Tadious Manyepo – Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international forward, Tino Kadewere, through his foundation, has engaged Harare City Council with a proposal to acquire land to establish a state-of-the-art academy.
The academy will be expected to produce stars for European markets.
The Highfield Academy product has already engaged officials of the European clubs he has played for and believes he can utilise that opportunity to help the emerging crop of players to secure contracts there.
Kadewere’s proposal has triggered positive feedback, from the City Council officials, with the department that deals with sport confident the Warrior’s dream will come true.
The 25-year-old has a healthy relationship with Harare City Football Club, which gave him the platform to showcase his talent in the domestic Premiership, before he was signed by Swedish side Djurgardens, six years ago.
His foundation yesterday delivered a consignment of home-and-away kits to be used by the municipal club, when they return to competitive football, next month.
Speaking from his base in France, Kadewere said his relationship with Harare City is an emotional one and he will continue helping the team, as long as he can. “I would like to thank Harare City for everything they have done in my career,” said Kadewere.
“To be where I am now, it’s because of the help that I got from Harare City. They adopted me into their system when I was not even expecting it.
“This team gave me a welcoming hand and they looked after me so well until I got the chance to rise up to the level I am in today.
“I also want to thank God for the opportunity that he gave me to meet Harare City.
“This little gift (kit) is just the beginning of something bigger than what we are planning with Harare City Football Club.
“I hope and trust that everything that we are planning at the moment will come to fruition.”
He said his wish is for his foundation to have its own land, to build a fully-fledged academy, where players will not only have football lessons but also attend classes and do some income-generating projects.
“Our wish is to have a partnership between Harare City Council and our own Highfield Academy. We would like to have our own structures, if we manage to get land, so that we can establish our football field, classrooms and gym facilities, in the same place, so that we can help groom youngsters.
“With the connections that I have, at all the clubs I have played for, I am sure we can get help so that we can groom some talented youngsters.”
His brother Prosper, who is the chairman of the foundation, revealed that Tino’s love for Harare City was beyond question.
“Look, Tino was given an opportunity to showcase himself by Harare City and this is the team which is on his lips every minute,” he said.
“As far as we are concerned, as the Kadewere Foundation, this kit donation is just the beginning, there are more projects which we need to undertake, with Harare City, as you know that the latter and Tino share a deep relationship, there is a lot on the way.
“The academy, which we want to establish, will be like a feeder club to Harare City, complementing the already established academy system within the municipality club.
“The model that we want to take will be modern, look, we want to change lives, we want to use football to change society, we have a lot of youths, whose sporting and academic talents, are going to waste everywhere.
“There are a lot of youths who are turning to drugs, and engaging in other social ills, because they don’t have much to occupy themselves.
“After training, students will go to class for academics and we will also have several income-generating projects in which everyone will benefit.’’
Harare City FC chairman, Alois Masepe, hailed Kadewere and challenged other players to emulate the Warriors forward.
Kadewere’s foundation pays school fees for thousands of vulnerable children and is involved in other philanthropic work in the Highfield community.
His late father was one of the most influential figures in the identification, and nurturing, of talented footballers in the Highfield and Glen View areas of Harare.