FORMER Harare City winger Silas Songani has moved to Denmark to start an international career that is hoped to translate into better fortunes for the Warriors as they challenge for a place at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Songani is Zimbabwe’s first export outside Africa in the last three years after former Dynamos midfielder Archieford Gutu left for Sweden.
For local football, this is the way to go. And for many aspiring Zimbabwean footballers, Europe should be the place, not South Africa, as the standard of football is much higher up north than it is in our southern neighbour.
If more Zimbabwean players make it to Europe our chances of qualifying for the Afcon finals and even the World Cup at some stage are enhanced.
Of late, Zimbabwean players and their agents have believed that South Africa is their destination of choice. That should not be the case.
The South African league is well marketed, well monied and the richest on the continent, but its competitiveness is seriously in doubt.
One just has to look at how the South Africans have performed in the African Nations Championships (Chan) finals where they lost 3-1 to Nigeria on Sunday to see just how pathetic their standard is.
The so-called best players in Zimbabwe — Denver Mukamba and Rodreck Mutuma among others — are struggling to make an impact in South Africa. They might have been the best for Dynamos, but the very reason they have failed to settle in South Africa is that the league has not exploited their strengths.
Oscar Machapa, Tafadzwa Rusike and Simba Sithole have had to come back to Zimbabwe to try and resurrect their careers.
At the same time, the country exported some of the best players to Belgium in the form of Vusa Nyoni, Honour Gombami and Costa Nhamoinesu.
Nhamoinesu is by far the best export for the country in the last few years because he chose to disregard the lure of the rand and aimed higher.
Sometimes, the problem is not with the players. It is the agents in need of a quick buck who often destroy the careers of gullible players.
Agents need to have links with European clubs and work with other international agents to further the careers of their clients. Money will always come at the end of the day.
Agents should look farther than South Africa and really market local talent to the best of their ability and not this get-rich-quick scheme they are involved in.