Saturday 17 July 2021


EIGHT years ago, Tawanda Mparati, was at the top of his world – he had been named Soccer Star of the Year.

He had also led Dynamos to another league championship, their third in a row, as the Glamour Boys won four titles, on the bounce.

But, today, everything looks gloomy. He is recovering from a stroke that has left him incapacitated.

The former Dynamos star suffered a cerebrovascular accident on April 19 and the stroke affected his left side and his ability to walk and hold things.

Now, he can walk slowly, with those movements restricted to his yard, at his Rugare home. His left arm was also affected and is still powerless and cannot hold anything.

Luckily for him, the doctor said the stroke, which was triggered by hypertension, was mild. The 37-year-old is undergoing rehabilitation at home and can now move, a little bit, around his yard.

However, he is not yet able to go out on his own. His battle has been tough, due to the high medical costs involved, in rehabilitation.

He requires professional help, to assist in the recovery of function and mobility. Yesterday, The Saturday Herald caught up with Mparati and, his wife Wendy, at their home, in Rugare.

The father of three stays with his wife, and three sons. His boys attend to him, during the day, when his wife is at work. The eldest, Tatenda, is 12.

During school days, he spends the day alone, with his wife saying she has to strike a balance, between taking care of her husband, and fending, for the family.

Mparati, with the aid of his wife, narrated his new life, in which he has been left grounded. “I am now on hypertension medication, since I suffered the stroke,’’ he said. ‘’The doctor said my BP was very high, when I had the attack.

“When I suffered the stroke, I couldn’t walk, for close to a month but now, at least, I can walk around the house, on my own. “I am feeling better, though, sometimes I experience pain on my left side, especially my hand.”

Mparati last played for a club, in the lower division, owned by sportscaster Barry Manandi. Manandi and his friend, Mike Madoda, now own Division One club, Golden Eagles. After that stint, he left for South Africa, before returning home.

He said Manandi has been playing a big part, in his recovery, and paid most of the hospital bills. Officials from his former club, Dynamos, have not visited him since he suffered the stroke.

His former teammate, Patson Jaure, is among the few football people, who have cared to pay him a visit.

As you enter his house, the first thing you notice, in the lounge, is the 2013 Soccer Star of the Year Trophy, displayed next to the television big screen.

Several medals are hanged on the wall. There are many of them, highlighting a successful career. The prominent ones are the BancABC Super Cup medal, which he won with Lengthens, the Mbada Diamonds Cup, as well as the league title medals, with Dynamos, four of them. The Bob Super Cup runners-up medal, and a Chrome Paints Division One medal, he won with Douglas Warriors.

Mparati says he requires regular physiotherapy. “My left hand only has finger movements but it cannot lift anything. I am now better, there is change and I am able to walk,’’ he said.

“But, I require regular physio, to fully recover, and regain my life back. At the moment, I am not affording the sessions, and have since stopped having them. I am now doing some exercises, on my own, holding a stress ball.”

He is hopeful, one day, he will regain his life again, and venture into coaching, where his passion lies. Born on September 10 1983, in Kambuzuma, Mparati started playing football in Rugare.

He is the community’s posterboy and, asking for directions, to his house from the main road, brings many willing volunteers.

He first featured, mainly for Division Two sides, and then played for the defunct Douglas Warriors, helping them to get promotion into Division One.

He joined Lengthens in 2007 on a loan. He briefly returned to Douglas Warriors before moving to Dynamos when gaffer, Lloyd Mutasa, was still in charge.

He became part of the team, which won four consecutive league titles.That was the last time the Glamour Boys lifted the league trophy.

Mparati says winning the 2013 Soccer Star of the Year remains the highlight of his career. “Sometimes, we would motivate each other, as players,’’ he said.

“During our time, everyone would put individual effort, and even plan gym sessions on our own, then we would go to play, and grind results.

“I urge current players to work hard and to be united.  ‘’But, it is difficult, with Covid-19, and by the time football returns, the players will find it very hard.’’

He said he always admired the talents of Obadiah Tarumbwa and Clement Matawu. Herald



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