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How Nyasha Mushekwi Rose Against the Odds

Footballer Nyasha Mushekwi defied odds to reach the top. Growing up, he would sneak to the training ground against her grandmother’s wish th...

Footballer Nyasha Mushekwi defied odds to reach the top. Growing up, he would sneak to the training ground against her grandmother’s wish that loathed the sport with passion because of the injuries. 

But soccer was his passion.

“He would carry his satchel and tell me he was going to look for work. When he returned, he was always tired, and he lied he was walking searching for work,” his grandmother, Laizah Mushekwi revealed.

And when he got injured at Caps United, the coaches carried him home in a plaster. Finally, his secrets were exposed. “They drove him home, and when I asked, they said he was injured while playing soccer. Instead of being angry, I knelt and prayed for the injured leg,” his grandmother revealed.

From that early episode, his grandmother allowed him to play soccer, because he was gifted, and he had persevered, even against his grandmother’s counsel. After two months, Nyasha was on the mend and raring to resume playing for Caps United from 2007 to 2010.

In 68 appearances, he was crowned top goal scorer in the 2009 season with 21 goals, earning him a trial stint with Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa. His spell for the Pretoria-based outfit yielded 28 goals out of 80 appearances.

In his first season, he was the second-best goal scorer for the 2010-11 season. Gifted with a lethal header, and an imposing aerial presence, Mushekwi was briefly loaned out to Belgium and Swedish teams. His contribution to the national Warriors team amounted to 17 appearances and six goals. Injuries returned to haunt Mushekwi in February 2014, which lasted until November. He went club hunting, landing in Sweden, and earned a 6-month loan deal.

On 22 December 2015, five years after leaving home, Mushekwi transferred to China League One outfit Dalian Yifang. And for three consecutive seasons, he was the top goal scorer, however, injuries haunted his career, affecting his vigorous playing style. At one instance, he received a hard tackle, but insisted on playing, even after the brutal contact. Yifang clinched the League One title in 2017. The next season, he faced tough competition from Nicolas Gaitan and Yannick Carrasco, but his scoring prowess earned him a regular jersey.

Mushekwi’s strong fighting spirit, choosing to stay in the game after a head collision, gained him a reputation with the Chinese fans and is regarded as one of the most important players in team history. Further surgery in 2019, reduced his mobility and scoring touch, and he joined China League One side Zhejiang Greentown.
How Nyasha Mushekwi Rose Against the Odds
How Nyasha Mushekwi Rose Against the Odds 

For someone whose first love was basketball, his switch to soccer was not unusual because he was an all-around athlete. In school, he played hockey, athletics, and rugby, receiving a basketball accolade in 2006. After he was turned down by a Harare club, he turned to Caps United to stay fit during the rugby off-season. When he arrived, the coach was looking for a potent striker, and Mushekwi became the answer. His ability to convert half chances and aerial supremacy made him an instant success in his first season.

When coronavirus came, the Chinese Super League was suspended, and Mushekwi returned home for months. Despite the pandemic, he was ready for duty. “I think the league will start soon. The Chinese guys [his teammates] went back a while ago,” Mushekwi told local media. “I was concerned but now this thing [coronavirus] is everywhere and they have it under control in China.”

Mushekwi recently married his Swedish fiancé Arsema Ghebrehiwot in a small ceremony, during the coronavirus lockdown. The wedding was preceded by a bitter divorce with Luminitsa Dumbisa, claiming a $3,500 monthly maintenance claim after a 6-year marriage.

In 2019, he donated a luxury team bus to his former team Caps United worth $200,000. The towering striker was absent for the bus unveiling, choosing not to steal the limelight. “I believe if you give something to someone, it’s not your business to monitor how they are using it,” Mushekwi said when images of the bus carrying maize bags went viral.
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