ZIMBABWE Ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi, has hailed the newly-formed South Africa-based Zimbabwe Soccer Players Association which seeks to address the welfare of both former and current footballers living in the neighbouring country.
The association was launched at a ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the weekend.
Hamadziripi, who was the guest of honour, lauded the establishment of this organisation which he said will be a vehicle to promote sound relations among Zimbabweans and hoist the country’s badge.
“We celebrate the realisation of a vision that seeks to bring about unity, a vision that is driven by care and concern for others in a true expression of the spirit of being one’s brother’s keeper,” Hamadziripi said.
“It is a vision that strives to protect and promote the dignity and welfare of our footballing stars and icons. It is my hope that the association will serve as an example of supporting each other to fellow Zimbabweans here in South Africa and in other countries throughout the world, not only among soccer players, but in many other sectors and spheres of life.”
He pledged to support the organisation to realise its set vision.
“Let us support this association in ways that we can when called upon to do so. As witnesses to the birth of this organisation, we have established a relationship with it. More importantly, we have a vested interest in its success and sustenance.
“I have been informed that this association is not just concerned about the welfare of its members. It is equally concerned about giving voice to the soccer legends and current players who have much to contribute towards the development and elevation of the beautiful game in Zimbabwe.
“The members of this association have heeded the Government’s call and encouragement to be meaningfully involved in the march towards attaining the aspirations of Vision 2030.
“We, at the Embassy and the wider Zimbabwean community, welcome this association as a partner in raising the banner of our beautiful country, Zimbabwe, here in South Africa and beyond.
“We look forward to working with its members in promoting our mutual interests. Let us work closely together in representing the best of and about our country. Let us be the best brand ambassadors of our country.
“I invite your association to also be a voice that advocates for good citizenship and good behaviour among its members and among Zimbabweans here in South Africa. Each and every one of us loses something whenever one of us is caught offside or portrayed in a negative light.
“It is always heart-breaking when we hear or read stories about soccer players, whether retired or current, who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason. The establishment of this association is therefore timely.”
Zororo-Phumulani, who have been one of the sport’s all-weather friend having hosted the Gems during the 2023 World Cup in Cape Town, the Mighty Warriors, Real Betis Academy Zimbabwe and boxers like Kuda “Take Money” Chiwandire and Monalisa “Queen of the Jungle” Sibanda undertook to inject some funds into the association.
The company’s executive marketing manager, Tendai Mangoti, said the association will help address the plight of legends and current players in South Africa.
“As Zororo-Phumulani, we are always ready to chip in when it comes to our legends and players based here in South Africa.
“We currently have free funeral cover for legends and we intend to extend that to current players.
“This is a good initiative and we have pledged to inject some funds to enable the association to kick-start their operations in earnest”.
Some of the legends present at the launch include the association’s chairman Alexander Maseko, Peter Ndlovu, Elasto Lungu and Tapuwa Kapini.