'We'll uphold Edzai's legacy'

A NUMBER of ex-footballers have pledged to continue with soccer development programmes that were initiated by the late Warriors’ winger Edzai Kasinauyo.

The former Black Rhinos and CAPS United midfielder succumbed to heart failure on June 16 at the Wits University Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa aged 42.

He survived by ex-wife Faith and two sons Jayden,12, and Justin, 10..

Since hanging up his boots, Kasinauyo had played a leading role in opening up opportunities for Zimbabwean players as an agent.

The likes of Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Willard Katsande, Ronald Chitiyo, Evans and Matthew Rusike were his clients.

The business front, Kasinauyo had also used his e-Sport venture to source playing and training kits for most of the local teams.

His best friend and business partner Peter Ndlovu said all the former players should be united and come together to uphold Kasinauyo’s legacy.

“The first thing that we have to do is declare what we shared with Edzai so as to present it back to the family and say ‘remember that Edzai is doing this and where do you want us to help so that we can take it further’ because these things have to be taken one by one...he had so many projects that he had already started,” the former Warriors captain told the Weekend Post on the side-lines of Kasinauyo’s burial.

“If we put them together (projects) we present them to the family. I know George Mbwando was doing something with him.

“I was doing the VW project with him and other players were also doing something different with him so we have to put them together and it’s our responsibility to make sure that we take it from where he left to further and the support is needed, we must be united as players to try and carry his dreams, the legacy that he left.”

Ndlovu, who is Zimbabwe’s most capped player with 100 matches for the Warriors, said he owes his fame and respect to Kasinauyo.

“You cannot explain things like this and the impact that Edzai had on individuals. People might hide things but briefly this is how he worked with me and around me,” Ndlovu said.

“When he was called in the national team I was already an established and a better player, a good player but when Edzai came into the fold, I became a great player.

“I remember even just a week before Edzai died, I was talking to people from Swaziland and they said, ‘Peter do you know that you still hold the record of the only player that has scored a hat-trick at Somhlolo?’ and I then said, not because the man has gone, I said, ‘I know where the passes came from, they came from Edzai, all the three goals that I scored’.

“He really helped my game and we went on to become good friends, good business partners and all that stuff.”
Ndlovu added: “No doubt that after his playing days he had to make sure that he looks at the grassroots to identify talent in the rural areas, to nurture and market that talent which is what he did.

“You can never be in doubt; look at the where the Khamas and the Katsandes are now, they are national team material and that’s all because of Edzai.”

Another ex-Warriors player, Mbwando was devastated by Kasinauyo’s death but hammered home the need to continue with his development projects.

The duo had established a Football Against Aids project in partnership with Good Hope Mothers in Hwange which helps at least 500 disadvantaged children.

“The children asked us why we were coming to Hwange of all the places and why not Harare but we saw that like every other children they have a lot of dreams but in the environment they were in, it just remained as dreams,” Mbando said.
“They needed people who would help them realise their potential which is why we teamed up with Edzai but we are in dire need of resources so that we can complete a proper shelter for them.”

Edelbert Dinha said: I have lost someone that I used to wake up seeing, go for breakfast with, share ideas, talk about business and players. We would talk about exactly what we wanted to do in the next five or 10 years but now all the dreams have been shattered, life goes on, it’s very sad I think it’s gonna take time for me to move on.

“When our playing days were over he decided to go into managing players which we did and tried to help youngsters but he made a huge difference in terms of taking young Zimbabwean players to go into a foreign country and make them big which he did.

“I think there’s no one that has ever done that and I don’t think there is one that can do that and I think all this credit and hard work should go to him.” —Austin Karonga


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