Zimbabwe: Kadewere's Prince Dies

13 August 2020

Prince Kadewere, who provided the benchmark which inspired his brother Tino to aim for the stars, died in Harare yesterday.

Affectionately known as "Pipi," he was 40, and leaves behind a wife and four children.

Considered by some in Highfield, where the brothers grew up as the most talented player to emerge from this football-playing family, Prince had turned himself into a coach.

He even took charge of a Division One club last season.

Prince is said to have complained of chest pains at the weekend and was taken to a medical facility in the capital where he died.

It's another huge blow for Tino after the family lost their father, and inspirational figure, Onias Kadewere, five years ago.

"Growing up, I used to tell myself that I want to be better than them (his brothers)," Tino once told The Herald.

"People used to tell me my brother Prince was a star, so I had to surpass that."

While Tino now plays in the French Ligue 1, and has the world at his feet, Prince's career was cut short by injury.

"Anyone who grew up in Highfield, or the surrounding areas, in the '90s knew about Pipi because he was simply magical with the ball at his feet," said Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association consultant, Gladman "Dallas" Sekawawana.

"It's a tragedy for the family, and the community, because Prince was now playing a big part in the Kadewere Foundation and helping our area very much.

"He still had a lot to offer and the brothers were very close and this will hurt them deeply."

Prince's brother, Prosper, said the deceased started complaining of chest pains at the weekend and the family suspected he was suffering from pneumonia. Tests were conducted, including for coronavirus, said Prosper, and the results were negative.

"It's been a difficult time for the family, we are still trying to come to terms with this sad development," he said.

"As of now, we are still trying to work out the funeral arrangements but mourners are gathered here at home (2358, Egypt Lines in Highfield).

"Prince started complaining of sharp pains, I think, two-or-so days ago.

"He was taken to a local medical doctor for treatment. I think all tests were conducted, including for coronavirus, and they returned negative.

"The doctors did the rapid (diagnostic) tests and we were looking forward to do the PCR tests. Sadly, we lost him."

Prince has been working his way up the ladder in the world of coaching in the last decade.

He had stints with lower division sides such as Starbill, Air Zimbabwe, NHS and, lately, Beta XI.

Cranborne Bullets coach, Nesbert Saruchera, one of his closest colleagues, said Prince's death was a big blow to young coaches in the country.

"Zimbabwe has lost a promising young coach whose understanding of football was top notch," he said.

"I always liked to move around with him, discussing football and helping one another to try and improve our coaching knowledge.

"He was such a fine young man, level-headed, eager to learn and generally a nice guy to work with. We are saddened as coaches."

Black Mambas coach, John "Toto" Ncube, said Kadewere will best be remembered for his almost fairy tale run in the 2018 campaign of the ZIFA Northern Region Division One.

Prince took the league by storm after his side, Beta XI, spent most of the season in pole position but they eventually lost steam and surrendered the title, and the ticket to the Premier Soccer League, to Mushowani Stars.

"Prince was one of those good coaches that gave a lot of us torrid competition," said Ncube.

"I think he shocked many, two seasons ago with Beta XI, in their debut season.

"Unfortunately, they could not win the title but it shows the calibre of a coach he was.

"The nation has been robbed its future. I want to say to the family, Pipi was one of us and we are together in these difficult times.

"It's very hard but they must try to stay strong."

Prince was now working at the family youth football development project, Highfield Soccer Academy, which was founded by their late father in the 1990s.

The project has been revived by Tino and was being run by his brothers Prosper, Prince, Pardon and cousin Gerald Chikowore.

Former Zimbabwe Under-23 skipper Vusi Laher, who is also part of the venture, yesterday said Prince's death had left a huge void.

"I am quite saddened by the death of Prince. We worked together with his brothers at the Highfield Soccer Academy," said Laher.

"They were more of the directors as a family but Prince was more instrumental when it came to the technical side of things, probably because of the experience he had gained coaching football in Division One.

"These guys were doing a wonderful job with the juniors in Highfield and I think this is a great loss to the community.

"We hope that Tino and the others will continue to grow their efforts just as they have been doing."

Prince, a product of Francis Zimunya's once-vibrant football project Zimbabwe Crackers, played for the Zimbabwe Under-17 national team.

"Prince was a brilliant player during his playing days," said Laher.

"He started playing at an early age and was developed at Zim Crackers before turning out for a number of teams.

It's unfortunate he could not reach Tino's heights but he was definitely PSL material."

Prince had stints with the Crackers, Rufaro Rovers, Sporting Lions, Black Aces, Air Zimbabwe and Monomotapa before a promising career was hampered by injury.

"I am shocked beyond words," said Zimunya.

"It's difficult to comprehend because only a few years ago, these guys lost their father, who was also a passionate football person.

"This is a great loss for football considering the wonderful development initiative that he had embarked on with his brothers in Highfield.

"I remember they had their cousin called Wilson Afiki. He was the first to play for Zim Crackers and we transferred him to Arcadia United.

"Unfortunately, he died around 1999/2000. Then came Prosper, who also played for the Zimbabwe Under-20s at some point, and then Prince."

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