by Nkocy Sithole | Nust- ZW @grujicrobinho7
The National University of Science and Technology (Nust), is abound with raw talent.
Runyararo Gift Mandaza, a twenty-two-year-old soccer player
is one out of the many gifted youngsters at the institution.
Because of his deft touches in the field and ability to command, the up-and-coming soccer star has been given the responsibility to captain the NUST soccer team.
His teammates appreciate the efforts that he puts in during training sessions and games.
“Exemplary, hardworking and his hard work motivates the team and carries it too,” said Keith Tendai Moyana, one of his teammates.
“He is a very good captain,” added Moyana.
Not only are his teammates impressed by his efforts but they are also in full praise for his ball retention and other central midfielder attributes.
“He has a very long accurate passing range and he retains the ball well in the midfield,” said Clyde Isaac, another teammate.
Mandaza started playing football at a young age and has only had love for one sport. He says he was lured into football at his young age by his primary friends.
“Well I started (playing) soccer at a young age in the streets. It has always been my passion since and I never tried other sports. I grew to love the sport and I hope to pursue this career as a soccer player,” said Mandaza.
“So, my friends motivated me to come and join the soccer team at Ruvheneko primary and that is what unveiled the soccer passion in me,” claimed Mandaza.
The former Ruvheneko Primary School player is a well gifted and also a hard worker player who seemingly posses both Messi and Cristiano’s attributes of talent and hardwork.
“I think I have both attributes, I am naturally talented and at the same time I do train a lot on my techniques and fitness levels,” said Mandaza.
Being a player who is naturally gifted and a hardworker, it comes as no surprise that his role models are people who also fit that billing.
“My role models are Clemence Matawu and Cristiano Ronaldo because I admire their dedication and hard work in the field. I also admire Ronaldo’s determination and the way he concentrates on what he wants to achieve as a footballer. To me this is quite appealing”, added Mandaza.
His only cup win came with Churchill High School where they won the 2012 edition of the NASH U17 soccer tournament.
In 2017, he enrolled with NUST to pursue a degree in Statistics and Operations Research.
Mandaza is a young man who has his life planned out, how he wishes and wants it to be like in future on and off the pitch.
“I do hope to be able use my degree and my talent at the same time after graduation because I have entrepreneurship in mind for the future,” maintains Mandaza.
Mandaza is very optimistic and hopeful of a brighter future for the Nust soccer team.
“It would be a great opportunity for Nust to go back to division one and maybe a promotion into the top-flight league because that will give more exposure to the great talent at Nust,” said Mandaza.
But before all this happens for Nust, Mandaza feels attitude and approach of the university to football matters has to change.
“I think with proper training and humility, NUST may be dominating university in the years to come,” the captain pointed out.
Mandaza still thinks that grassroot soccer in Zimbabwe has to be prioritised so as to be able to identify and nurture talent in the country at earlier stages.
“I think proper training facilities for grassroots would be a start with the aid of talent identification strategies would also help,” Mandaza said.
The NUST soccer captain has set the horizon as his limit for what he can do in the world of football and he is very hopeful of a success story.
“I do hope to play in the national league and also even play internationally in the coming years,” the NUST captain pointed out.