the Member of Parliament for Mbire, a very remote constituency in the north-eastern part of the country which is the home of the Doma community, believes there is a lot of sporting talent in the area that needs to be identified and nurtured for the benefit of the country. Douglas Karoro, the MP for Mbire, yesterday watched as a representative side of the Doma people, who are currently being hosted by Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Prophet Walter Magaya at his plush Yadah Hotel in Harare, took on Premiership side Yadah Stars in a challenge match in the capital.
The match finished 3-2 in favour of the Premiership side whose players were asked to play without football boots because the majority of their opponents, save for one player, are still struggling to adjust to playing the game using football boots.
Yadah Stars are coming from arguably their best result in the first season in the domestic Premiership after they shocked former champions and championship leaders, Chicken Inn, 2-1 in Bulawayo on Saturday.
It was the team’s first victory outside the capital all season.
Four hundred people from the Doma community, a reclusive tribe that has always lived far away from modernisation, preferring to stick to their traditions of gathering and hunting in the shadows of the Zambezi River in the country’s north-eastern part, have been in Harare since Thursday.
They are here for a week-long stay in the capital as guests of the man who adopted them, Prophet Walter Magaya, who has promised to change their lives.
Last Saturday, they featured in a sporting carnival in challenge matches where they pitted their skills against each other, having been split into a number of rivals teams.
Their fitness levels, which probably comes from lives spent chasing wild animals for food, are remarkable and their tackles are hard while their endurance levels will make many professional sportsmen green with envy.
Yesterday, they were back for another sports festival which saw a group of them playing in a number of challenge football matches before the main attraction of the day which featured their select side against Yadah Stars. Some of them also played netball yesterday before they all went for another church service last night.
The main football game, which started just after 3pm in testing conditions in the sweltering heat, saw the Doma Select Side give as much as they got, impressing with their ball passing skills and scoring some good goals.
“There is a lot of sports talent in the area and it’s just a question of identifying the good ones and developing them,’’ Karoro, who watched the main football match, said.
“It’s not only about football but even athletics, you can get a lot of very good athletes in the constituency.
“It’s only that those who identify and develop such talent have not been concentrating on this area but, hopefully, after this initiative, things will change.’’Magaya, who adopted 460 people from the Doma constituency, said it’s an area which he will certainly work on in the future.
“There is no questioning that there are some natural talents among these people, their strength is awesome and they learn very quickly and I am very sure we can get some very good middle and long distance runners there, whom we can develop into some fine athletes who can do a lot for our country. “I also believe there are some boxing gems that can be unearthed there and be trained because their natural strength is incredible and it’s an area we are going to work on.
“And, in terms of football, I was impressed by a number of the players who played today, their development from how they were playing on Saturday is incredible and they want to learn all the time, which is what you need from athletes.’’
The coach who was in charge of the Doma Select Side also asked to be given training manuals, which are used by the Premiership side, to take back home so that he can use as part of his efforts to train his players better.
Their outstanding player yesterday was given a pair of football boots as a prize for his good display.
The 400 guests from Doma are expected to return home tomorrow after their week-long tour of Harare, with virtually of all them coming to the capital for the very first time, and they will be wearing new clothes and shoes — sourced by their host — and also spotting new haircuts.