WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona has turned to popular Nigerian televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua, for prayers after struggling with a recurring knee injury.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
A video of the 28-year-old Anderlecht Belgium striker being prayed for by the charismatic preacher at the Lagos-based Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) was circulating on social last week.
In the 46-second-long clip which is now on the video-sharing website YouTube, Musona is captured seated in front of TB Joshua, who is seen laying his hands on the football player’s knees, his chest and his head while praying.
The camera also zooms to someone standing behind the player holding a banner which states that the professional footballer is seeking deliverance from a knee injury and “career failure”.
The banner also states that the former Kaizer Chiefs and KV Oostende hitman has been struggling with the knee injury for the past five years.
After the prayer sessions, TB Joshua tells Musona to stand up, telling him: “Jesus has set you free.”
Musona stands up and starts jogging, saying: “Thank you Jesus. I’m free, I’m healed.”
It is not clear when Musona went to Nigeria and efforts to get a comment from the Zimbabwe captain were fruitless last week.
Musona is the latest in the growing list of professional footballers who have visited the Nigerian cleric.
Some of the players who have reportedly visited TB Joshua’s church for prayers include Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes, former Zambian international Given Singuluma and a host of Nigerian professional footballers.
Prominent Zimbabweans known to have sought healing from Scoan include the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, former cabinet minister Chris Mushohwe and former Zifa boss Cuthbert Dube.
Musona, who is affectionately known as the Smiling Assassin, has struggled to nail down a regular starting place at Anderlecht since moving from another Belgian side, KV Oostende, last June.
The talented player, however, appears to have received a lifeline after Anderlecht fired their coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck last month following a string of poor results.
The striker had been frustrated by lack of game time under Vanhaezebrouck since joining the club at the start of this season, making just three league starts and five substitute appearances for Anderlecht while also scoring one goal.
Reports prior to Vanhaezebrouck’s sacking suggested that Musona was contemplating returning to former club KV Oostende in the January transfer window.
Musona was also forced to respond to speculation linking him with a move back to South African side Kaizer Chiefs as he took to social media to quash rumours that he could be on his way back to South Africa in the January transfer window.
Anderlecht’s new technical director Frank Arnesen, however, appeared to give Musona and other players who struggled under the previous coach a lifeline.
Speaking at his first press conference after his unveiling on Thursday, Arnesen, who has previously served as director of football at English clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, said Musona and others would be given a chance to prove their worth.
The former Danish international will work closely together with Anderlecht’s new sporting director Michael Verschueren and Swedish coach Par Zetterberg before the appointment of a new manager.
“My principle is that everyone must have a chance to show that we need him. My mission is obviously also to strengthen the team from the winter transfer window, in consultation with the future coach,” he said.
Arnesen said he would use the team’s upcoming winter training camp which starts in Spain this week to get to know the players and analyse the group better before the league resumes on January 18.
“That’s why I’m going to the winter training camp with Michael Verschueren to Spain, where I will have the time to thoroughly get to know and analyse the players.
“He will take the necessary time to get to know the technical staff better and to see what the weaknesses and strengths of the team are. That is not possible in one day,”Arnesen said.
Musona’s failure to nail down a place at his club was also becoming a big worry to Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga, who is hoping to have his talisman fully fit when the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers resume in March.
The Warriors face a defining match in their quest for back-to-back appearances at the Afcon finals when they host Congo-Brazzaville in March with any result, save for defeat, enough to book them a ticket to the showcase.