Saturday, 31 July 2021


WARRIORS manager, Wellington Mpandare, has narrated the hell he went through when he tested positive for Covid-19 while on national duty.

He had to watch all the Warriors matches, at the COSAFA Cup, in isolation, after testing positive for coronavirus.

Two Warriors players, goalkeeper Martin Mapisa and midfielder Tatenda Tawengwa, also tested positive for Covid-19. They have since recovered. “I couldn’t sleep and had to rely on injections and some painkiller tablets,” said Mpandare.

“The doctor decided to put me on drip. Now, the most difficult part was the messages, in which people would be advising me on what to do (under the circumstances).

“Virtually, all the messages were encouraging me to do steaming ‘kunatira’.

“I felt obliged to do it. But, as is the case, I sweated a lot and lost a lot of bodily fluids. I started to feel even weaker after that because, remember, I was not eating and not taking any fluids.

“I then decided against the practice.  My advice will be for people to only stick to doctor’s instructions and not to listen to people who are not doctors. Each situation requires a different approach.”

Mpandare said he first suspected he could have contracted the virus after experiencing some mild symptoms, including body aches, and fever. Then came the loss of smell and taste. That was three days after the Warriors landed in Port Elizabeth for the regional tournament.

“The aches were worsening, with each day, and I knew I was doomed. I consulted our team doctor, who then advised that I should isolate, pending tests.

“You know, it’s not easy but l had to do that. That’s when I realised I was in trouble because missing the COSAFA games is not something that I ever imagined.

“I like to be in the thick of things but, then, I was isolated in my room, following the games on television. 

“Two days after the first symptoms emerged, a dry cough started. It became difficult to control the players, and the technical staff, because they all wanted to see me but we had no choice but to control the situation.  “I kept myself motivated that this will pass and I would sail through.

“Things then got worse for me, with loss of appetite I couldn’t eat or drink and my body was weak.”

Mpandare was always bound to get stressed, as the Warriors performed dismally, crashing out of the tournament, without a single victory.

“The doctors had advised against engaging in anything that would stress me up. But, then we got knocked out of the tournament, I got stressed, and my condition worsened.

“That the team was going back home and I, together with two other players who, like me had also tested positive but were placed in their own isolation rooms, got me thinking.

“I had to arrange tickets for the team minus mine, the doctor, and those other two players. I was working while in isolation.”

But, probably the most painful incident for Mpandare was when he struggled to jump out of his bed, when a virtual COSAFA management meeting was about to start.


‘’I remember in one zoom meeting, with the COSAFA organisers, I couldn’t sit up then the other guy said the Zimbabwe manager can’t attend the meeting in blankets.

‘’So, I had to force myself to sit up, they didn’t know what was happening with me and I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.

“A day before the team left I was taken to hospital where full blood tests, chest examination and other tests were done.

“From the hospital I was taken to an isolation hotel, different from where we were staying together, with the two players.

“That’s when I started feeling lonely knowing the team had gone.  The most difficult part with isolation is noone cares if you have taken food or not, they would come knock on your door, and leave food there.

“I then realised that if I don’t force myself to eat or drink no one will care.  Covid-19 affects people in different ways so it’s wise to consult your local medical authority for advice, the herbs and the so-called steaming could sometimes be risky.

Mpandare is now back home, after testing negative, last week. Herald


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