16-year-old footballer unearthed

 By Memory chamisa

THE just ended Marvelous Nakamba Under- 17 invitational Tournament unearthed a 16-year-old gem, whose story is that of a village boy with a big dream.

Growing up in a family of three that was indoctrinated with hard-line apostolic sect beliefs, never did 16-year-old Prosper Padera imagine he would be playing football, with scores of people cheering him on.

Affectionately known in football circles as Mupostori, Padera’s story is that of struggle, having lost his mother 8 years ago and his father recently.

Driven by the desire to provide a better life for his sisters who now look up to him as a father figure, the Bocha – born teenager lives and breathes football.

“My desire is to take good care of my sisters as I am the only father figure left. Before my father passed on he came and pleaded with Chave and coach Sam to take me in at the academy because he noticed that I had a talent in playing football. Because of religious reasons at our sect we are not allowed to play football but my father had to go against that and came with me to the academy. I come from a poverty stricken-family where sometimes we would go for days without food and playing football is my way out of poverty. I am grateful to Majesa Academy for giving me a life line as now they have taken over my welfare, paying school fees, and providing all my need,” said Prosper “mupostori” Padera.

Having captained Majesa Academy to gold in the Marvelous Nakamba under 17 invitational Tournament held in Bulawayo last week, Padera believes this is just the beginning.

 “My wish is to play abroad like all these other soccer stars I see on TV and also be able to assist boys like me who come from such backgrounds. The just ended Marvelous Nakamba under 17 invitational tournaments was also an eye opener for me, I had never travelled outside Mutare and going all the way to Bulawayo hearing people speaking another language was actually an experience for me,” he said.

For Majesa team Manager, Samson Kabwe, Prosper’s father’s dying wish was to see his son live his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

“Prosper is a child who has faced all the hardships you can think of, his father was a Mupostori, but he surpassed his church’s belief and came to surrender his son in my care. I was shocked when I heard that he had passed on six days later. The onus now is on me to see to it that he makes it in his football journey. But judging from the results he has been delivering its impressive and he is going to go far if he stays focused and we also making sure that he completes his studies,” said Kabwe.

Majesa owner, Charles Chave believes junior football development should be taken to the grassroots for the sake of talent identification.

“Prosper is one example of how football academies if supported can help nurture talent. Despite his upbringing and challenges, Propser has defied the odds and has proved that he is going to make it in life. The academy will continue supporting and mentoring him. In as much as he loves football, he also has to know that school comes first. He is not the only one under ate tutelage, there are also other boys whom we are taking care of at the academy residence,” said Chave.

Besides the trials and tribulations, he has gone through, everything seems to be falling into place for Prosper who is also the Zimbabwe National under 17 team captain and plays for Eastern region division one side Buffaloes.

Hopefully, his pursuit for greatness is a story that has a happy ending.