Kalisto Pasuwa is a writer of fairy-tales.
The nation might be cynical when it comes to the Zimbabwe national team but there is no denying that the former Dynamos gaffer’s story is written in the stars for foe and friend to read.
It might have escaped a lot of minds but the reality is that the two all draw against Algeria in Gabon in the third match of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday was another record broken.
Going into this match Zimbabwe was given little to no chance of collecting a point against a team ranked by FIFA as the fifth best in Africa.
But far from all that happened in Gabon in that match what the media reported, there was a glaring omission that NewsDay is not missing. Pasuwa was the first coach after Sunday Chidzambwa and Charles Mhlauri who qualified in 2004 and 2006 respectively, to collect a point in the first match.
In 2004 in Tunisia at Stade Taïeb El MhiriI in Sfax, Chidzambwa saw Egypt overturning Zimbabwe’s one goal lead courtesy of highly talented Peter Ndlovu, to win by a score line of two goals to one.
Besides most Zimbabweans who watched on television across the world, 22 000 people attended that match and almost witnessed a miracle.
Two years later under the tutelage of Charles Mhlauri Zimbabwe was to meet Senegal in their first game in Egypt in the 25th edition of the AFCON tournament but two goals without reply from Issa Ba and Henry Camara was all it needed for the Warriors to lose their opening match at the Port Said Stadium in Port Said.
This is perhaps the reason why Pasuwa is providing a glimmer of hope for the success starved football nation. He also remains the only coach to have qualified for the continent’s greatest soccer show case with a game to spare.
His hurdles have been too many to mention-from fighting ZIFA for the most basic provision like a training ground to begging for a salary-to almost missing matches when everyone had told him of the financial dire straits that even the Zimbabwe government could not resolve.
Despite all this Pasuwa is writing his own fairy-tale and it might end in a happily ever after.