FRIENDLY Academy’s Mutare-based junior football player Dumisani Manyange becomes the third player from the academy to secure a football scholarship since the formation of the institution.
By Brian Nkiwane
Manyange will join his Friendly Academy teammates Tendai Jirira (21), who became the first player to secure a scholarship three months after the academy opened its doors, and Beitbridge-based Valentine Murombo (19), who secured a full scholarship at Jacksonville University in USA as well.
In a letter dated November 14 2013, addressed to Dumisani by vice-president of enrollment management at the university, Rick Morrison, Manyange was assured of a place to study Business Administration beginning January 6 2014.
“You have been assigned 06305890 as your student number. Please use this number whenever it is necessary to refer to your records,” read part of the confirmation letter.
The former St Dominics High School pupil could not hide his joy, but was worried about paying part of the tuition fees.
“I am very happy about this scholarship programme but the only challenge that I will face is paying the other part of my fees if well-wishers don’t come on board. I hope this plea will not fall on deaf ears because I have to be at school early January,” Manyange said.
“It will be a bit difficult for my parents as I am supposed to pay US$560 per month as tuition fees as well as US$300 for my upkeep and other things for nine months per year,” he added.
Friendly Academy director Richard Solobala said as an academy, they were trying their best to expose Zimbabwean talent to top leagues in other countries especially for the benefit of the kids.
“We are happy to be moving with such speed in securing scholarships for players. It is unfortunate that Dumisani got a partial scholarship which will require him to top up part of his school fees at some point. But it’s not much as he is supposed to pay a substantial amount per semester,” Solobala said.
He added, “Obviously, Dumisani needs something close to US$1 500 for airfares. I would like to thank some individuals who have already taken it upon themselves to pay his airfares.”
Solobala said they have been doing all this for the good of the academy as well as the players.
Friendly Academy will be touring Spain once again in December to try and expose Zimbabwean talent to other top universities and leagues in other countries.