Tributes continue to pour in for Edzai

GONE TOO SOON . . . Former Zimbabwe international footballer, leading agent and ex-ZIFA board member Edzai Kasinauyo passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday

GONE TOO SOON . . . Former Zimbabwe international footballer, leading agent and ex-ZIFA board member Edzai Kasinauyo passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday

Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
AS plans are being made to repatriate Edzai Kasinauyo’s body back to Zimbabwe, tributes continue to pour in following the death of the former Zimbabwe international with his old teammates, coaches, administrators and current players still struggling to come to terms with his death. Kasinauyo passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday aged 42.

He is survived by his wife Faith and two boys — Jayden 12 and Justin 10.

His family is now making plans to repatriate his body back home with indications yesterday that it could be flown to Harare on Wednesday ahead of his burial this week.

Family spokesman Roddy Chakaipa said from Johannesburg yesterday they would get confirmation of the date of repatriation of the body once they completed the formalities that need to be sorted out with South African authorities.

“As the Kasinauyo family we thank everyone for the show of support in this difficult time. Everything is on track for repatriation this week and details on that will be furnished as soon as we can.

“Mourners in Zimbabwe are gathered at 2 Wellesbourne way, Greystone Park. For those who would like to attend in South Africa, a memorial service will be held on Tuesday 20 June at AFM Kempton Park, 6 Willow Street from 6pm onwards,’’ Chakaipa said.

The Zimbabwe football fraternity continued to express shock over his death. Kaizer Chiefs midfield rock Willard Katsande, one of the many players Kasinauyo helped secure a platform to play in South Africa, said Edzai’s death would leave a huge void for Zimbabwean football.

“I am so hurt, he was the man who gave me the breakthrough into the ABSA Premiership. His a guy who motivated me more especially when he came after the Warriors friendly against Zambia in 2010 and told me that Kaizer Chiefs wanted me.

“I was nervous but Edzai gave me confidence and hope. We have lost a pillar of strength, a bridge to South African football for youngsters. It’s a huge loss,’’ Katsande said.

CAPS United president Farai Jere said they had lost a pillar of strength.

“He was my personal friend and at CAPS United he was our own and remember he took one of our best players Khama Billiat to South Africa and we will miss him in a big way,’’ said Jere. Former Dynamos talisman Edward Sadomba said the late midfielder had been inspiration to many Zimbabwean players.

“I am at a loss for words. I have lost a close brother, a great advisor, an inspiration to our generation and a fighter . . . RIP Great Warrior,’’ Sadomba said.

United States-based gaffer Charles Mhlauri, who was Kasinauyo’s coach in the Warriors at the 2006 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, described him as a rare breed of footballer who ventured into business while still playing.

“Sad loss, he was one of a rare breed of players that I coached at national team level. He was very disciplined with a lot of character. He was one of the players that always saw the bigger picture.

“He was organised, with a business mind set. He managed to set up his own company both in Zimbabwe and South Africa while still playing, to me that reflected how ambitious he was.

“Edzai had a big interest in football development and many a time he would call me to discuss some of his ideas that he was pursuing. I am deeply disappointed that he is gone too soon. He has left a huge void in football.

“I know he went through a lot but he still exuded a lot of confidence as he overcame some of the challenges with grace and humility. He still managed to keep pushing his projects.’’

Former Zimbabwe international midfielder Kennedy Chihuri said Kasinauyo’s death had left a huge void in the development of the national game.

“Shocked to hear the bad news of my young brother Edzai. I was always chatting with him and now to hear that he is gone I was lost for words. A confident man in everything he did and very organised as well.

“A true intelligent footballer,’’ said Chihuri. Elasto Kapowezha, a former Zimbabwe youth international, also paid glowing tribute to Kasinauyo, describing him as a role model for footballers.

“Without being over-elaborate all I can say is that I am very devastated and broken in spirit with the passing away of my former teammate and great friend,’’ he said.