When one talks of accomplished finishers in the women’s game names like America’s Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Canadian Christine Sinclair and Brazilian forward Cristiane quickly come to mind.
Coming back home, the nation has produced revered goal poachers in the mould of Precious “Gringo” Mpala and Nomsa “Boys” Moyo.
And if there is anyone who is bent on reaching such lofty standards when it comes to goal scoring proficiency, then it has to be Flame Lily Queens and Mighty Warriors striker Erina Jeke.
The Mabvuku-bred star is taking no prisoners in the current Women’s Super League season and is living up to her reputation as one of the most coveted strikers of her generation.
Jeke has so far scored 11 goals in a league which is only four games old, and that is proof of a sniper in top form. If Jeke continues with her scoring instincts, this could quickly see foreign top sides making enquiries.
Jeke, who turns 22 next month, has always had a soft spot for football, often taking her talents on the roads in the Mabvuku suburb after dropping her boxing gloves.
“I used to play boxing before I diverted to football when I was in Grade 6 at Batanai Primary school. I did both actually, but I then settled for football,” she said.
While at Tafara 1 Secondary School, Jeke joined the now defunct Zim Force before joining Super League side Cyclone Stars where she spent three good years and now she is on the payroll of the prison side since 2010.
Self-motivation seems to be the chief architect of her current sizzling form and she contends she fears no defender in the league.
Despite always playing second fiddle in the Mighty Warriors front line, behind regular starters Rudo Neshamba and Rufaro Machingura, “Agogo”, as she is fondly known after Ghanaian international Junior Agogo, is happy to represent the nation when summoned to do so.
“It is always a priviledge to play for the national team and I am proud to do my part whenever I am called.”
Jeke always has the knack of saving the best for the best in terms of match winning performances and many won’t forget the bullet header she scored against Botswana in an African Women’s Championships qualifier at the University of Botswana Stadium in March and the brace she scored for Flame Lily against Cyclone Stars this season, their maiden win against Stars in women’s soccer league.
“In terms of goals, the one against Botswana was my best. Everything just happened in a flash really. The next thing the ball was in the nets and I treasure that goal most.”
A huge admirer of Orlando Pirates’ Zimbabwean striker Takesure Chinyama and speedy winger Denver Mukamba, Jeke hopes to take her goal scoring instincts to Germany in the future.
She paid tribute to her parents and coaches for helping her achieve her dreams and implored on budding women footballers to stand up and partake their calling.
“My parents have always supported every step I took all the way and I’m thankful. Special mention goes to my coaches who have been a great influence.
“I urge future women footballers to rise above their obstacles and succeed. They should just believe in themselves and work towards achieving their goals,” she concluded.
With age still on her good side, “Agogo” will no doubt be part of the women’s football equation for long and, barring injury, she might turn out to be the trusted gunslinger the nation can rely on in the future.