|(Cam and Motor mine). He was the first Zimbabwean to break 30 minutes in the 10,000 metre race. Running in the 1960s and 1970s, Dzoma was selected to compete for Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe) in that country's 1968 and 1972 Olympic teams [1] . This team was refused entry permits to Mexico for political reasons, and Rhodesia was banned from the Olympic Games until 1980. Dzoma's running at this time, along with fellow Zimbabwean athlete, Mathias Kanda, are detailed by his Australian coach's book: A Wilderness of Spite by John Cheffers.[2]

Andrew Novak has a treatise on Rhodesian participation in the Olympic which also mentions Dzoma.[3]

After the personal disappointment of not being able to run in the 1968 Olympic Games,[4] Dzoma continued to train on his own and was selected to run in the 1972 Munich Games. He was in Munich for the Games, however, again, the Rhodesian team was not allowed to compete.

Dzoma then became a coach and coached three Zimbabwean marathoners at the 1985 Hiroshima World Marathon Championships.[5]

Dzoma is an athlete who was significantly effected by the Sporting Boycotts which helped to bring an end to apartheid in the 1960s to 1990s.

After this Dzoma married and had six children. He worked as a Joiner and later as a Rio Tinto employee.[6] Bernard died on 11 April 2019 after a long illness.

A comprehensive listing of Dzoma's track times and more biographical information is available online.[7][unreliable source?]


  1. ^ Amdur, Neil (23 August 1972). "Rhodesia Out of Olympics After a Dispute on Racism". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  2. ^ A Wilderness of Spite by John Cheffers Vantage Press 1972[page needed]
  3. ^ "Rhodesian Olympic Team". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ "Sport and Racial Discrimination in Colonial Zimbabwe | Andrew Novak -". 1 January 1970. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  5. ^ Personal letter of Bernard Dzoma to John Cheffers 2001
  6. ^ Personal communication of Bernard Dzoma to Paul Cheffers, 2011
  7. ^ "Rhodesian Sport Profiles: Bernard Dzoma". 12 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2016.