The day that transformed Mudadi Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year first-runner-up and FUZ Footballer of the Year, Donald Mudadi, feels that this technology will invite more scouts. 

Veronica Gwaze-Sports Reporter

HAD it not been for FC Touch Academy, Dynamos midfielder Donald Mudadi would have been doing menial jobs somewhere in South Africa. 

The 27-year-old star, who today stands among the top three best footballers in the country alongside Qadr Amini and Obriel Chirinda, had given up on football. 

In fact, on the day he went for the trials that transformed his football journey, Mudadi had abandoned a trip to South Africa that had been funded by his sister. 

Following a five-year-long professional football journey without any financial benefits, Mudadi had made up his mind to relocate to South Africa and secure a job.

However, his former academy’s management felt the young lad needed just one more opportunity to get a breakthrough.

And it took only 90 minutes for him to secure a “precious” move to Black Rhinos, which would later turn around his fortunes.

“I had never enjoyed my grind, so I felt it was better to find something else to do,” recalls Mudadi. “I always came back home empty handed so my sister had already bought a bus ticket for me to relocate to the neighbouring country. “On the day that I was supposed to leave, the Academy called to say I had trials to attend, and I told them that I was not interested; I was quitting football. 

“They insisted and promised that if I failed to make the cut, they would buy another bus ticket for me to travel to South Africa. 

“What was supposed to be my last try became a turning point for my career. My sister was however not amused . . . a fortnight later, I signed a two-year contract with the army side to mark the start of a magnificent journey that has brought me this far.” 

Although he was born in Kadoma, Mudadi was raised in Glen Norah where he used to play street football. 

Around Grade Five, he joined the now defunct Specimen Academy. 

Being a “rascal,” he would often skip school and spend his time hiding at the academy, waiting for training sessions. 

At times he left home purportedly to attend extra lessons and often received a lashing whenever his father discovered that he had been playing football instead. 

“It was passion driven, we had no boots, and I did not mind playing bare-footed,” reminisced the talisman. “The situation was tough at home and to ask my parents to get me a pair of boots would have been a hopeless attempt.” 

Later Mudadi was snatched by FC Touch Academy, under the tutelage of the now late Prince Kadewere. 

He still has fresh memories of the ecstasy that gripped him on the day the academy handed him his first ever pair of football boots. 

While his love for the game grew deeper, his parents still tried to talk him out of it.

“The team later moved to Division Two; that is when my father watched me play . . .  

“I scored the winning goal and won his heart; he gave me the blessing to continue playing,” re-called Kante, as he is affectionately known. In 2016, Mudadi joined Division One side Commando Bullets, on loan from the academy. He enjoyed a season long stint before he was loaned again, for two years at Black Rhinos when they were promoted into the topflight league. 

Joining the army side, Mudadi received US$1 000 hard cash for his general upkeep.

With excitement, he gave all of it to his mother. 

“She could not believe that I was now a PSL player and the US$1 000 perplexed her because this was a lot compared to what she had ever had in a long time.” 

With his monthly salary, Mudadi became the breadwinner. He later moved to Triangle and Harare City respectively before finding home at Dynamos on a two-year-deal. 

Kante became one of the Chibuku Super Cup Champions’ outstanding players with his implacable reading of the game and tenacity in breaking up opposition attacks.

In the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, Dynamos finished the season in third position, behind Ngezi Platinum Stars and Manica Diamonds respectively. For his versatility, gaffer Genesis Mangombe often deployed him in different roles. Mudadi, however, acquired a bad-boy-tag for sagging his shorts, being rude and also for booking an “unnecessary” red card when the Glamour Boys beat Ngezi 2-1 at National Sports Stadium in October. 

Interestingly, a chat with him off the pitch also reveals a different Mudadi — a disciplined, composed and morally upright personality. 

And a sizable section of Dynamos’ fans agree that the lad shouldered most of the team’s burden throughout the season. 

“I never imagined myself playing for the Dynamos one day, let alone becoming a runner up soccer star in my first season with them,” smiled Kante. “I am happy at Dynamos, look forward to a better season and playing at the African Safari is a moment to live my dream.

“I believe that I joined the Glamour Boys at the right time and playing my heart out is the best gift I can ever give to those who look up to me. “Last season was not about money for me, but the opportunity to play and showcase what I can do, come this season, I will be doing the same.”

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