Zimbabwe: Footballer Turns Into a Motor Mechanic

Harare City recruit, Emmanuel Mandiranga, has resorted to repairing motor cars to cope with the depression induced by the prolonged Covid-19 lockdown.

Football activities are still suspended and some professional players have been spotted playing money games in the high density suburbs to supplement what they are getting from their clubs.

It is still touch and go as to whether the 2020 season will go ahead with the PSL Medical Committee, led by Edward Chagonda, set to provide ZIFA with strict guidelines for the game to go ahead.

But, Mandiranga, unlike others, has decided to spend most of his time at his father's garage at Chikwanha Shopping Centre, in Chitungwiza, fixing cars.

The former Dynamos winger said the decision has helped him cope with the long period of inactivity.

"I am really enjoying the work I am doing these days, together with my father, Clever. We are fixing cars together at his garage in Chitungwiza," said Mandiranga.

"Look, I do my individual training, as prescribed by my coaches, early in the morning. I just do everything I am instructed to do and send the videos to them.

"After that, I accompany my father to the garage.

"In terms of dealing with the stress, I should say it has been excellent. I should also say the work has helped me earn some decent supplementary income.

"Of course, I have always been working with my father each time I am not playing football but, the time that I have done so has been very limited.

"I have played for How Mine, Bulawayo City and FC Platinum and that means I have had less time in Harare to perfect the skill.

"But, this time around, I have had a lot of time at the garage doing what I enjoy. I should say the coronavirus pandemic-enforced lockdown has given me an opportunity, not only to reflect about my career as a footballer, but to test what it will be like when I eventually hang up my boots."

Mandiranga said he misses football and can't wait for the season to start.

"I cannot say a lot, in terms of football, but the bottom line is I miss the game. It would have been a different story, at this juncture, under normal circumstances but here we are.

"We have to observe the guidelines set by the authorities. Football is for the living and we hope to enjoy the game once more."

Mandiranga's father, Clever said his son has coped well with the Covid-19 restrictions.

"Yes, we are working together at the garage with Emmanuel," he said.

"Emmanuel started playing football long back and I am the one who inspired him as I once played for Dynamos Under-18 side under coach July Sharara.

"Although he was once a cricket player, and later a short distance runner, he became a good footballer.

"I am happy for him you know at a time like this, he would have been spending his time doing non-productive things which are, sometimes, detrimental to his growth as a footballer.

"But, I am glad he is doing well at the garage. He is earning something and he is free from the stress which comes with being inactive. I guess he will consider perfecting the trade."

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