Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Shaya gets helping hand from Doves

By Tadious Manyepo

For Dynamos legend, George “Mastermind” Shaya, life has come full circle and he can only look back with pride.

A HELPING HAND . . . Doves Funeral Assurance managing director Talent Maziwisa (left) guides George Shaya to his seat at the Zimbabwe football legend’s home in Harare yesterday. In the background is Shaya’s close friend, David George, another local football legend
A HELPING HAND . . . Doves Funeral Assurance managing director Talent Maziwisa (left) guides George Shaya to his seat at the Zimbabwe football legend’s home in Harare yesterday. In the background is Shaya’s close friend, David George, another local football legend

One of the greatest players to emerge on the domestic football scene, having won the Soccer Star of the Year accolade a record five times, Shaya has tasted everything life has to offer.

His right leg was amputated two years ago after suffering from a medical condition called deep-vein thrombosis.

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And, at the moment, he is not feeling well either.

But he was in high spirits when funeral services company Doves Funeral Assurance turned his house in Glen Norah into an outdoor entertainment centre yesterday when they threw a lavish party to celebrate his 77th birthday.

The celebrations coincided with the Golden Jubilee anniversary of his marriage to his wife Agnes.

Shaya, who is also suffering from memory loss, assigned his wife to speak on his behalf.

She broke down while receiving a 65-inch flat screen television, given to her husband as a birthday present by Doves.

“We have come a long way with George (Shaya). We have clocked 50 years of marriage and I am happy that he has also clocked 77 years,’’ she said.

“I am humbled by the gesture which has been shown by Doves Funeral Assurance.

“I am shedding tears for one simple reason. I know if his leg had not been amputated, he would have been kicking a football just to show that he can still do it.

“The television set donated by Doves will help quench his thirst as far as watching football is concerned.

“I am very happy and I would like to urge Doves to continue with the good work they are doing and even extend the gesture to other legends around.”

Doves Funeral Assurance managing director, Talent Maziwisa, said his company will make sure they meet other monthly requirements for the legend.

“We are here as Doves Funeral Assurance recognising the special value of our legend, George Shaya,’’ he said.

“This is part of our corporate social responsibility and our statement to say we have to look after our legends while they are still alive.

“We saw it imperative to appreciate our living heroes, after taking time to look ourselves in the eye.

“We do appreciate that sport is a short-term form of employment for athletes and, especially for those who played before it was fully commercialised, they really need support hence our coming in to help Shaya.

“We all know what Shaya has done for our country, for our flag. It’s a rare feat for someone to win the Soccer Star accolade five times.

“You must be very special to achieve that.

“Shaya did just that.

“We feel obliged to help him because of what he has done for the country.

“He has inspired a lot of people to pursue not just football but sport as a career.

“We are pledging to support him with monthly needs. We are part and parcel of his family and we should be seen helping him out.”

He challenged other corporations to chip in and help other living legends.

“I am challenging the corporate world to also come to the plate and help out living legends. We have so many legends who need help out there.”

Shaya’s long-time friend, David George, hailed Doves for the initiative.

Speaking from his base in South Africa, where he is working as Mamelodi Sundown’s manager, former Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu, who is Doves Funeral Holdings’ sister company Zororo Phumulani’s brand ambassador, described Shaya as a football “Godfather”.

“It’s a special day for our legend George Shaya. The (nickname) Mastermind didn’t just come but it was from his exploits in the game of football,’’ said Ndlovu.

“We are celebrating him as a man, as a good human being.

“In essence, I just want to wish you (Shaya) well. We love you and wish you many more years to come.

“You must be honoured when you are still alive so that you can see your legacy. People must appreciate you when you are still alive.

“Doves’ support is unbelievable. Doves also play a part in my life. We are saying to Doves thank you so much. We appreciate the support that you are giving us.” The Herald

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