The ‘Iron Lady’ with big dreams

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TWO years ago, ambitious Premiership side Ngezi Platinum Stars recruited an unassuming lady, Nyasha Kadenge, as their chief executive.

Our reporter, Tadious Manyepo (TM), caught up with her (NK) to find out more about her.

TM: Nyasha Kadenge is the Ngezi Platinum Stars chief executive. Who exactly is she?
NK: Nyasha (Kadenge) is a football administrator by trade and an accountant by profession. She has worked as an internal auditor and an accountant before her current position. She believes her purpose is to have a positive impact on people she interacts with and leave a legacy of breaking new ground and improving the environment she is working in. She believes a life well- lived will echo through eternity.

TM: Football administration is obviously no walk in the park. Have you been in those trenches before you joined Ngezi Platinum Stars?
NK: You wouldn’t have said it any better. Football administration is one of the most challenging professions under the sun. I have been in the sport’s administration as the secretary-general of the Harare Christian Soccer League. I was affectionately known as “Boss Lady or Iron Lady”. Before my appointment, the Harare Christian League didn’t have a constitution. I helped draft the constitution and code of conduct and brought a whole new professional spectrum in the running of their affairs.

TM: So, is that what attracted Ngezi Platinum to you or it’s you who got attracted to them?
NK: As I increasingly got more interested in football administration, I kept telling myself that I needed bigger challenges and that way I developed a broader perspective. When the opportunity to join Ngezi Platinum presented itself, I decided to step in. It was a chance to work in a field I am passionate about. It gave me the opportunity to join a growing professional brand whose ethos coincide with mine. Who doesn’t want to be a part of a great vision?

TM: It’s been two years since you assumed this position, what are some of the things you would point to as your high points?
NK: Football is a game that needs a lot of investment in human resources. It needs a philosophy, the philosophy which can be brought about through well-crafted development strategies. We have developed a broad scheme in which we (together with the coaches) have been shuttling around towns in Mashonaland West province scouting for talent. We have a couple of developmental players currently doing their Ordinary Levels at Wanganui High School in Mhondoro which is close to our stadium (Baobab).

TM: It should have taken tremendous effort, on your part, to convince the leadership to implement policies like that being a woman in a male-dominated field.
NK: Obviously, it’s an enormous challenge. People seldom take you seriously, at face value. But, I have had to let my hard work do the talking. By doing the required work, and bringing in suggestions, I managed to overcome all that.

TM: How do you want to achieve your short and long term goals with Ngezi?
NK: My short term vision is to build a dynamic and talented administration (team) that has so far helped build the Ngezi Platinum brand. We are also looking to build a mighty team, either by training or recruiting, the right talent. I want to help create a regional football powerhouse through getting consistent results and a value system that is easily identifiable in the football industry.

TM: Football administration is a tough job, so is taking care of the family. How do you effectively balance the two?
NK:I should hasten to thank God for giving me a family which is supportive. My family is actually my main pillar of strength. We are also closely knit with my extended family so we are in constant communication, that motivates me a lot.