Friday, 1 January 2021

THIS WAS MY DREAM, SAYS TINO AS HE MEETS ED


WARRIORS hotshot Tino Kadewere shed a tear of joy when he realised one of his professional dreams on Wednesday evening after paying a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House.

The 24-year-old footballer, who is enjoying rave reviews in Europe following a blistering start to his career with French Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyon, told The Herald that he was deeply humbled by the humility of the First Family and felt motivated to lift the Zimbabwean flag even higher in faraway lands.

Kadewere was accompanied by his wife, Sharon, and brothers — Prosper and Pardon — who are fronting the Kadewere Foundation which supports the vulnerable and underprivileged.

The Warriors forward was presented with a book gift, a rare publication by the President entitled “A Life of Sacrifice”.

Kadewere was touched that even the President took pride in his accomplishments and he reciprocated by handing him two — home and away — jerseys of Olympique Lyon as souvenirs.

“It was an honour to be able to get to meet His Excellency,” said Kadewere.

“When my brother told me that we had been invited by the President, I was touched and I said to myself this has always been a dream.

“It gave me a boost in my head and so much confidence that even the President himself is proud of what I am doing.

“It gives me the courage to be able to do more for my country. The book present he gave me is wonderful. I never expected it. I was actually shocked about how humble the First Family is.

“Those people are very humble. I shed a tear ndichipinda muState House kuti only if my (late) brother Prince was alive awonawo His Excellency. It’s every sportsperson’s dream to meet the President,” said Kadewere.

The Warriors forward apprised the First Family on the work being done by the Kadewere Foundation in Harare.

The foundation is fronted by one of Tino’s brothers, Pardon, who has of late been working tirelessly to uplift the spirits of the vulnerable and underprivileged people in Highfield and surrounding areas through partnerships with several key stakeholders.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is known for championing charity work across the country, pledged to give the Foundation a hand.

“My brother Prosper is actually doing a lot of work locally with the help of Pardon. I’m going back to France happy because the First Lady promised to help the Kadewere Foundation which is chaired by Boss Pulo.”

Kadewere, who is currently Zimbabwe’s best football export, has made international headlines following a dazzling run in his French Ligue 1 debut season with giants Olympique Lyon.

He has bagged seven league goals and contributed three assists from 16 appearances.

The 24-year-old striker made a lucrative US$16,5 million switch from second-tier side Le Havre at the beginning of the year. He had acquitted himself well by scooping the French Ligue 2 Golden Boot with 20 goals from 24 outings.

 

He is currently back home on a short Christmas break and will be returning to France in time for Lyon’s next league game against Lens scheduled for next Wednesday.

He says his visit to the State House was the best thing he has done during the winter break. President Mnangagwa has a deep-seated passion for the game of football.

He is a well-known supporter of current league champions, FC Platinum, and English Premiership giants Chelsea. The President is also the patron of FC Platinum, his hometown side, which made history when they became the first club from outside Harare and Bulawayo to be crowned league champions in 51 years in 2017.

Since then the Zvishavane side have been crowned domestic league champions three times in succession and have been representing Zimbabwe in the CAF Champions League. President Mnangagwa revealed the two football clubs that he supports while talking to the Russian media in January 2018. He also demonstrated his affection for the game in 2019 when he played a critical role in supporting the Warriors’ preparations for the AFCON finals held in Egypt.

Kadewere was trending on Twitter yesterday following the visit. Former ZIFA board member Francis Zimunya applauded the President for his gesture to meet Kadewere at State House.

“We must applaud the young man for the good gesture that he has made to visit His Excellency. As a Warrior he has done a splendid job by paying a courtesy call to His Excellency the President who is the father of the nation.

“I would like to thank His Excellency for the great honour that he has accorded to our Warrior. We thank our President for finding time in his busy schedule to meet our young player who is on top of his game at the moment. This event will motivate him more and will definitely boost his confidence and that of his counterparts.

“It is the dream of every sportsperson to meet His Excellency who is a role model to our youths. His Excellency has in the past been the chief supporter of the Warriors as evidenced by his immense participation in the Warriors preparations before the (2019) AFCON edition in Egypt.

“As football stakeholders we say to HE (His Excellency) a big thank you and may God bless you abundantly,” said Zimunya.

UK-based football enthusiast Marshal Gore said Kadewere deserved the recognition by the First Family. He said the visit should spur him on to achieve bigger things in his career. Herald

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