|Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:55|
Mwaruwari’s gesture should be emulatedYESTERDAY thousands of Zimbabweans thronged the National Sports Stadium to bid farewell to former Zimbabwe Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari, a true son of the soil as he hosted a Testimonial match featuring an international select against the Zimbabwe Warriors .
It has been two years since Mwaruwari called time on his international career and a testimonial match was a befitting honour for one of the players who put Zimbabwe on the world map in terms of football.
From humble beginnings in the dusty streets of Magwegwe, Mwaruwari embarked on a football journey which took him to South Africa, Switzerland, France and finally England.
Mwaruwari was not an extremely talented player who could be compared to Peter Ndlovu but hard work saw him perform against the best in modern European football.
A charity dinner was held on Friday evening where according to reports, US$39 650 was raised from the sale of soccer jerseys belonging to Mwaruwari and other international players who made the trip to Zimbabwe.
Mwaruwari will be suitably made a tourism ambassador for Zimbabwe together with music icon Oliver Mtukudzi. For him to bring in some of the finest footballers on the African continent, some who are still playing in top leagues in Europe, is a magnificent job which is good for the country. For some of the players, we are certain it was their first time in our beautiful country and they will go back to their countries and speak well about Zimbabwe.
Over US$100 000 was raised at the Benjani Mwaruwari charity dinner and this will go a long way in the success of the project planned by the former Warriors skipper.
Already, aspiring footballers from Bulawayo played in a juniors soccer tournament which is part of Mwaruwari’s initiatives of giving back to the society which nurtured him into what he is today.
Very few prominent people in Zimbabwe and the world over do remember to give back to the communities where they grew up. Mwaruwari has humbled himself by planning to invest in grassroots football in Bulawayo. We are sure some of these boys who played in the tournament will one day go on to shine on the world stage.
Being a boy from Bulawayo, Mwaruwari has made wise investments in the city and owns a number of houses in the affluent suburbs and this is proof that one does not need to be highly educated to make it in life but utilising whatever talent God has given you is the key to success.
Mwaruwari has, by bringing all the African stars, achieved what those who have retired before him have failed to accomplish. There is however, nothing wrong with learning from Mwaruwari, a good thing is ought to be emulated. While we do not want to mention names, some former players came up with the idea of testimonial matches before and nothing has been said up to now and we hope they can put those words into action.
The only blemish might have been having the match in Harare when Mwaruwari grew up in the City of Kings but we are sure certain factors influenced the decision.
Soccer fans in Bulawayo missed out on seeing some of the finest talent in Africa on display. However, maybe all hope is not lost after all, they might get the chance one day.
Whatever decision Benjani makes regarding his football career now, whether he decides to go back to Jomo Cosmos, signs up for Kaizer Chiefs or even come home to end his career at Highlanders, one thing for sure his charity works in Bulawayo are certain to bear fruit.