HIS flashy lifestyle and well-documented misdemeanors with women portray Tendai Ndoro as someone who has lost touch with his roots.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Ndoro’s private life is a regular feature in the South African tabloids with various stories mostly about women in his life.
However, back home Ndoro has not let either his fame or fortune get in the way of his love for his family, which continues to be the driving force in his career.
“Tendai has managed to change our lives. after coming from Gabon from the Afcon finals he bought us a car (latest Nissan El Grand) and beefed up our home’s security by erecting a perimeter wall and installing two sliding gates, saying more cars will be coming,” Ndoro’s mother Christina said with pride when SportsWorld visited their Nketa home in Bulawayo.
“My first air flight was courtesy of him. Tendai loosely translates to “be grateful” and we thank him for the love and all he has been doing in our lives.
“As much as he is popular, he has remained humble, fame hasn’t changed him. He is still my level-headed boy who treats everyone in society well and alike with all the respect.” Christina continued.
Recently, Ndoro gave up all his earnings from the Afcon qualifier against Liberia earlier in the month for his mother to spruce up the family house.
As such Christina cannot bear watching her son play football on television as she feels she may not be able to contain it should he get injured.
Thus, she finds cover in her bedroom when the rest of the family, including her husband Silas crams up in the lounge to cheer on one of their own, hoisting the family name high.
“I get scared that he could be terribly injured while I am watching so I retreat to the bedroom and only come to watch his team when he is on the bench or when he has been substituted,” Ndoro’s mother said.
Ndoro, an apt example of a late bloomer, was never a child prodigy, but through hard work and commitment he made it big as a footballer to play at one of South Africa’s biggest clubs.
The 32-year-old striker was born in a family of seven, including six boys, Admire (38), Nyasha (35), his twin brother Takudzwa, Marshall (27), Devotion (26) and Lorraine (34).
Christina says Ndoro has sacrificed his own life to render financial and material support to his parents and his siblings.
His twin brother Takudzwa is a goalkeeper at South African National First Division side Witbank Spurs.
“I have seven children (six boys and one girl). He [Tendai] is the breadwinner he takes care of everyone here. He treats his daughter Laiza the same way he treats his siblings’ children; he is a father to everyone. Tendai makes sure that no one starves, including his elder brothers,” Christina said.
The former Chicken Inn and Mpumalanga Black Aces goal poacher began his football career in the dusty streets of Nketa.
The breakthrough was not instant as he passed through Railstars, Nketa Select, and Kujatana before he joined Chicken Inn and later had a brief stint at Nico United in Botswana.
After a good season with Chicken Inn, Mpumalanga Black Aces came for the player who was already 28 years old but he was an instant hit in South African before Orlando Pirates signed him two seasons ago.
“He (Tendai) used to play football here in the streets together with his brother Takudzwa when he was a still young boy and his life has always been about football. He grew up as an obedient child, loved football from a very tender age and everyone in the neighbourhood knew him as a sportsman who would pitch up first at every school sporting day at Nketa High School where he did his secondary education,” Christina said.
Ndoro’s mother is more grateful for what she calls his son’s extraordinary benevolence that has seen him support all his siblings.
He supports his eldest brother Admire down to the family’s last born Devotion, whom he stays with in South Africa and he pays his fees at a college where he is studying Business Management.
Christina says Ndoro has sometimes helped his brother Takudzwa pay rentals for his apartment in South Africa and also comes to the aid of every member of the family in time of need.
She, however, has some words of advice for Ndoro, who comes from a religious family, to guard against women who would want to endear themselves to him for material benefits which she feels could derail his career in football.
“My only advice is about women. Women may stand in the way of a man’s success and rob him of focus. Other women are involved in juju which will in turn destroy your career. I encourage him to marry a good and God-fearing woman, someone who loves him for what he is not because of his fame and money,” Christina said.
Ndoro is not married, but has a four-year-old daughter, Laiza.