A PROPHET has no honour in his own land, unless your name is Tino Kadewere and you are one of the hottest attackers in Europe at the moment.
Just like his Warriors colleague Marvellous Nakamba, Kadewere’s move to French League 1 football club Lyon became an immediate tale of glory for Zimbabweans who expressed their hope through the Internet.
Not a single week goes without Kadewere dominating trends maps in both Zimbabwe and France.
His form, which has been impeccable in past months, became the proverbial icing on the cake in what is turning out to be a beautiful football story.
So loud and consistent are his fans to the point that those manning Lyon’s Twitter page have dedicated their content to Kadewere more than any other player. This is a club which has heavyweights like Memphis Depay within their ranks.
Weekly, the hashtag FambaTino has become a staple among football enthusiasts.
What started as a local motivating point has grown into a global anthem of sorts.
Whoever is managing Lyon’s Twitter page must have toasted to the addition of football-mad Zimbabweans to his or her audience, as their level of engagement has risen.
It was evident when Kadewere turned 25, on January 5; the club changed its Twitter name to “Famba Tino”, in honour of his contribution to the club.
They dedicated the whole day’s content to the player, tracing his childhood and engaging names like former Dynamos and Young Warriors coach Lloyd Chigove, football legends George “Mastermind” Shaya and David “Broomboy” George who inspired his upbringing.
His story, which is in itself a sporting miracle, was shared for the world to see and appreciate the trajectory followed by Kadewere, it was a beautiful moment.
Back home, his exploits on the global stage were not going unnoticed.
A week after meeting the Head of State, President Mnangagwa, he was appointed as a sporting ambassador for the country.
It was a similar honour to that bestowed upon the senior men’s cricket team, the Chevrons, a few months ago.
As the world is singing his praises, his country is making sure he is celebrated during his prime, something former stars could only dream of during their playing time.
Kadewere, in his true humble nature, is not taking his new role lightly.
“It is a big responsibility; every day I play I remember that I am not playing only for myself, but for my country and my fellow citizens. In France, there are people who do not know Zimbabwe beyond its name and I am going to make sure that they know more about our beautiful country, hopefully they will decide to visit as a result,” he said.
Despite being a player of note, he still pays homage to his country and those who helped him scale to present heights.
“I will remain connected to Zimbabwe because for all I am, the groundwork was done in Zimbabwe. If the people who assisted me in Zimbabwe had not helped, I would not be here,” he said.
There is hope among pundits that Kadewere’s star will continue to shine.
He has promised to keep working hard, with his country behind him and a whole global audience singing his name, there is enough reason to hope.
Kadewere has made a brilliant start to life in the French Ligue 1.
He has so far scored seven goals and provided three assists in 17 league appearances for the French Ligue 1 log leaders.
Is this the return of glory days where a Zimbabwean name would wake up on global headlines after good performances?
Kadewere says it is as long as his country keeps rooting for him.