WATCH: Against all odds, teen plays passionate football despite having an amputated leg

By Memory Chamisa

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Passion, tricks and shrills ooze out of these youngsters as they display their innocence and love for the game.

With the schools closed, the dusty streets of Budiriro in Harare are filled with cheers from the youngsters.

It begins with the curtain raisers playing a game of hwishu, as it is popularly known.

Palpable joy and screams are heard streets away as they celebrate the ouster of a playmate.

Then comes the big match of the day, street football.

This is no match like many others you see in dusty ghetto streets.

Meet the star player, Tinashe Mutopoli, a right leg amputee who plays exceptionally well with little assistance from his crutch.

His passion for football has seen him defying all odds, being as much competitive as his fellow players.

“Tinashe plays well at first I was scared of hurting him,” said a colleague.

Another added, “He dribbles the ball past us and plays even better than some of us.”

“He does not let his disability affect him and we enjoy the game of football,” commented another.

For his father, Lovemore Mutopoli, Tinashe has always been passionate about football and trying to stop him from playing ignited the desire in his son.

“My son loves football sometimes I would hit him for playing for I feared he would get hurt in the process, but now I see he is very talented and remains holding on to his dream.”

An avid supporter of Warriors and Aston Villa’s midfielder, Marvelous Nakamba, the sixteen year old hopes that one day people with disabilities are allowed to play professional football.

“My favourite player is Nakamba and I hope to get sponsorship and football is in my blood,” he says.

Well, Tinashe’s dream is one of the many youngsters from the dusty ghetto streets and hopes are high that all these dreams will one day be realised.