Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
HISTORY-making Premiership coach Callisto Pasuwa added another feather on his growing football profile when he won a rare award — the Zimbabwe Business Awards Coach of The Year — accolade in Harare yesterday.The former Dynamos gaffer might have been overlooked by the Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe panellists for the Castle Lager Premiership Coach of the Year award on successive occasions but his exploits, in winning the domestic championship with the Glamour Boys for the fourth year running, did not go unnoticed.
And yesterday he was honoured among a host of top business executives, personalities and companies at a breakfast ceremony in the capital.
Radio and television sports personality and veteran football commentator Charles Mabika was also honoured at the function where some of the individual recipients included Chomi Makina, chief executive of Moonlight Funeral Assurance, comedian Carl Joshua Ncube, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chairperson Marah Hativagone, Africa Sun chief executive Shingi Munyeza, emerging Business Leader of the Year Tommy Deuschle, Young Businesswoman of the Year Cindy Munyavi and businessman-cum-politician Philip Chiyangwa.
But it was Pasuwa’s award that even surprised the unassuming former Dynamos coach who last year guided DeMbare to an unprecedented fourth straight championship and boosted the Harare giants’ business profile as the biggest football brand in the country.
Pasuwa even had the house on its feet when the organisers asked him to take to the floor and briefly showcase the Zora Butter Dance.
An excited Pasuwa said he was humbled to be honoured for his hard work at Dynamos.
“This is very pleasing when you find that what I did is getting some recognition from organisations like Zimbabwe Business awards.
“I didn’t think that beyond the football family there are people who recognise the work I was doing at Dynamos.
“It is a huge honour for me to be recognised together with all those top business executives, personalities and companies that I saw at the function this morning.
“When the invitation came through ZIFA and it was written business awards, I thought at first that maybe I was being invited to be just a guest so the award really came as a surprise for me,’’ Pasuwa said.
The coach, who walked away from Dynamos in December, said the award would now spur him.
“I think the challenge is now on me to keep working harder to develop football in the country. I used to look down upon myself but I have realised that the hard work that we do on the soccer fields is not going unnoticed.
“I have also been told that such hard work has contributed to building the brand Dynamos’’.
Pasuwa said although he had taken a sabbatical from club coaching, he had been receiving a lot of support and encouragement from international football personalities like Nigerian Super Eagles legend Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha and Democratic Republic of Congo national coach Florent Ibenge, who also coached AS Vita Club.
“Jay Okocha has been closely following my progress and the challenges that I face and I have been receiving a lot of encouragement from him, it is the same story with the DRC national coach, who was coach of AS Vita Club, who told me that Dynamos were a solid team that only lacked the financial muscle to go forward.
“Some of the coaches and technical directors I met in Cairo have also been very supportive of me and it feel nice to be appreciated, maybe it is true that a prophet does not have honour in his home because you don’t get that much recognition in our football despite working very hard every day,’’ Pasuwa said.