THE last 12 months have been nothing short of a roller-coaster for Warriors and Baroka FC forward Talent Chawapiwa.
Signed by newly crowned Zimbabwe league champions FC Platinum in January, the former Harare City and ZPC Kariba hotshot was supposed to help the Zvishavane-based side’s bid for an elusive league title.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
FC Platinum did win the league title but without him.
Chawapiwa starred for the Warriors in a successful Cosafa Cup campaign in June and July resulting in South African Absa Premiership clubs jostling for his signature. He eventually settled for highflying Baroka FC.
Already the 25-year-old has clocked eight appearances in the Absa Premier League, managing just a single assist while his solitary strike for the South African side came in the Telkom Knockout win over Cape Town City late October.
And when The Sports Hub caught up with the forward he was too eager to congratulate his former teammates at FC Platinum for the winning the championship at the same time wishing he was part of the history making side.
“I am really happy for the FC Platinum family. I just wish I was there for a long awaited history. I wish them well in the Caf Champion’s league and for me no doubt Norman Mapeza is the best coach in the country whether people like or not and he will do wonders with this FC Platinum team,” Chawapiwa said in exclusive interview.
“I think FC Platinum was playing very good football for the past two seasons and it was just about time they won the league,” he added.
Chawapiwa has featured in 11 of Boroka’s 16 matches going into the weekend.
While has enjoyed his flirtation in the South Africa top flight league, the Sprouting Academy product is not quite happy with his rate of scoring.
“It’s a great experience for me because I have learned a lot so far. The tactical approach with the teams here its top class and the way team players movement off the ball as well as the way there attack and defend is quality,” Chawapiwa said.
“My target this season is to leave a mark in my first season for Baroka in the Absa Premiership and also want to help the team do better than last season. So far I am happy with how we are performing as a team.
“So far I have a number of assists for the team and just one goal which I think is not that bad. At the moment I am working on my scoring so that I can be able to contribute more with goals,” he said.
Making his first move to a foreign club Chawapiwa also revealed how he was initiated into the Baroka side on his first day of training.
“Where when someone new the team sings a song and the newcomer is made to dance to the singing. So that’s what they made me do on the first day of training. It was a bit tough but I survived and the rest of the guys have been very hospitable to me,” he chuckled.
Chawapiwa had special mention for former Kaizer Chiefs striker, Zambian Lewis Macha who he says helped him settle to life in South Africa better.
“Macha from Zambia has been a good brother and friend for me since I got here. He has really helped to settle better here at this club,” Chawapiwa said.
Chawapiwa’s professional football career started in 2013 with recently relegated Harare City, where he remained until 2016 when he completed a transfer to ZPC Kariba.
At the start of the just concluded season Chawapiwa joined FC Platinum, where his consistent performances earned him a place in the Cosafa Cup winning side.
Following his exploits at the Cosafa Cup, where he led the Warriors to a record fifth title in the regional tournament, Chawapiwa attracted the attention of several South African clubs but opted to join minnows Baroka FC.
While some might have questioned his decision, Chawapiwa is having the last laugh as Baroka are enjoying a fairytale run in the South African Absa Premiership.