FOR the youthful Highlanders speedy forward, Gabriel Nyoni, juggling football and school has not been easy for the National University of Sciences and Techonology (Nust) marketing student.
REPORT BY SPORTS REPORTER
The 21-year-old Bosso striker says his life in the City of Kings and Queens has been hectic since joining Highlanders in January this year, as he has had to squeeze his football career into his academics which has proven to be a taxing experience.
Nyoni, however, believes the synthesis of the two is the opium of his lifestyle. He dreams of his football career ending in Europe and later getting into football management guided by his academic achievements.
After scoring 13 points (Business Studies A, Economics B and Accounts B at Pamushana High School in 2011, the Masvingo boy enrolled at Nust in August last year for an honours degree in Marketing.
The affable young Bosso forward says jokingly: “There is this belief among many people that football players are not good at school, but I want to prove them wrong and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Tauya Murehwa (former Dynamos striker, a medical doctor by profession). I believe marketing and football go hand in hand and my dream is to play in Europe in future.”
But it has not been easy for Nyoni.
“I have changed from conventional studies at college to parallel ones because of my love for football, but the challenges are still there. When we train in the afternoon, we finish at 5pm and my lectures start at that time up to 8pm. I have to ask for notes and read after that and it is very demanding.
“Actually the demands are totally different from football brains to academic ones.
“I am always very tired. I have to meet the demands of the coach (Kelvin Kaindu) and my lecturers.
“When you are on parallel you have weekend lectures and sometimes I miss those when we go into camp and have games and have to catch up by asking for notes from colleagues,” Nyoni said.
He is due to finish his degree in 2016 and says Kaindu, has been inspirational to him in his football as well as his academic career.
He gets encouragement from his teammates at Bosso, especially fellow striker Beaven Chikaka and his girlfriend Chivaraidzo who is doing Fiscal Studies at Nust.
Nyoni says he started playing football at Burombo Primary School in Masvingo where he was captain of the senior school team when he was doing Grade Seven in 2004.
They beat Mufakose Primary School in the finals of National Association of Primary School Headmasters (Naph) championships.
He scored five points in Grade Seven with English (1), Mathematics (1), Content (2) and Shona (1).
The former Under-20 Young Warriors striker then went to Mucheke High Shool for secondary education and says he quit football at the insistence of his parents since he was doing science subjects.
He returned to the game in Form Three in 2007 where he was spotted by Pamushana High School coach Alfonso Jaka and was awarded a scholarship to continue his education there.
“I quit doing sciences at Pamushana where football was a big institution and I went on to do commercials. When I was doing Form Three,
Simba Sithole (former Dynamos player), Artwell Mukandi (Dynamos goalkeeper) and Patrick Khumbula (Dynamos striker) were doing “A” Levels there,” he said.
He won the Copa Coca-Cola and Nash tournaments with Pamushana and captained the Masvingo boys’ football Youth Games team from 2009 to 2011 where he was selected for the Young Warriors Cosafa team that fell in the group stages in Botswana.
At “O” Level, Nyoni had three As in English, History and Environmental Science and scored Bs in Mathematics, Accounts, Geography and Shona.
Nyoni joined Highlanders in January from Masvingo United where he had scored 19 goals before coming to college.
Bosso loaned him to Division One side Bulawayo Chiefs in March and recalled him mid-season.