Inside sport: It’s either a sparkle or the end for Khama

Khama Billiat (centre)

Zimbabwean football is excited with the arrival on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League scene of Khama Billiat - one of Zimbabwe football’s stars of his generation.

After stints at Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, Billiat has come home to settle at Yadah after attempts by Dynamos, Manica Diamonds, and Ngezi Platinum Stars all failed to attract the player.

It is good that the PSL will have a crowd attraction like Khama who could have opted to stay in South Africa where he has been turning on the style for over a decade.

In fact, Billiat is understood to have turned down a salary cut to stay at Kaizer Chiefs and decided to return to Zimbabwe where he has become the hush-hush talk of the 2024 transfer market.

All sorts of figures were thrown around with sign-on- fees ranging between $15 000 - $20 000 with Yadah said to have won the player’s signature with a sign-on fee of $20 000 and a salary of $5 000 on top of other perks.

After all, Yadah has the huge financial backing of Pedzisai ‘Scott’ Sakupwanya and Prophet Walter Magaya whose laden bank balances are all in the public know-how.

Moneywise, though, Billiat’s move makes sense, but football wise, it doesn’t because with the quality of players at Yadah’s disposal, the weight of doing it all alone could prove too much for the not so 100 percent fit Billiat.

There is another school of thought that is arguing that Khama made probably the biggest mistake of his life and career by joining a team without any dreams or ambition.

To them, Ngezi Platinum Stars who will be in the Caf Champions League and Dynamos who will be in the Caf Confederation Cup and the Caf Super League would have been ideal for Khama if he still harbours dreams of resurrecting his career outside the Zimbabwean borders.

More importantly, is the fact that Billiat risks being relegated to Division One along with these Miracle Boys, something that could dent all what he has done for football at club level.

After all, Yadah in 2023, survived relegation by the skin of their teeth and with no quality additions to their playing staff could find themselves worse off than their 2023 showing.

Khama, however, has to prove that he is worth the signing and that it is not Yadah who lost out in the deal by putting up a show worth the $20 000 sign on fee and the $5 000 a month salary.

He has to dispel the belief that he benefited heavily financially out of this deal as he might not be able to play regularly due to the injury he carries while at the same time being paid his salary.

He should prove that he is worth all the faith that Yadah placed on him by leading the club to the league title or at least the Chibuku Super Cup success or a top three table finish.

Others believe Khama should thank the 'Miracle Boys' for rescuing him from a career that was on the verge of collapse with no offers in South Africa and Saudi Arabia where players in his situation are rounding up their careers.

However, it should be placed on record that clubs in Saudi Arabia are signing only those players they are interested in and not all players who made it big but are in the twilight of their careers.

Yadah laughed off suggestions that the player would be loaned out to Dynamos as a return of favours for that 2023 Premiership survival albeit after a ‘points donation’ from Dembare

Nobody, even the hardest of Yadah supporters expected their team to beat Dynamos but with the noose of relegation hanging up the tree, Yadah upstaged Dembare 2-1 sending tongues wagging that the result was fixed.

That is a story that has come and gone as nobody including the most loud mouthed could provide a shred of evidence that Yadah ‘bought’ the points and Dynamos ‘sold’ the game.

The topic, though, is about Khama and that what he will do at Yadah will be judged against what he did during his best club football days which obviously came when he was at Sundowns.

It will not be easy for the former Zimbabwe Warriors lynchpin as the environment at Sundowns and in South Africa as a whole is far much different than that at Yadah and in Zimbabwe in general.

Football has taught us that there are two things that happen in marriages like the one between Khama and Yadah - one being that the partnership could work out well and the other, being that it sometimes ends in finger pointing.

One thing that is for sure is that Khama brought a lot of excitement on the transfer market and it is now up to him to prove that all the hype that went with it was worth it.

Surely, failure to sparkle at Yadah could mean the end of career of a player who gave Zimbabwe so many great moments over the past decade or so.

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