The Sunday News
WHEN he visited his folk in Mawabeni two years ago while on holiday from his base in Australia, his first question to the local youth was: “what can I do to help?”
Locals pointed towards a budding football club that was then a campaigner in the Mzingwane District Social Soccer League. Fast forward to 1 June and this same club was playing its 3rd match in the Zifa Mat South Div Two league. Today Ndumiso Ncube is the club director and principal sponsor for Mawabeni FC whose goal is not just to develop football but to produce cultured, responsible gentlemen!
Using football, Ncube’s desire is to see the youth involved in community development and empowered not just financially, but through effective and quantifiable life improvement skills. Ncube believes that to be successful as a footballer, one must first understand that this success comes at a price and that price is hard work, a responsible lifestyle and an infinite zeal to see one’s community on an upward progression.
Ncube believes with these key fundamentals, his players will have enough grounding to challenge the best and prevail.
“My interest and investment in football is to ensure that youths from Mawabeni are given a platform to grow not just as football players but as responsible citizens as well. I would like to establish community and youth development projects with football as the basis,” Ncube said from his base in Australia. These boys need the proper grounding that will enable them to prosper on an off the field,” he added.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing and telling aspects of this small club and its visionary director is its composition. The club’s culturally diverse executive is comprised of people from places like Plumtree and Tsholotsho. The playing staff is similarly a melting pot of cultures with two having come from as far afield as Gokwe.
Ncube revealed that his long term vision for the club is Division One football and then hopefully the Premier Soccer League. He is convinced that there is enough talent in Mawabeni and surrounding areas to see this dream become a reality.
“Mawabeni and other areas within Mzingwane District and the entire Matabeleland South province as a whole has a lot of talent that can see us achieve our goal of Division One football and ultimately the PSL,” he said.
At the time of going to print, Mawabeni United had played three games amassing four points. The side won its first game 1-0 at home to Jesse Mine before a 3-0 away loss to Delete and drawing 1-all with local rivals Habane Pirates in a derby at Mawabeni Stadium last Saturday.
Ncube also urged Government, the corporate world, local authorities and other diaspora-based locals to be more involved in sports development projects in communities like Mawabeni.