It was the perfect moment for the Warriors on Thursday night when Mbada Diamonds Holdings harnessed the mineral with a $75 000 sponsorship deal for tomorrow’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Guinea at the National Sports Stadium.
That was the perfect response to the SOS sent by the ever broke Zifa — in fact, it’s no longer news that Zifa — is broke as they have been in the last seven years — has been bailed out by the diamond mining company which has been actively involved in football since last year.
Fifty thousand dollars has been put aside for a win — which we must get tomorrow — while $12 500 and $6 500 are immediately available for appearance fees and camping allowances respectively, in addition to tracksuits and the home and away kits.
There is no doubt about Mbada’s commitment to the game of football and that was evidenced by the availability of the company’s top brass at the function.
These included chief executive officer Patience Khumalo, chief administration officer Major Mahlangu and the corporate services executive George Manyaya.
Also present was chief technical officer Engineer Norbert Mataruse and part of their staff which included Charity Moyo and Ignatius Mazura.
When you have all-weather friends like Mbada, one should feel embarrassed and immediately sort out their house in order to avoid embarrassment.
Zifa had Elliot Kasu, the board member in charge of finance, chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze and board member marketing Nigel Munyati.
For quite some time, Munyati has been in the shadows mainly because of the botched Puma deal which was supposed to be concluded at the start of this year, but failed to see the light of day.
Munyati, at some stage, said he was not going to speak on the deal, claiming he had been sidelined and quite honestly, every member of the media fraternity was surprised when he pitched up at the event.
Perhaps those that sidelined him knew why they were doing so. Perhaps they felt nothing was moving in the marketing portfolio because they would only see Munyati congratulating Knowledge Musona for scoring at the end of a match!
I thought, at this stage, Munyati’s best friend would be Benjani Mwaruwari. If I were in Munyati’s shoes, Benjani would definitely be my friend.
Benjani would be so tired of me that he would immediately ensure that I get a kit sponsorship deal for the Warriors with Aspero Sports GmbH!
Benjani, soon to be confirmed as Zifa ambassador, organised kits and tracksuits for his memorial last week with the new kit and boot manufacturer and those links alone would have played well into Zifa’s hands.
Aspero used $80 000 for the testimonial kits and honestly, they would have spared a little more to kit the Warriors for the World Cup campaign.
Perhaps, it’s an issue of priorities, whether we see the national team as a real national asset or something that can be used and dumped, like in Asiagate or like some football agents sneaking into players’ camping rooms and attempting to smuggle them for medicals or trials in South Africa.
So if we don’t have our priorities right, national football will suffer.
But we are happy that we have, among some of us, companies like Mbada Diamonds whose focus is on football and bringing back the happy times.
We hope they find Zifa accommodative for the next two games against Mozambique and Burundi and later on the Cosafa tournament in Malawi.
We pay tribute to Mbada and we say, let the diamond sparkle forever!