Bantu Rovers player off to Amer­ica on schol­ar­ship

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

BANTU Rovers’ at­tack­ing mid­fielder Marvin Sibanda yes­ter­day left the coun­try to fur­ther his stud­ies in the US af­ter get­ting a soc­cer schol­ar­ship.

The 17-year-old, who was do­ing Form Five at North­lea High School, got a three-year schol­ar­ship to study at Taft School in Water­town which is in Con­necti­cut State.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion ob­tained from web­sites, Taft School is listed as one of the most ex­pen­sive board­ing schools in the United States.

Sibanda flew out of Bu­l­awayo’s Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo In­ter­na­tional Air­port for the US with 18-year-old striker Mthabisi Tshuma who is also at Taft and 16-year-old mid­fielder Per­ci­val Al­bert Sibanda who is at Brooks School.

Tshuma and Per­ci­val are also prod­ucts of Bantu Rovers and got schol­ar­ships to study in the United States last year.

An ex­cited Sibanda said: “This is a dream come true for me and I’m grate­ful to Bantu Rovers for fa­cil­i­tat­ing the schol­ar­ship. I’m really look­ing for­ward to my stay in Amer­ica and I’m go­ing there to learn, cre­ate re­la­tions and lay a foundation for my life.”

The Vic­to­ria Falls-bred bud­ding soc­cer star joined Bantu Rovers in 2012.

Just like Tshuma, Sibanda draws his in­spi­ra­tion from for­mer Bantu Rovers mid­fielder Ezra “Era” Siyaduba who joined Taft in 2013 and has since grad­u­ated to col­lege.

“I’ve watched a cou­ple of videos and read ar­ti­cles on Siyaduba which are all in­spi­ra­tional. Tshuma gave me tips on what to ex­pect and I’m up for the chal­lenge. I will strive to achieve the stan­dards set by Siyaduba and Tshuma so that I also leave a legacy at Taft which will open op­por­tu­ni­ties for other guys com­ing af­ter me from Bantu Rovers,” said Sibanda. Bantu Rovers’ gen­eral man­ager Wil­bert Sibanda chal­lenged Marvin to rep­re­sent the club well. “As Bantu Rovers we are pleased that through our con­tacts we man­aged to get a full schol­ar­ship for Marvin who has since ar­rived safely at Taft School. It is our hope that he will be able to bal­ance his aca­demic stud­ies with foot­ball. It is our hope that he ex­cels in his en­deav­ours and inspires other young­sters to take their stud­ies and sport se­ri­ously,” said Sibanda. Be­sides Siyaduba and Tshuma, Bantu Rovers have fa­cil­i­tated schol­ar­ships for Sean Banda who is the son of Bu­l­awayo’s deputy mayor Gift Banda, Ray Lunga son to for­mer High­landers striker Gift Lunga (se­nior) and Sean Moyo. a for­mer Zim­bab­wean rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the con­ti­nen­tal ju­nior track cham­pi­onships, broke a nearly half-cen­tu­ry­old Choate Rose­mary High School record in the 100 me­tres dur­ing a track event at the Taft School. Banda sprinted to the fin­ish line in a jawd r o p p i n g time of 10.60 sec­onds, beat­ing the old record by .05 sec­onds. Moyo, a for­mer Mzi­likazi High School stu­dent is at Bates Col­lege.

Marvin Sibanda

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