Warriors bring cheer in cyclone gloom

Talent Chawapiwa.
Talent Chawapiwa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

In the midst of the catastrophic consequences of cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe, the national football team brought some cheer to the country with their Africa Cup of Nations qualification.

Zimbabwe and its neighbours Mozambique and Malawi are counting losses from the impact of cyclone which began on March 15.

The death toll from the cyclone in Zimbabwe alone was set at 268 on Tuesday.

Amid the gloom, the Warriors booked their ticket to the 2019 Afcon in Egypt in June with a 2-0 win over Congo-Brazzaville on March 24.

Mozambique also came agonisingly close to qualifying but conceded in the last minute to draw 2-2 with Guinea-Bissau in their final match.

Warriors winger Talent Chawapiwa, who plays for AmaZulu in SA, says qualifying was some consolation to their devastated country.

"It felt good to at least put a smile on the faces of our countrymen. We lost so many people and everyone was in mourning so we needed that victory," Chawapiwa said.

"As footballers the only thing we could do is to make the country proud.

Others have helped by volunteering to rebuild houses, so everyone can do something their own way."

Bloemfontein Celtic's Ronald Pfumbidzai added the disaster has strengthened ties with neighbouring countries.

"It managed to bring us together as a nation and that qualification was a motivation."

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