Zim youngster sends shockwaves in Wales
Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN teenager Tanatswa Nyakuhwa has underlined his growing status as one of the best upcoming talents across Europe after a reputational display for Wales national Under-19 side last weekend.
At a time when Zimbabwe is suspended from participating in international football, Nyakuhwa, who was born in Europe to Zimbabwean parents, has decided to represent the Welsh national junior teams.
He is, however, willing to play for the Warriors once the FIFA embargo on Zimbabwe is lifted. While everyone is praying the suspension be lifted sooner rather than later, Nyakuhwa is taking no chances in developing his game with the 17-year-old drawing most of the attention in Wales Under-19 colours.
The beasty forward, who played the entire match in Wales’ second meeting with Scotland inside four days, had a good day in the office.
Scotland led their British rivals at the break as they dominated proceedings for the opening 45 minutes.
But, four minutes into the second phase, Nyakuhwa grabbed an equaliser that would help Wales creep back into the game.
For some time, Wales actually bossed around and they made the dominance count with Japhet Matondo putting them in the driving seat with another well-worked goal.
Matondo is not a Zimbabwean.
Scotland, though, found a way back into the game as they equalised late on to draw 2-2.
Yet Nyakuhwa had been a 65th minute substitute in the first of the two matches which Wales won 2-1.
Nyakuhwa played well in that match and proved why he deserved to be a starter in the second game on Sunday.
The Zimbabwean youngster is plying his trade in Wales for Cardiff Under-18 team following his smooth graduation from the Under-16s last season.
And he is the club’s hottest property right now as he leads the league’s Golden Boot race with 14 goals to his name in 20 appearances.
The highlight of his season so far has been his hat-trick away to Swansea which helped his team to a massive 4-1 victory in one of the most exciting reserve leagues in the world.
So good has been the forward, who is also comfortable deploying on the flanks, that he has already featured for the club’s Under-21 team with a first team place also beckoning.
Some top-flight clubs in Europe have since made inquiries on the fast-maturing star.
Nyakuhwa’s father Andrew “Tanaz” Nyakuhwa said Tanatswa is ready to represent Zimbabwe.
“Tanatswa (Nyakuhwa) has been doing very well in the Welsh junior league playing for the Under-18 Cardiff team.
“His meteoric rise into a star he is proving to be has since attracted a stampede from different top European teams,” said Tanaz Nyakuhwa. “I have no doubt he will scale dizzy heights if he keeps on pushing the way he is doing right now.
‘’This year Tanatswa has played up for Cardiff City Under-21 several times and has impressed the coaching department. Recently Tanatswa scored a hat-trick for Cardiff City Under-18 away at Swansea in a 4-1 win. Next challenge up for Tanatswa (known as Tan by his teammates) is to play regularly for the Under-21s and challenge for first team football.
‘’It is a brilliant season for Tan transitioning from the Under-16s last year where he was the top goalscorer again to scholarship football this year in the Under-18s. The form Tan is in for Cardiff City coupled with the recent two international displays for Wales has not gone unnoticed in the football world with a few Premier League clubs and European clubs showing interest in the striker.
‘’Tanatswa Nyakuhwa has an added advantage of playing on the left or right wing as well as up top as a striker. This adds versatility to the team and is an asset to both Cardiff City and Wales going forward.
“Look, this is a boy who tragically lost his mother (Yvonne Nyakuhwa) when he was only four. His brother Taona was just four days old. “I had to be both their mother and father. I drew inspiration from seeing these boys’ smiles. My parents and siblings as well as community church members from St Basil and Glawdys Roman Catholic.
“I have always told my two boys that the sky’s the limit and they have since taken heed. I believe Yvonne is smiling in heaven when she sees these boys shining. I am confident Tanatswa will soon be a big star in the game.
‘’Both Tanatswa and Taona were born in Newport, South Wales. Tanatswa was born on 17th September 2005 and Taona 7th April 2010,’’ said Tanaz Nyakuhwa, who is into football projects in Newport with former Zimbabwe senior men’s field hockey utility player Robert Muza.
Muza is the founder member of the first all-blacks hockey side in Zimbabwe, Eradicators, who were based in Harare’s high-density suburb of Mufakose in the the late 1980s and were under the guidance of the legendary coach Custom Kachambwa.
With Cardiff senior term in battle against relegation right now, the hope is Tanatswa Nyakuhwa will be called up to plug the goals’ gap that is evident in the team.
He started playing football at the age of just three before signing for Cardiff aged seven.