By Langton Nyakwenda
He might be based in Lyon, France, thousands of kilometres away from his childhood home, but Tino Kadewere still draws much of his inspiration from his family and his humble upbringing in the high-density suburb of Highfield.
The 24-year-old Olympic Lyon striker was back in the headlines last week after his solitary strike sunk champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Parc des Princes.
Lyon’s victory was their first at PSG in 13 years. The last time they won at the Parc des Princes, Kadewere was still 11 years old, honing his skills in Highfield under the watchful eye of his late father, Onias.
“I worked with my dad and my brother while growing up in Fio (Highfield).
“It was all work and work.
“I will never forget that upbringing; it still inspires me even up to this day,” Kadewere told The Sunday Mail Sport on Friday.
His brother Prince, who was a coach with lower division sides, died in August this year, five years after the father, Onias, passed away on January 23, 2015.
Prosper and Pardon are Kadewere’s surviving brothers.
“My mother is proud of me. She has become a prayer warrior for me,” Kadewere said.
His mother, Mavis, rarely misses Olympic Lyon’s matches and was glued to the television set until the final whistle, as Kadewere wrote another chapter in his growing professional career.
“The whole family was happy. My family has always been there for me since day one and that keeps me going.
“I always strive to make them proud,” said the former Le Havre player.
Kadewere joined Lyon from French Ligue 2 side Le Havre in January, but had to wait until the start of the 2020/2021 season to complete the move.
The Zimbabwean international now has 14 league appearances, including 10 starts, for Olympic Lyon, who were third on the log before their match against Nice, which was played at 10pm yesterday.
Kadewere has started in all but one of Lyon’s 10 matches and is now on five goals — two behind Lyon’s top scorers Karl Toko Ekambi and Memphis Depay.
The Warriors striker has scored two more than world superstar Neymar, whom he outshone in last weekend’s blockbuster match. Neymar’s teammate, Kylian Mbappe, leads the French Ligue 1 scoring chart with 11 goals.
Supporters back home are praying that Kadewere not only maintains his club form, but also brings it to the Warriors and help the country’s flagship sporting team overcome Botswana and Zambia to secure a berth at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.
The Warriors currently lie second behind African Champions Algeria, who have already qualified from Group H following an unbeaten start that was characterised by two home wins over Zambia and Zimbabwe, an away victory to Botswana, and a draw in Harare with Zdravko “Loga’’ Logarusic’s men.
But the battle for the remaining qualification slot in Group H is now between Zimbabwe with five points, Botswana (four points), and Zambia on three. The Sunday Mail