Mkan­dawire res­cue mis­sion bear­ing fruit

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Faith Mutema

A TRANS-LIM­POPO part­ner­ship to help for­mer Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional foot­baller David Mkan­dawire, who had be­come a des­ti­tute in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa, ap­pears to be bear­ing fruit af­ter he was re­leased from hospi­tal with the player now on the mend and itch­ing for a fresh start on life.

His mother Idah, who went to South Africa to take care of her son, is now ap­peal­ing for funds to take the the for­mer foot­ball star to Malawi.

Mkan­dawire, who played in South Africa and In­dia, says he plans to pur­sue a ca­reer as a coach.

“I feel much bet­ter and I’m de­ter­mined to pur­sue my coach­ing am­bi­tions,” Mkan­dawire told The New Age news­pa­per of South Africa which, to­gether with a num­ber of main­stream news­pa­pers, in­clud­ing The Her­ald and Chron­i­cle, high­lighted the for­mer foot­baller’s plight.

“There are peo­ple who in­sisted that I come to South Africa,” she said.

“They promised they would as­sist with money for my up­keep and trans­port to the hospi­tal.

“It was dif­fi­cult to do the hospi­tal vis­its and we had to bor­row money. We have no money and my days are al­most fin­ished. I need to go back home.

“David went through a lot of stress af­ter his wife left him and re­lo­cated to the UK. He lost all his money and had to start afresh.

“I cried a lot when I heard about his sit­u­a­tion. He’s my only son, the other five are girls.

“Af­ter his fa­ther died, he took on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of tak­ing care of us.”

The for­mer Amazulu cap­tain was treated at Weeskop­pies Psy­chi­atric Hospi­tal in Pre­to­ria af­ter ef­forts by the South African Foot­ball Play­ers Union who were work­ing in con­junc­tion with the Foot­ballers Union of Zim­babwe.

FUZ pres­i­dent, Des­mond Mar­ingwa, ex­pressed his sin­cere grat­i­tude to a num­ber of re­tired stars, in­clud­ing Peter Ndlovu, Tendai Tanyanyiwa and High­lands Park goal­keeper Tapiwa Kap­ini for help­ing Mkan­dawire.

“I am very happy with all the peo­ple who as­sisted Mkan­dawire,” said Mar­ingwa.

“In that un­for­tu­nate sit­u­a­tion, peo­ple like Kap­ini and Ndlovu were able to raise funds in a bid to lessen the bur­den the Mkan­dawire fam­ily was fac­ing.

“I am glad they re­mem­bered their brother and are de­ter­mined to keep it that way, which is a sign of a true united na­tion.

“We all have chal­lenges in life and you never know who will help you in the near fu­ture, so I am very happy that the boys came to­gether to help their brother.”

Kap­ini raised R2 800 which was used for Mkan­dawire’s mother to travel to Jo­han­nes­burg from Malawi.

“David is like a brother. I know he would have done the same if I was in his po­si­tion,” Kap­ini said.

Mar­ingwa also hailed his South African coun­ter­parts, the SAFPU, who also came in handy to help Mkan­dawire and have promised to give a help­ing hand to en­sure that he finds a job.

“We can never for­get our broth­ers, we are a col­lec­tive lov­ing peo­ple and we in­tend to main­tain it that way,” said Mar­ingwa.

SAFPU pres­i­dent, Te­bogo Monyai, said they had plans to get the for­mer de­fender into a coach­ing course.

“We want to get David into a foot­ball coach­ing course. He can then coach at a pri­mary school to have a source of in­come as he builds his ca­reer,” Monyai said.

Last month, Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional striker Tendai Ndoro re­ceived a lot of praise in South Africa for lead­ing a cam­paign to help the for­mer Amazulu de­fender.

Lead­ing South African tele­vi­sion sports pre­sen­ter Robert Marawa joined the cru­sade.

Mkan­dawire also played for Mar­itzburg United and the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria

“Mkan­dawire is ex­cited about the op­por­tu­nity but said he needed to travel to Malawi be­fore start­ing (afresh),” Ndoro told the New Age news­pa­per.

“We’re happy that he is in a much bet­ter po­si­tion.”

Mkan­dawire's plight caught the at­ten­tion of thou­sands of peo­ple af­ter it was re­ported that he had turned into a des­ti­tute in the Kemp­ton Park area of Jo­han­nes­burg.

Ndoro, who now plays for Or­lando Pi­rates, launched a so­cial me­dia cam­paign for peo­ple to help the for­mer Amazulu star.

The War­riors for­ward even vis­ited Mkan­dawire in Kemp­ton Park.

The cam­paign at­tracted the in­ter­est of the in­flu­en­tial Marawa who broad­cast the for­mer player's story on his daily ra­dio show on MetroFM.

Ndoro and his wife were Marawa's guests that day.

A pack­age was then put to­gether and Mkan­dawire was taken to a Pre­to­ria hospi­tal af­ter a doc­tor sug­gested that he un­dergo pyschi­atric treat­ment as the first step in his re­ha­bil­i­a­tion pro­gramme.

Now, the for­mer foot­baller — whose par­ents orig­i­nally hail from Malawi — has been re­leased from hospi­tal and wants a fresh start to life.

David Mkan­dawire (right) beg­ging out­side Sho­prite in Kemp­ton Park, Jo­han­nes­burg

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