Stubborn faith keeps Charamba in the game

Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter

CHICKEN Inn star Michael Charamba could have easily been part of football’s recent history.

Before his move to Bulawayo, he was in devastating form, terrorising defenders with his razor-sharp wing play in Ngezi Platinum Stars’ failed bid to win the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title in 2018.

And he deservedly made it to the Soccer Stars calendar at the end of that outstanding campaign.

Naturally, Charamba, who was eyeing a career as a professional sprinter while growing up in Kwekwe, was courted by several clubs including Dynamos at the start of 2019.

But the Mhondoro team pulled all the strings to keep their prized asset.

However, the former Ivan Hoe Mine forward suffered a nasty knee sprain four games into the 2019 campaign.

He wouldn’t kick a ball again that season.

So bad was the injury he was even advised by doctors to leave the game.

Even when football was frozen out by the Covid-19 pandemic throughout 2020, Charamba was still feeling the pain.

He had to leave Ngezi Platinum at the end of his official stay in December 2020 whereupon he joined his current employers.

Still, things were not working out with the nagging injury keeping him on the treatment table for most of 2021.

While medical experts kept on telling him to quit football, the 27-year-old turned to his faith for divine salvation.

And it worked.

“I am someone who grew up watching football but didn’t really play the game. I was into athletics more.

“But when the chance came while I was doing my Advanced Levels, I took it. I never attended any academy and when Ngezi Platinum signed me from Ivan Hoe Mine, I told myself that I would become a big name player.

“Unfortunately I got injured in 2019 and medical experts kept on warning me against playing football as the sprain was permanent. I told myself that I wouldn’t quit,” said Charamba.

“I am someone who believes in God. I decided to turn to Him. Yes, I was injured but I believe that injuries should mend. I prayed to God and the more I did that, the more the medical experts changed their stance and they started giving me positive feedback.

“I am now fully fit. I do not feel any pain on my knee and I can now sprint as much as I did four, five years ago. I grew up in a God-fearing family. We used to attend the Roman Catholic Church and we did everything according to the church’s doctrine.

“For me, God comes first and he has never failed me. That’s why I was saying to myself, I would rise again even when doctors were losing hope on my professional career. I now go to the Tabernacle of Grace and Fire Ministries”.

Charamba is indeed back to his best and he is one of the main reasons Chicken Inn are doing well this season.

He is deployed in the wings at times and he has also played behind striker in some matches.

And Charamba has done well in those positions.

He has scored four times and all the goals have been spectacular while he has also weighed in with three assists.

Chicken Inn coach Prince Matore is pleasantly surprised with how Charamba recovered from an injury that threatened his career to be one of the leading characters at his championship-chasing team.

“Charamba is now fully fit and he is one of the best performers at our team this season,” said Matore.

“I am very happy for him. He has done well so far this term. I think you can all see that he is not just one of the best performers at our team but in the league. His stats speak volumes of a player who is totally focused and enjoying his game”.

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