Rollers wants Chiefs’ star
Township Rollers have reportedly joined a host of Premier League clubs seeking to capitalise on Tendai Nyumasi's expiring contract, although the Zimbabwean international might wait until next season before making a decision on his future.
The former ECCO City GREENS slippery midfield-cum-striker will be out of contract at the end of the season and his reported reluctance to commit to a new deal with the Kgatleng giants could add on to Mike Sithole’s woes as few players are expected to leave the side soon.
Rollers are prepared to test Centre Chief’s resolve with an offer for the player affectionately known as’ Tendi’ in football circles. They are likely to be rivalled by Gaborone United while BDF XI is also reportedly closely monitoring the situation. Nyumasi, however, as expected will delay any decision until, as a free agent, he could have his pick of the Premier League's leading clubs and command a lucrative salary.
The pencil slim midfielder is said to have sternly refuted that money is not the reason for his looming move but the situation within Centre Chiefs has elicited his desire for another home. The former ECCO player is nonetheless aware that other clubs will scramble for his signature.
Confederation League football will also be a factor in Nyumasi's final decision. Chiefs are third in the Premier League, albeit four points off to overtaking Rollers for the automatic qualification place next year, and it’s been long since they participated in the Champions League football. However Magosi won the title in last season’s competition, and devastatingly failed to compete in this year edition of the CAF competition due to financial constraints.
Rollers on the other hand, always cherishes such an opportunity and are set to play for the next year continental cup games-should they win the league cup. A factor expected to give Nyumasi a dilemma.
Chiefs has a “not so pleasing record” in the African elite, a factor that counts against them, but the Kgatleng giants are expected to mount a challenge for him and will persist with attempts to retain the darling player for two or more seasons to come. Should they fail to match Rollers’ ever impressive purse, the Kgatleng management will plough their sights, in countenance, to attack Rollers camp. As an alternative, the team is looking to cajole Rollers speedy winger Kobamelo Kebaikanye and Tapiwa Gadibolae who is on loan to Police XI.
However, Nyumasi’s options are not limited to the Premier League. Several clubs outside the country are said to have enquired about the Zimbabwean international's availability and are willing to offer superior terms. But it is alleged that should he choose to move to Rollers, a better opportunity awaits him given the popularity of the club outside this country.
Nyumasi is however not the only one in the “ Wanted list” of clubs, both Orapa United and Gaborone United are said to have enquired about Chief’s ever improving winger, Lemponye Tshireletso. Chiefs’ media liaison Clifford Mogomotsi conceded that Nyumasi’s contract is due to expire soon but said the club is obviously going to repel offers because the player is about to extend with a new deal. ‘‘We have already given our player a contract offer and he is to stay.’’
Mogomotsi further added, ‘‘we have not received any indication from Rollers regarding Nyumasi.’’
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AFRICAâ€™S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the Worldâ€™s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
â€śAfrica is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.â€ť
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
â€śThe sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africaâ€™s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.â€ť
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
â€śPolicymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.â€ť
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. â€śFortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.â€ť
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. â€śFirst avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.â€ť
â€śPolicymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.â€ť