Collin Matiza — A new football club has sprung up in Harare's high-density suburb of Mabvuku.
Named Inno Cosmos, the new club is the brainchild of UK-based former CAPS United and Air Zimbabwe Jets striker, Innocent Mugabe. In 2013, the younger brother of the late CAPS United legend, Joe "Kode" Mugabe, formed a football academy - Bob Joshua Mugabe Academy.
He named it after his father.
But, Mugabe's biggest dream was to own a football club in this country.
BJM Academy now has a senior team, Inno Cosmos, which will be playing in the Northern Region Division Two, once the lower leagues resume action in this country, in a few weeks' time.
He borrowed the name from South African legend, Jomo Sono, who formed his Cosmos, in 1983. Speaking from his base in Reading, England, yesterday, Mugabe said the new football club was part of a community project he founded, to support the youth around Mabvuku and Tafara.
"Our aim is to keep at least 100 kids occupied each year using football as a tool. The community youth needs to stay engaged, especially after school, as they might end up involved in things like drugs, drinking alcohol and other unhealthy activities," Mugabe said.
Peter Mugwendere is the head of the club's technical department.
"Since day one he has been there for the project.
"He has done a lot of coaching badges, so he is very knowledgeable. He is working with Jabulani Kayaya and Richard Chibundo.
"We have been playing in the Harare junior leagues, since 2014, to give the kids something to look forward to during the weekends, and now we have come up with a senior team - Inno Cosmos - which is part of the BJM Trust.
"They will be playing in the Division Two league in Zimbabwe."
The team recently played a friendly match against Eastview in Mabvuku and won 3-1.
Mugabe said their mission was to eventually gain promotion into the Premier Soccer League. "I have personally gone through the process of learning to be a coach, so my UEFA B licence helps a lot to support the project," he said.
"We have now big boys, since we started the project long back, so I decided to name the big boys Inno Cosmos just to differentiate between the Academy boys, but it's the same project. "I have registered it as a Trust since 2019 so the project is called BJM Trust. We are (also) registered as an academy through ZIFA, so we are not just operating without being recognised," Mugabe said.
Inno Cosmos will be playing in the ZIFA Northern Region Division Two league once the league's games start.
"I don't have a sponsor but I use my own money to run the project, hopefully one day we will get some partnerships.
"My wife, Memory, is very supportive with this project and she has been backing me all the way.
"I have friends of the BJM Trust, Woodley Saints Football Club here in England, who have been supporting this project since day one as I have a strong relationship with Cornelius O'Kane who is one of the officials of Woodley Saints."