Biotech-grad­u­ate on Ra­dio?

The Manica Post - - The Weekender - Mor­ris Mtisi

WHAT would an Ap­plied Science in Biotech­nol­ogy grad­u­ate want on ra­dio? How would one find his or her way to a ra­dio sta­tion? You have not heard any­thing at all un­til you hear Tich’s story; bril­liant at sciences at school, as­pir­ing au­thor, orig­i­nally wanted to study Lit­er­a­ture and Medicine . . . has a mad pas­sion for Sport but is now a sports pre­sen­ter at Di­a­mond FM. He stud­ied in Aus­tralia, worked in Cape Town, South Africa and is now at your one and only ra­dio sta­tion!

How does all this knit into one story? Read on.

MM: Wel­come into my space Tich. This pro­gramme is Know Them Bet­ter. It’s my hon­our and priv­i­lege to host you on this beau­ti­ful Sun­day af­ter­noon.

TICH: Thanks Mor­ris. Thanks for host­ing me.

MM: Straight into busi­ness. Full names Mr Sports­man! I only know you as Tich and that was enough un­til to­day.

TICH: I was born Tafadzwa Peter-Clever Tichawan­gana 34 years ago. I am hap­pily mar­ried to Ellen and we have re­cently been blessed with a bouncing baby boy, Kay­den Chashe. MM: Chashe, mean­ing ‘. . . God’s?’ TICH: Ex­actly! I was born in Harare-26 Jan­uary 1984. My fa­ther worked for Rain­bow Ho­tels and was there when Monomo­tapa Ho­tel, now Crown Plaza, was opened. We thus globe trot­ted around Zim­babwe from ho­tel to ho­tel. From Monomo­tapa he was trans­ferred to Trout­beck Ho­tel-Nyanga . . . then Mutare to Man­ica Ho­tel. Then it was from Mutare to Bulawayo where I briefly at­tended school at Mil­ton Pri­mary School. We were in Mutare again and I went to Chan­cel­lor Pri­mary School and Bor­der Hills. Be­fore that I was at Lynette’s Creche.

MM: Oh dear me! A roller-coaster of voy­ages of dis­cov­ery! You must have been to ev­ery school in Zim. How did your mom take these Vas­coda-Gama voy­ages of ex­plo­ration? She must have been a woman of amaz­ing un­der­stand­ing. Most women would have cried to be set­tled in one place.

TICH: Look­ing at it now, I ap­pre­ci­ate my mom’s amaz­ing un­der­stand­ing and love for my fa­ther and fam­ily. She wanted to be with dad and us ob­vi­ously at the ex­pense of per­sonal am­bi­tions to pur­sue ca­reer paths of her in­ter­est. MM: More school-boy his­tory? TICH: Yes. I at­tended Marist Broth­ers . . . Nyanga Boys High School from Form 1 to 6 be­tween 1997 and 2002.

MM: Marist Broth­ers . . . one of the best in Man­i­ca­land!

TICH: The best is the coun­try those days with Mr Peter Muza­wazi as school head. We com­peted with the real best . . . the likes of St Ig­natius and Goromonzi. St Faith’s did not even say good morn­ing to us then.

MM: Be­fore we talk about your great­est pas­sion . . . sport­ing, let us wrap up the school bit Tich.

TICH: Yes. I left the coun­try for Aus­tralia where I stud­ied Ap­plied Sciences (Biotech­nol­ogy) at La

Trobe Univer­sity in Mel­bourne. I grad­u­ated in 2008. I worked in Mel­bourne from 2008 to 2011. Then I left Aus­tralia for South Africa, Cape Town, where I worked till 2013.

MM: Now you are at Di­a­mond FM. And I’m sure you landed on safe turf . . . sports pre­sen­ter-an­a­lyst?

TICH: Ab­so­lutely. I could not have found my way here ex­cept via sport­ing.

MM: What do we find at the top of your sport­ing shelf?

TICH: Of course the most beau­ti­ful game in the world . . . foot­ball.

MM: Ex­actly where I wanted you? What’s so beau­ti­ful about this world’s most beau­ti­ful game Tich? I have done all I could to love it. . . I didn’t and still haven’t seen the beauty in or about this game that causes so much eu­pho­ria and hys­te­ria.

TICH: You have no idea what you are miss­ing Mor­ris. The artistry, the charm and grace of dig­i­tal foot-works and sheer magic in ev­ery player’s pair of legs! That makes it the world’s most beau­ti­ful game. The rush you know . . . the adrenalin that flows all over the sys­tem when watch­ing a good game. Its real life you know . . . un­like a block­buster movie whose thrill comes af­ter many re­hearsals. Foot­ball is real magic.

MM: Now I un­der­stand why ma­ni­acs get to the ex­tent of com­mit­ting sui­cide when favourite teams are beaten. But I guess that level of fa­nati­cism . . . hero-wor­ship­ping . . . adrenalin-flow is the low­est point the hu­man brain can go. There are much no­bler things to die for than foot­ball

Tich. In fact noth­ing is worth dy­ing for in this world. Je­sus only and only Je­sus died for hu­man­ity . . . died for us so that we live. No one else can or must die for an­other, for any rea­son, let alone for foot­ball. Is such weird ex­cite­ment or emo­tion not de­monic in a way?

TICH: Flushes of adrenalin flow­ing in vi­o­lent gushes to the brain can block sense MM. Re­mem­ber top-flight foot­ball is big busi­ness in ev­ery sense. Enor­mous sums of money ex­change hands in foot­ball deals and foot­ball barons are in it hook, line and sinker. Some sell cars - even houses, man­sions and bun­ga­lows to ser­vice foot­ball lot­tos. A lot hap­pens in foot­ball and other sports too. If you are not in it, true MM, it is un­be­liev­able. Peo­ple own these deals and its big busi­ness; no won­der the noise, some­times vi­o­lence and even sui­cides.

MM: Let’s talk about some of the pub­lic salutes play­ers make in the field of play, es­pe­cially goal-scor­ers af­ter do­ing what they are paid to do, namely slot­ting or bang­ing that round thing be­tween the posts and at the back of the net. Some kiss the ground, oth­ers point to heaven . . . yet oth­ers make the sign of the cross. Any con­nec­tion with some spir­i­tual power somewhere? And why in foot­ball?

TICH: Foot­ball has be­come a strong religion to many play­ers. And when they point to heaven or make the sign of the cross af­ter scor­ing a goal, they are say­ing, ‘This is big­ger than me. God is in it. And thank you for the grace­ful tal­ent!’ MM: I am not sure any of the ‘mir­a­cles’ men or women can do with their bod­ies is God’s busi­ness

in any way. But I have no prob­lem be­liev­ing that is what they be­lieve . . . that it can be God’s busi­ness to en­able Ron­aldo or Ronaldino, Lionel Messi or Suarez to mer­cu­ri­ally bril­liant in his dart­ing, drib­bling and clin­i­cal fin­ish­ing.

TICH: We think like fans and sup­port­ers. I’m sure the play­ers at that level feel dif­fer­ent. They eas­ily con­nect with some­thing or some­body we can­not see or fathom. They can trans­form games into some­thing big­ger than games I be­lieve. Sports per­sons can eas­ily tran­scend into huge psy­cho­log­i­cal realms that are not eas­ily com­pre­hended by the nor­mal hu­man mind. They as­sume at­ti­tudes and ap­ti­tudes that are un-un­der­stand­able, mys­ti­cal, per­haps bring­ing us back to the word ‘re­li­gious.’

MM: Well, I would not want to be dragged that far. Per­haps that also ex­plains why foot­ball does not raise my adrenalin-flow or make a sin­gle strand of my hair stand on end. But there is one and only one thing I know I love around foot­ball. . . the soc­cer com­men­taries by the likes of Peter Drury, Martin Tyler and Jon Cham­pion. Ter­rific com­men­ta­tors! I can’t re­sist that beau­ti­ful lan­guage. I en­joy that more than the game it­self.

TICH: They call Peter Drury the foot­ball poet. Bril­liant soc­cer com­men­ta­tor! When the world’s most beau­ti­ful game is in play, Drury is busy play­ing the game in beau­ti­ful words.

MM: Time to go time Tich. Your im­pres­sion about be­ing here on Di­a­mond FM as a sports pre­sen­ter-an­a­lyst? Where to from here?

TICH: I’M now liv­ing my dream. I’m not mono­lithic. I can do a lot with my­self, but I’m glad am quickly find­ing my­self. I love ra­dio and my hope and as­pi­ra­tions are to be the best I can in this do­main. I have learnt so much from Steve Vick­ers, our sports boss on ra­dio and one day I want to be a Steve Vick­ers or Farai Mungazi of sorts on some in­ter­na­tional tele­vi­sion or ra­dio plat­form.

MM: Tich, this is the only space you can en­joy to say hello to your wife and fam­ minute.

TICH: Hi Ellen my wife! I love you like there is no to­mor­row. You have been my rock es­pe­cially on this jour­ney to ra­dio. You walked with me. And what with the bouncing baby boy with which you re­cently blessed me! No words. Fi­nally, my par­ents! I would not be who I am to­day and would not be here if it were not for you . . . Mr and Mrs Tichawan­gana. You have been my pil­lars in life. Dad, if I am half the man you are I would be the hap­pi­est.

MM: All that be­gins well ends well Tich! Awe­some dis­cus­sion! Scin­til­lat­ing in­ter­view! With your per­mis­sion you will find this in­ter­view in The Man­ica Post next week-Fri­day.

TICH: Per­mis­sion granted.

PLEASE note that Tich played a lot of rugby, ten­nis, hockey and cricket as a young(er) man. He still loves these games and un­der­stands them with a wild pas­sion to this day. Un­til next week when I give you a chron­i­cle of an­other Di­a­mond FM celebrity, En­joy ra­dio!

Tafadzwa 'Tich' Tichawan­gana

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