“Daddy, you know that I love you, thank you for the baseball cap, I promise I will not fail you . . . ”
These are the words of a nine-year-old girl who is following in her father’s footsteps as a baseball player.
Interestingly to note, girls of her age are busy focusing on playing with dolls and make up while her best friend is a baseball bat.
This came about because she grew up watching and playing baseball with her father and the father has decided to invest in his daughter’s sporting interest.
To some they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Most parents are now busy investing in their children’s career and they take it seriously to the extent of setting a budget aside.
A good example is of 13- year-old Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter crash together with her father, basketball legend Kobe Bryant.
She was her father’s hope to carry on a great legacy, and she had been groomed to be such, subsequently stealing the admiration of the world.
Legendary boxing champion Mohammed Ali invested in his daughter Laila, and today he proudly displays her champion belts.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith also invested in their children, Willow and Jaden, both of whom became world music and acting stars at a very young age.
Locally we have had several success stories, from world class tennis players, the Blacks whose parents invested a lot of money in their three children Cara, Byron and Wayne who became flag bearers of the sport.
Now decades later, Wayne Black is training his two children, Joseph (6) and Brooke Black (4).
The son and daughter of tennis legend, Wayne Black, have the guidance of their parents to take them through every step of the way to greatness.
Wayne Black, who is married to his sister Cara’s former doubles partner, Kazakhstan-born Irina Selyutina, believes it is the duty of parents to raise their kids into professional players.
These stories have inspired many to follow suit and invest in their children.
In motocross, the most touching and vastly told story will be that of 15-year-old Tanya Muzinda whose father made a lot of sacrifices to make sure her dream of becoming a motocross champion come true.
Her journey started with her father sacrificing to buy a go-kart which she would use while practicing at Donnybrook Motorsport Park.
“Shortly after, she was introduced to the sport of Motocross at Donnybrook which offers 3 motocross tracks alongside the go-kart track.
“From then on Tanya ditched the 4 wheels for the 2 and at 6, she became the first Zimbabwean female motocross champion in history,” reads Tanya Muzinda’s official website.
Muzinda also boasts of several accolades including the Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) 2015 Junior Sportswoman of the Year and Junior Sportsperson of the Year, Bog Wheelers Club Best Rider of the Season and Junior Sportswoman of the Year in 2018 in South Africa awarded by the Africa Union Sports Council Region Five Annual Sports Awards.
Another parent who has been investing a lot in their children’s motocross future is Simbarashe Nyamupfukudza whose children Simbarashe Victor (4) and Tadiwanashe (11) have been doing very well in the sport.
Nyamupfukudza said he spends an average of US$1 000 each month on motocross.
“I spend at least US$500 on fuels and oils per child.
“This amount does not include the actual bikes and spares,” he said.
“We are supposed to budget for these things but unfortunately the economy is not permissive.”
Motocross bikes are expensive and so are the spares and costs of service. It then takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice especially from those who are not coming from wealthy families.
Nyamupfukudza has been solely carrying this expense since his children started the sport, Tadiwanashe in 2016 and Simbarashe Victor in 2017.
Their passion, hardwork, dedication and promising careers that include winning and maintaining competitive positions has been encouraging Nyamupfukudza to soldier on, even in the absence of sponsorship.
In music, many legends have invested in their children, earmarking them to take on their trade.
We have the heartbreaking story of Sam Mtukudzi, whose father the late national hero Oliver, had walked him through the essentials, helped him set up a band and record some of the songs people still dance to.
He gave him the best music education including lessons in different instruments from world class instrumentalists.
Sam’s unfortunate demise left the legend with no clear heir to the vast empire he had built over the years although his daughter has been keeping her father’s musical legacy intact.
The late Andy Brown took his time to groom and invest in Ammara Brown’s career and now she is a music sensation.
Of the current crop of artistes, Jah Prayzah seems to be doing a great job grooming his son Mukudzei Jr (11), whom he has been sharing the stage with at different occasions. In fact the rising young Mukudzei has been receiving separate bookings to entertain mostly his father’s young fans at family shows.
Jah Prayzah has shown seriousness in establishing his son’s career through having him sing his lines on the video of one of his popular songs “Dangerous”.
Parents’ investment in their children should not only stop at recreational, sporting or entertainment gifts.
They should go into the academic and creative talents.
What’s important is for one to identify their children’s passion at a young age and invest in the best ways to nurture the talent so that it flourishes.
In the end it will pay off and they may even stand among the world’s greats and book their names in history.
Time has flown by, in other parts of the world millions have been made through unconventional means, it’s time to open our eyes and invest in our children’s dreams, however, unfamiliar to us they maybe.
After all, they need it in the world that only those bold and witty enough to invest in good ideas are prospering.