FORMER Caps United and Highlanders speedy winger Gabriel Nyoni, who now plays for Maritzburg United in South Africa, hopes to emerge from the COVID-19-induced break a better player.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Nyoni joined the great trek to South Africa midway through the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after impressing The Team of Choice while at Caps United.
However, he has only scored two goals in cup games and is yet to find the net in the league.
Nyoni has not completed his first full season in South Africa after the South African topflight was suspended with 10 games to go.
It’s more than two months now since the league was put on ice and South Africa is on lockdown and the speedster says the COVID-19 break has given him ample time to reflect on his career.
“It’s (lockdown) something I had never experienced ever since I was born, so I didn’t know what to expect from it and how it was going to impact my life. But after going through it for so many days, it has given me time to reflect on my life. Ever since I started playing football I had never had so much free time to introspect. However, I now miss football big time,” Nyoni said.
Although he says he feels lonely at times being in foreign land staying by himself, he says he is motivated to work harder, even during the lockdown, by the desire to become a better player.
“I have managed to go through this by following a routine and changing it here and there to avoid boredom. As of now there is no information from relevant authorities of when we are going to return to playing football again. Since I am not home and staying alone, loneliness sometimes creeps in, but the desire is to be a better player when all resumes and is back to normal motivates me. I want to be the best player I could ever be after this pandemic,” the former Green Machine forward said.
Nyoni, a writer and motivational speaker, who has penned two books, says the break has taught him a lot of lessons.
“The introspection I have been going through has taught me self-realisation and understanding oneself — that is realising that I create my own reality, everything begins from my thoughts. My mind is like a garden what I plant in it is what grows,” he said.
Nyoni plays his football with fellow-countryman Clive Augusto at Maritzburg who reached the final of the Telkom Knockout and lost 2-1 to giants Mamelodi Sundowns in December.