Dy­namos pin hopes on V11

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

THERE was some­thing sci­en­tific about the way Valen­tine “V11” Kadonzvo scored Dy­namos’ opener against Herentals at Ru­faro last Thurs­day. The way he cal­cu­lated the tra­jec­tory of Peace Makaha’s throw-in, the pre­ci­sion with which he weaved past two be­mused Herentals de­fend­ers be­fore burst­ing into the box at a high ve­loc­ity, and the shot he let loose to­wards the bot­tom cor­ner all ap­peared mea­sured. It even looked as if the de­flec­tion the shot took had been fac­tored into the equa­tion. That goal gave Dy­namos an early lead on their way to a cru­cial 2-0 league win over Herentals in the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League. Such ac­cu­racy is un­sur­pris­ing com­ing from Kadonzvo. Af­ter all, the 24-yearold stud­ied MPC — short for the renowned Ad­vanced Level com­bi­na­tion of Math­e­mat­ics, Physics and Chem­istry -a few years ago. A fine young man, who sadly lost both his par­ents be­fore he was even in Grade Two and was raised by his grand­mother in Nor­ton, Kadonzvo’s pace, drib­bling skills and eye for goal have charmed DeMbare fans over the past three weeks as Zim­babwe’s most cel­e­brated soc­cer team fights off rel­e­ga­tion. Three goals in three matches, in­clud­ing a mem­o­rable vol­ley against Caps United in the Harare Derby, is the stuff that is mak­ing DeMbare fans go gaga about V11.

As Dy­namos shelve their rel­e­ga­tion fight for a while to con­cen­trate on a Chibuku Su­per Cup semi-fi­nal clash against Tri­an­gle at Ru­faro this af­ter­noon, Kadonzvo is the man to watch.

40km away in Nor­ton, his granny - Gogo Jane Mat­suku — is still com­ing to grips with her grand­son’s new­found star­dom.

“Valen­tine al­ways liked soc­cer from his early years. I re­mem­ber him pes­ter­ing former Zim­babwe na­tional team player Shep­herd Mu­radzikwa for a foot­ball un­til he was given one. Both his par­ents died when he was very young and I raised him on my own. I am re­lieved a lot now that he can look af­ter him­self through soc­cer. It’s all God’s work,” said 69-year-old Gogo Mat­suku.

Gogo Mat­suku be­lieves her Sun­day morn­ing prayers be­fore Kadonzvo takes to the field are open­ing doors for her grand­son.

“We are a Chris­tian fam­ily and Valen­tine also loves to pray. So we do morn­ing prayers be­fore he goes for a match. With God, we have man­aged to pull through. I can’t be­lieve Valen­tine is now the fa­ther of this house. I can only see the power of God if I look back at how I raised him.” Kadonzvo cel­e­brates ev­ery goal by kneel­ing as if in prayer.

“My granny means every­thing to me, she is both my fa­ther and mother. She is my num­ber one fan and was very jovial when I ar­rived home af­ter that Herentals win,” said the DeMbare for­ward, who iron­i­cally started his jour­ney at fierce cross-town ri­vals Caps United.

“I played for Caps Ju­niors but when they sent me to Pa­mushana for high school the club didn’t show much in­ter­est in me.

“In­stead it was Twalumba FC that showed me love and sent me to Corn­way for A Level. In 2016 I came across coach Lloyd Mu­tasa when I was on tri­als at Ngezi. He told me that I could play for Dy­namos with­out tri­als and I fol­lowed him to Harare,” re­vealed Kadonzvo.

DeMbare’s V11 turns 25 to­mor­row and his wish is to cel­e­brate both his birth­day and Dy­namos’ progress into the Chibuku Su­per Cup fi­nal. “To me it’s not about in­di­vid­ual glory, it’s about Dy­namos as a team. We play Tri­an­gle on Sun­day and I would like to be­lieve that the kind of form that we are in will play a big role in our quest to reach the fi­nal,” he said.

Valen­tine Kadonzvo and his granny Jane Mat­suku Valen­tine Kadonzvo

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