Capitalk Reporter |  5 days ago | local
MADINDA NDLOVU shed tears last night as domestic football celebrated the long-awaited honouring of its
legends, with Sakunda Holdings presenting three houses to some of the finest players to grace the national
For years, the superstars who would have illuminated the game have found themselves being neglected after their playing days are over. But, on a landmark night for the game, energy giant Sakunda Holdings unveiled a package which will see a US$120 000 house being given to the family of the legendary George Shaya.
Affectionately known as “The Mastermind,’’ Shaya is widely considered to be the greatest footballer to emerge from this country. He is the only local footballer to win the Soccer Star of the Year award five times, including three times on the trot, when he was the superstar of Harare giants Dynamos.
Shaya died in the capital last month. But Sakunda Holdings showed last night that he will never be forgotten by donating a house to his family. The company have gone into bed with Dynamos and Highlanders, coming in as the principal sponsors, of the country’s two biggest football clubs.
Sakunda Holdings also announced they will provide two houses worth US$90 000 each for two of the best players to represent Dynamos and Highlanders — Madinda Ndlovu and Moses Chunga.
The duo, who were superstars, in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, attended the function in Harare yesterday where Madinda, overcome with emotion after finally getting due recognition, shed tears. The function was also attended by Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, and Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire. Sports Commission chairman, Gerald Mlotshwa, was also in attendance.
Scores of domestic football fans, officials and players were also on hand to watch a watershed moment, in the game. Sakunda Holdings chief executive, Kuda Tagwirei, announced his company will honour the three legends at the unveiling ceremony, of a US$5,3 million sponsorship deal, for DeMbare and Bosso. The two giants will be bankrolled by the energy giant for the next three years. The company also donated two Ford Ranger double-cab cars to Highlanders and Dynamos captains. They also donated two Ford Everest cars, for the coaches of these two clubs. Tagwirei was approached by Coventry and Machakaire, who highlighted the plight of the two giants, as well as the legends and players. He said he then decided to come on board with a helping hand.
In his remarks last night, the Harare businessman said he considered the pleas from the two Government officials, as well as Highlanders vice-chairman, Modern Ngwenya. “I was approached by the two Government officials and they said “look, may you please consider helping out two of the historic teams in the country, Highlanders and Dynamos,” said Tagwirei. “Highlanders vice-chairman, Modern Ngwenya, also came to me with the same plea.
“I sat down with my executive and we decided to come on board. “We all love the game of football and we want to see the game moving forward. We are aware of the potential that the game has and we know what the legends and the players mean to all of us. “Highlanders and Dynamos are the two clubs with a rich history in this country.
“We hope they will be able to derive some value, from this sponsorship, we are delighted to associate with both clubs.” He said legends deserve some form of recognition, and to be honoured, and it was against this background that he pledged the houses for the three icons.
“We are sorry to the Shaya family. He is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of football, given his resume,’’ said Tagwirei. “We will give his family a house, which is worth US$120 000, in a suburb of their choice.
“We also know that Moses Chunga and Madinda Ndlovu played very well and made us fall in love with football. “We will give them houses worth US$90 000 each. “The captains of Dynamos and Highlanders, as well as their coaches, will have cars from us.”
Coventry hailed Sakunda Holdings for the gesture. “We are delighted to grace such a momentous event. Sakunda Holdings have done well to sponsor the game, through bankrolling Dynamos and Highlanders,” she said. “Sport has become big business and we are happy, as Government, to see companies such as Sakunda Holdings coming on board.
“We all love sport and I know how it feels, as a former athlete, to get sponsorship. It drives you, it inspires and gives you more energy to try and do well. “We would like to urge the teams to compete to their best and we also call upon the sponsors to also consider other disciplines, as well as girls. “Sponsorship is what sport needs and we know companies will get good mileage for their brands. We would like to applaud Sakunda Holdings for the gesture.”