Peter Ndlovu's big pledge

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Lang­ton Nyak­wenda

EDZAI KASIN­AUYO ran his full 90 min­utes, and if he had it his way he would have asked for ex­tra-time be­cause he had hun­dreds of foot­ball devel­op­ment ideas buzzing in his head.

The late for­mer War­riors mid­fielder, for­mer Zifa board mem­ber, and player agent was buried yes­ter­day at Glen For­est Ceme­tery in Harare, with scores of soc­cer’s elite gath­er­ing to pay their last re­spects to Zim­babwe’s gal­lant foot­ball son.

Kasin­auyo died on June 16 and leaves be­hind two sons aged 12 and 10.

He may have had a pre­mo­ni­tion about yes­ter­day’s sad gath­er­ing, at least ac­cord­ing to his grand­mother Mrs Dhok­wani, who said the for­mer Black­pool star had in Jan­uary re­quested a fam­ily get to­gether for this month.

“Per­haps this is the gath­er­ing he talked about,” mourned Mbuya Dhok­wani as Kasin­auyo’s cas­ket was low­ered.

Kasin­auyo also spoke about es­tab­lish­ing an Edzai Kasin­auyo Foot­ball Academy with as­sis­tance from the leg­endary Peter Ndlovu, and yes­ter­day the great­est Warrior of all time told

The Sun­day Mail Sport he would strive to make the dream come true.

“There is a lot that he wanted to do and he told me,” said Ndlovu. “There are more than 100 things he had in mind and we ought to sup­port that dream but in con­sul­ta­tion with Edzai’s fam­ily. It is im­por­tant that his dreams are ex­e­cuted.”

Kasin­auyo died at the age of 42, and he touched the lives of many, in­clud­ing Ndlovu who - de­spite achiev­ing more on the field of play - re­lied a lot on his fel­low Warrior.

“Peo­ple say Peter, Peter is great but they don’t know that there are peo­ple like Edzai who played a big part in my life. “This is a big loss. You can never ex­plain the feel­ing nei­ther can you ex­plain the im­pact Edzai had in our lives. The is­sue with Edzai was that he was that kind of a guy who would say I am here what do you want me to do for you guys.

“When he came into the War­riors back then, he added some­thing that the team didn’t have, that calm­ness and com­po­sure.

“This is a big loss first to the Kasin­auyo fam­ily where he came from, his close fam­ily mem­bers and to Zim­bab­wean foot­ball as whole,” lamented Ndlovu.

Ben­jani Mwaruwari – who also worked closely with the late Kasin­auyo in South Africa – de­scribed the for­mer Caps United and Ar­ca­dia United player as some­one ev­ery­one liked.

“The num­ber of foot­ball le­gends and soc­cer fans here present tells you some­thing about Edzai Kasin­auyo. Ev­ery­one liked him, he was cool and we would al­ways meet for a soc­cer chat.

“He cre­ated job op­por­tu­ni­ties for young Zim­bab­wean play­ers and in the process man­aged to feed hun­dreds of fam­i­lies. I feel he had more to of­fer had God not taken him,” said Mwaruwari.

Ti­nashe “Fa­ther” Nen­go­masha, who played along­side Kasin­auyo at the 2006 Africa Cup of Na­tions fi­nals, said it would be to fill Edzai’s big shoes.

“We have lost one of a kind, Edzai was there build­ing lives for young peo­ple, and most of the young play­ers com­ing into South Africa from Zim­babwe de­pended on him.

“I don’t think there is any­body re­ally to fill the big shoes he left, he was in­volved in busi­ness, and it’s a sad loss to the whole na­tion.”

Joe “Pa­jero” Musenda, one of the found­ing fa­thers of the now de­funct Black­pool and the man who bought Edzai an air ticket when he made his first for­eign move to South Africa as a player in 1999, was also at the burial and re­counted their first en­counter.

“I bought Edzai from Ar­ca­dia at the rec­om­men­da­tion of the late Joel Shambo who was Black­pool coach. To­gether with the likes of Collins Kabote and Masimba Dinyero, Kasin­auyo made Black­pool the big team it be­came. “I also ad­vised him against con­test­ing in the Zifa elec­tions when he came for ad­vice. I told him about the pol­i­tick­ing in foot­ball but he was de­ter­mined. But when the match-fix­ing al­le­ga­tions sur­faced I re­minded him about my ad­vice. Be that as it may, he was a young man with a vi­sion,” said Musenda.

Sime­one Ja­manda, who was chief of pro­to­col at Black­pool dur­ing Edzai’s time, urged foot­ballers to em­u­late Kasin­auyo.

“Edzai was a great man, an ex­am­ple to the up­com­ing play­ers. He played ju­nior foot­ball, grad­u­ated into the Pre­mier League, grad­u­ated into the na­tional team, grad­u­ated into foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion and above all into busi­ness. Other play­ers should em­u­late him and know the need to in­vest their for­tune wisely.”

Mustaf Bil­liat, whose son and War­riors star player Khama was man­aged by Kasin­auyo, was at a loss for words.

“I am pained a lot ... Edzai did a lot for our fam­ily. He played a role in groom­ing Khama, ad­vis­ing him to in­vest. He would tell me about Khama’s prob­lems and be­hav­iour in South Africa, he al­ways wanted us to sit down and dis­cuss the fu­ture of Khama. This is a huge loss.” As gospel mu­sic group Vab­vuwi sang “Jerusarema Musha Wangu” at the re­quest of Kasin­auyo’s close friend Ge­orge Mb­wando, foot­ball le­gends paid homage to the late Warrior. In at­ten­dance were the likes of Ian Gorowa, Edel­bert Dinha, Har­ling­ton Shereni, Lloyd Chitem­bwe, Du­misani Mpofu, Fran­cis Chan­dida, Fun­gai Kwashi, Car­los Max, Al­bert Mabika, Des­mond Mar­ingwa and Kennedy Nagoli; and cur­rent stars Ed­ward Sadomba, Wil­lard Kat­sande, Bil­liat, Bless­ing Moyo, Evans Rusike, Tafadzwa Rusike, Ronald Pfumbidzai and Ronald Chi­tiyo among oth­ers. Go well Edzai - good night Warrior, they all seemed to silently weep as they shuf­fled their feet.

GO WELL EDZAI . . . War­riors le­gends among them Peter Ndlovu, Ge­orge Mb­wando and Du­misani Mpofu carry the late Edzai Kasin­auyo’s cas­ket at Glen For­est Ceme­try yes­ter­day. — pic­ture by Ku­dak­washe Hunda

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