HomeSportNakamba gives rare insight into upbringing, charity work

Nakamba gives rare insight into upbringing, charity work

BY FORTUNE MBELE
IT has been a hectic and yet emotional off season break for Warriors and Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba.

While his collegues jetted out to some of the world’s luxurious holiday destinations for their preseason break, the 28-year-old Zimbabwe international took the opportunity to follow his other passion, which is to change lives in the community.

Nakamba managed to do some charity work, finally stage his Under-17 tournament and most importantly visit his rural home in Dinde, a sprawling, poverty-stricken community located 40km east of Hwange along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.

Nakamba took journalists to his home area in the company of his father and some members of his Marvelous Nakamba Foundation (MNF) last week.

The soft spoken star paid homage to Hwange during the week, where he pays school fees for close to 1 000 pupils in three schools Dinde and Sir Humphrey and Wankie Secondary School, where his father learnt.

He will be reconstructing a classroom block in Dinde and constructing teachers’ quarters and school toilets.

Additionally, the Aston Villa midfielder will provide school uniforms, jerseys and shoes for children that he pays school fees for.

He also visited Wankie Secondary, where he pledged to refurbish the school’s science laboratory.

After the visit Nakamba said: “It was refreshing to go back to my hometown two days after successfully hosting the  MNF22 tournament. I was overjoyed by the passion and determination I saw from the students at Dinde and Sir Humphrey Primary Schools as well as Wankie Secondary School.”

The visit to Dinde also provided a rare insight into the impact of his formative years in his rural home where his football journey started.

Little has been said about how his father’s younger brother Mugo set a young Nakamba ablaze with football passion those many years ago in Dinde.

While at the homestead, the soft-spoken and camera-shy Nakamba revealed he started playing football there before he moved to Bulawayo.

“I used to play my football here and I used to dribble them here and there is my coach (Mugo).

“This is the place where I started playing football. I played football here when I came to the village. I think I was five or six years old. I stayed here for three to four years. This is my first coach, my uncle,” Nakamba said.

Nakamba started school at Sir Humphrey Primary School in Hwange town before he moved to Dinde Primary where he did Grade two to four.

“I am his first coach. I saw him as a little boy that he loved football. Even when the bus passed by here he would follow me and we would go and watch Wankie games with him.  I am so happy today when I see him on television (playing for Aston Villa).

“I want him to improve from here to become a better player going forward,” the dreadlocked Mugo said.

In an earlier interview on the sidelines of the MNF Under-17 boys’ football tournament that was hosted at White City Stadium last weekend, Nakamba said a documentary profiling him with every detail of where it all started will soon be out.

“I started playing football when I was very young. When I came to Bulawayo coming from the rural areas I played for Njube Sundowns after which I went to Grassroot Soccer and then I went to Highlanders.

“I think people will get to know more, there is a Marvelous Nakamba documentary that is coming up. Every detail will be there in that documentary.  I am just giving you bits and pieces here. Every detail will be there, where and how it really started and how I made it and who was there and every other bit,” the Warriors star said.

After going through a number of coaches in his juniors’ career, Bantu Rovers through coach Methembe Ndlovu took Nakamba to Nancy in France in 2012.

He spent two years in France’s second tier league before he moved to the Netherlands where he joined Vitesse in 2014, winning the country’s premier cup competition, the KNVB-Beker Cup.

Nakamba’s consistent performances in the Dutch Eredivisie caught the eye of Belgian side Club Brugge where he won two league titles from 2017-2019 and participated in the Uefa Champions League.

Since the start of the 2019-2020 season Nakamba has been enjoying his time at Aston Villa after joining the club for a reported fee of €12 million.

Last season he managed to establish himself as a key member of new manager Steven Gerrard’s squad despite suffering an injury setback midway through the season.

He says he has now fully recovered and is ready for the start of the new season when they face Bournemouth in their first game of the season on August 6.

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