Harare – Fresh from sweeping all available individual honours in the Austrian Bundesliga, Zambia soccer star Patson Daka hasn’t forgotten upcoming footballers back home.
The Bundesliga Player of the Year and top goal-scorer was recently named Sky Sports Player of the Season in Austria after garnering 73 percent of the vote.
While speculation builds as whether Daka’s next club home will be with Chelsea, Liverpool or West Ham United in the English Premier League, the toast of Europe has been busy trying to lend a hand in Zambia, and he recently donated a full playing kit to the Pataaki girls and boys teams in Lusaka.
Daka encouraged the players to aim for the sky, saying: “Everyone wants to succeed. But only those who truly believe they are going to succeed have a chance.”
After that, Daka met players at Kafue Celtics, a club which played a huge role in nurturing his talent.
He is not the only one who is using the off-season to try and make a difference back home.
France-based Zimbabwean striker Tino Kadewere and Marvellous Nakamba, who plies his trade at Aston Villa in England, are also in on the act.
Kadewere, who wears the colours of Ligue 1 side Lyon, donated kits and an undisclosed amount of money to his former club, Harare City, who play in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League. The 25-year-old was scouted by Lyon while on loan to Harare City.
In an interview with The Southern Times Sport, Kadewere said: “I have to make it a point that i help Harare City whenever I can. This team gave me life and I have to also give those playing there a future. This is my small way of saying thank you to this beloved club and I hope others will emulate or even surpass what I have achieved.”
Kadewere has been making donations across the country, with particular focus on grassroots soccer development in rural areas.
Nakamba, on the other hand, is bankrolling an Under-17 tournament in the Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo, where his boyhood club Bantu Rovers is based.The Aston Villa midfielder has invited scouts to scheck out the talent at the tourney.