BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS veteran striker
Mkhokheli Dube has urged his nephew Prince Dube to maintain form at his Tanzanian club Azam FC to earn recognition from Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic.
Dube has quickly settled in Tanzanian football for former champions Azam Fc since joining the club in August.
The 23-year-old star arrived in Tanzania last month and a few days after he was unveiled at the club, scored in a friendly match and has since scored two goals in three matches in the league.
Mkhokheli, a professional footballer himself with a career spanning more than 20years that has seen him playing for Highlanders, in the US and South Africa, Chicken Inn, Bulawayo City and FC Platinum, is family advisor to Prince in football matters.
Mkhokheli says Prince must stay afloat and maintain the rich vein of form to attract the attention of the senior national team technical department as the Warriors face Algeria in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in November.
Apart from the Afcon qualifiers, there are also World Cup qualifiers. So far the lethal former Highlanders striker has not disappointed.
“Prince is in Tanzania to play football and the most important thing for him is to help his team (Azam) to succeed, be it in goals, assists and just being a team player. With the Warriors fixtures coming up, he just needs to maintain his form or do more so that he can be considered for national duty,” Mkhokheli said.
With the start of the local Premier Soccer League suspended in March, Prince left for Tanzania having only played one competitive match this year, the Castle Challenge Cup, which Highlanders lost 2-0 to FC Platinum back then.
But that did not deter Prince, who arrived in Tanzania and performed like he had always been in action.
Mkhokheli attributes that to discipline on Prince’s part. “Prince is a really focused and disciplined young man. Throughout the lockdown he was training hard for the opportunity so that when it came he was ready. No wonder he is in good form, picking from where he was last year at Highlanders,” he said.
Most importantly, Mkhokheli says Prince must keep his head down and let football do the talking as a bright future lies ahead for the forward who is said to be a wanted man in France.
“I talk to Prince every day. I remind him why he is there and to keep on working hard. The most important thing is for him to stay humble and make sure his football is doing the talking. He is a really nice kid and it gives us great joy as a family to see him excelling,” Mkhokheli said.
Prince failed to impress at South African top-flight side SuperSport United and returned home and also went for an unsuccessful trial stint in China.
Back in 2018, when he went to South Africa, former Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu said the striker was not yet mature when he joined SuperSport United, but now he is fully-fledged player.
He provided the assist in Azam’s 1-0 win over Polisi Tanzania and notched the brace that buried Coastal Union 2-0.
Azam’s third game was a 1-0 win against Mbeya City.
When he arrived in Tanzania, the Warriors striker said his mission was to score goals and win trophies for Azam.