‘Ageless’ Kapini eyes Bosso swansong

Club captain Kapini has only played in Sekhukhune’s first three league games of the season before Nsabata’s arrival at the club.

HIS official age is 37, but there have been allegations that former Warriors goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini is much older than what his official documents say.

Kapini, who started his professional football career with Black Aces in the 90s has, however, always maintained that the age cheating allegations are false.

Despite lingering questions, Kapini is not showing any signs of slowing down. In fact the Sekhukhune United veteran goalkeeper has not lost hope of reclaiming the number one jersey from Toaster Nsabata at his club and a last dance at his childhood club Highlanders before hanging up his boots.

Club captain Kapini has only played in Sekhukhune’s first three league games of the season before Nsabata’s arrival at the club.

The Zambian international, who is five years younger than Kapini, has been the man in goal for the club ever since. Even so, Kapini hasn’t despaired.

“Football is all about competition.

“If there’s someone who’s doing well ahead of you, you must be patient. Toaster is doing well at the moment, but I won’t stop pushing him. There’s also Ayanda Dlamini, who’s a top keeper in his own right, so the competition is stiff. Whenever I get a chance to play, I’ll grab it with both hands,” Kapini told Sowetan.

Kapini may be turning 38 in July,  but retirement seems to be the last thing on his mind as he still wants to fulfil the promise he made to “Bosso”, as Highlanders are affectionately known at its Bulawayo base, to play at least one season before retiring.

The Sekhukhune man is also inspired by legendary Italian shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon, who’s still playing at the age of 44, having recently penned a new two-year deal with second-tier side Parma.

“I haven’t thought about retirement yet. All I am thinking about is just go to training every morning and do well… motivate these young boys that if I can play at my age, what about them?

“I promised my former club back home in Zim that I won’t retire before I play for them again for at least one year… that’s on my mind. I want to make sure it happens,” Kapini said.

“Buffon is 44 and in Africa people expect us to retire at 37… imagine.

“Seeing Buffon still going strong is a huge inspiration for many of us.”

After starting his professional football career at the now defunct Black Aces, Kapini joined a then star-studded Highlanders side in 2001, where he won three championship medals, before packing his bags for South Africa to join the now defunct Premiership side, Platinum Stars, in 2006.

He was part of the inaugural Warriors squad at the 2004 AFCON finals in Tunisia and was also part of the team who made their second consecutive appearance, at the finals, in Egypt, in 2006.

He also played for South Africa Premiership sides AmaZulu and Highlands Park.

He suffered relegation with Highlands but then captained the side, back into the Premiership, after playing one season in the second-tier in 2018.

Kapini, who was offloaded by Highlands Park in 2020 returned to the South African Premiership with Sekhukhune United, who are currently in ninth position on the log in their debut season in the topflight league. — Sowetan/Sports Reporter

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