12 May 2020
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By Mugova Benjamin Makanyire

One major challenge that football has faced and will continue to face is sponsorship.

In African countries like Zimbabwe many youngsters oozing with talent have their dreams shattered due to this challenge.

Sponsoring football in Zimbabwe is a matter of giving without receiving because it goes along with very few if not no benefits at all. It takes great passion of the game, selflessness and love for the community to sponsor a competitive soccer team in Zimbabwe.

Such was the calibre of Tanda Tavaruva of the popular Mhunga Buses.

Masvingo is a town with a lot of talented youngsters as well as a legion of football lovers.Many sponsors including individuals, companies and renowned organisations tried to support and motivate the football fraternity but found the going getting tough and abandoned the projects along the way. Up stepped Mudhara Mhunga with his financial support to sponsor the mighty Masvingo United FC affectionately known as Una Una(Asipo haapo).

The dawning of Una Una provided a fertile ground for Masvingo’s aspiring footballers to showcase their talents and pursue their dreams. Many football players managed to see the world by standing on Mudhara Mhunga’s shoulders.Of note is Costa Nhamoinesu who even played in the UEFA champions league.The players did not only benefit through exposure but financially, educationally and socially. The list of beneficiaries is endless.Of note are Loyd Hlahla, Maxwell Chambara, Roland Madziva(the late), Asmin Rupanga, Raymond Undi, Godfey Dondo, Joe Kwangware, Douglas Zimbango, Johnson Zimbabe etc.

The impact of Tanda Tavaruva on the football fraternity was so great that it was felt internationally.

The team attracted very good players from as far as Zambia who include Ronnie Musakanye, Kingsley Ntosha, Ferdinand Mwachindalo, Chewe Mulenga, David Mutale etc.

During Masvingo United’s stint in the Premier League, big teams such as Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United did not enjoy playing the games at Mucheke Stadium because it was Una Una’ s hunting ground with it’s legion of supporters rallying behind their team.

During Una Una’s games on Sundays, Tanda Tavaruva proved to be the number one supporter.

Clad in his vintage suits and trademark scotch chicken-featheŕ decorate hat, he would support the team throughout the full 90 minute game.

Fare thee well Mudhara Mhunga!For the love of the game!For the sacrifice you made!For lives that you positively changed!For the smiling faces that you brought to Masvingo community!For the positive contribution towards the beautiful game!For the humble nature that you displayed!May your soul rest in peace! God bless!

The columnist Mugova Benjamin Makanyire is a football enthusiast, football junior and top flight coach, Fifa grassroots coaching ambassador,sports medicine practitioner, educationist.
Contacts:0775132439, email:[email protected]

Tanda Tavaruva