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Monday, May 27, 2024

Former Highlanders defender trades football for pastoral work

Story by Mthokozisi Dube

FORMER Highlanders captain Innocent Mapuranga has traded the football pitch for pastoral work.

When Highlanders roped in Zambian expatriate Kelvin Kaindu better known as coach “KK” in football circles, little did they know that they had brought a devoted Christian who always wanted to put God first.

As the saying goes, do not preach to the converted, Kaindu was more than a coach, a fatherly figure who took time to render wise counsel to his players through all-night vigils with local pastors.

With Kaindu now out of the picture, his footsteps are visible for all to see as one of his captains Innocent Mapuranga is now involved in pastoral work after setting up a church, known as Champions of Christ International Church in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb.

Mapuranga who captained Bosso from 2012 to 2014 said after quitting football in 2016, he pursued coaching with Bulawayo City Juniors before joining ambitious Southern Region Division One side Ratanang but eventually left after a fairly successful stint.

“I quit football for coaching but because of the coach KK ‘s impact, I was very closer to God,” said Mapuranga.

“As players we used to hold night vigils with local pastors. I then went to Flames of Fire with the late coach Suche. After that, I started my own ministry in Cowdray Park and I have not looked back since then,” he added.

Besides the pastoral work Mapuranga is also into motor mechanics at Nketa 7’s project centre and his colleagues confirm that the former steely defender is indeed a jack of all trades.

Life after the game is not always rosy for most prominent footballers, hence the need for one to be organised and plan early.

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