The Herald (Harare)

9 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Football Is His Life!

column

"If you truly expect to realise your dreams, abandon the need for blanket and once you quit, it becomes a habit." This is one of the statements that a vibrant football star, Liberty "Mboma" Kalizi, believes in. Hailing from the dormitory town of Chitungwiza in Unit C, Kalizi who now lives in Waterfalls, never ceases to amaze those he grew up with.

During his stay in the satellite town, he used to exhibit his talent in the dusty streets of Chitungwiza, dribbling past his opponents without any difficulties.

"I still remember the time when I was a young all my friends would acknowledge that one day I would become a real star."

Being the first born in a family of three, Kalizi earned himself the name "Mboma" following his style of play that resembles the Cameroon star, "Patrick Mboma".

"In football circles, most people do not know my real name. They know me as 'Mboma' and over the years, have learned to like it," he said with a smile.

However, some people belief that stars are created and never born. But, to say this in Kalizi's situation would be unjust as he believes that football is a part of him.

"If one says that I was created, it would be an understatement. I believe I was born a star having started playing the game in Grade Four as a mid-left link at Dudzai Primary School.

"I continued playing for the school until I finished my primary education and all those glorious years were full of happy moments. Most of the games that I used to play, I would be nominated as man of the match accompanied by a number of accolades," he said.

The gifted left winger is an all-rounder as he can play in four different positions.

"Being a talented left footer, I can play up to four positions starting with the left back wing, mid, forward striker and left wing."

The fast pace star has played for a number of schools and clubs. Topping the list is B and P Study centre, followed by Dendera High School where he was awarded with his first prize, "soccer boots". His play attracted the attention of Joma Football Club coaches who ended up calling for his services in 2008.

"I would like to thank Joma FC for fine-tuning me even though I could display a few tactics in the field. My play at Joma catapulted my career to secure a contract with a Division 2 club in Mashonaland Central called Royal Class Academy in 2011."

This was not his first stint with established clubs as he had a brush with stars of Eagles FC in his the same town.

His next assignment was a one-year deal with Chunga Academy in Waterfalls, where he left some lasting impressions with a splendid performance.

With that in mind, a Baker's Inn Superior sponsored tournament is one worth mentioning in Kalizi's football history.

"My most memorable game was when I took part in the tournament playing for Chitungwiza Select against Churchill Boys High at St George's High School.

"Though tough, I scored a brilliant score that saw me come out tops as man of the match and scooped a gold medal. This further saw me taking part in another tournament "Pick 'n Pay' in South Africa," he said.

However, the young star's football career hit a brick wall last year when he completed a one-year contract with a Division 2 club Masachusa FC.

Drawing his inspiration from one of the country's soccer legends - Moses Chunga, the determined soccer star is keen to join big clubs in the country like the Harare Giants Dynamos. His biggest dream is to become one of the most sought-after players in the world and the next player to lift forward the country's flag.

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