Kasinauyo: A big loss to Zim football

HARARE – The late former Warriors midfielder Edzai Kasinauyo was one of the rare breed of local footballers, who had a keen business sense unlike most of his peers.

Kasinauyo, 42, passed away in Johannesburg last Friday after a heart failure.

While most former players normally choose to pursue a career in coaching or administration after retiring, Kasinauyo chose a different route.

The former Black Rhinos, CAPS United and Moroka Swallows winger had become a successful businessman in his own right with interest in sportswear retail and distribution.

He was responsible for brokering the kit sponsorship agreement deal between Zimbabwean giants Dynamos and Highlanders with Germany sportswear manufacturer adidas.

Most of all the teams in the Castle Lager Premiership and even the lower leagues sourced their kit from Kasinauyo’s e-Sport shop.

On the other hand, Kasinauyo had been one of the most successful football agents in the country and was responsible for most of the deals that took Zimbabwean players abroad.

The likes of Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Matthew Rusike and Eric Chipeta, Evans Rusike, Tafadzwa Rusike, Willard Katsande, Thomas Sweswe and Ronald Chitiyo were all his clients.

Former Warriors coach Ian Gorowa, who coached Kasinauyo at Swallows, said his death was a massive loss to Zimbabwe.

“Edzai has left a big gap in Zimbabwean football and it’s going to be difficult to fill it,” Gorowa told the Daily News from Johannesburg. 

“On the business side, he was very sharp and I remember when I was still coaching him at Swallows, he already had a small business he was running.

“That shows you the kind of person he was. Even before his playing career was finished, he already knew what he wanted to do after giving up football.

“I was not surprised when he became successful in business since he had shown interest in it whilst he was still playing.”

His work ethic was also unquestionable according to Gorowa.

“Edzai was so committed in everything that he did. This is why he was very successful in his business; on most occasions he would leave his office at 12 midnight making sure that everything was in order,” Gorowa said.

Former Zimbabwe international midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha also lauded the impact Kasinauyo made on local football.

“I think its bad news and a very sad loss for me personally and Zimbabwean football in general,” the former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder told the Daily News.

“He was the pioneer for me and the rest of the other players that went on to play in South Africa and overseas.

“I still remember when myself and Kelvin Mushangazhike joined Kaizer Chiefs as teenagers. He would visit us at home and advise us to remain level headed in order to not get carried away with the fame.

“He did not do this for only us but for most of the Zimbabwean players that were coming to South Africa. He indeed played a big role in my career due to the constant advice he gave me.”

Nengomasha said Kasinauyo has left a lasting legacy.

“As the people who are left behind, we need to continue with Edzai’s legacy because he did a lot of things for Zimbabwean football,” he said.

“In terms of business, he was very passionate about it. It is important to follow your passion although he was very successful; he continued to be involved in football one way or the other.”

Former Warriors team manager Sharif Mussa said: “I couldn’t believe the news because two days before his death, I had a long chat with him on the phone from Johannesburg as we discussed some business.

“We might have differed in some opinions here and there but it was never something very serious.

“I worked with him for quite a long time on and off the field both in business and in football and I found him to be a committed man who was confident in everything he did.”

Family spokesperson and business partner Roddy Chakaipa said the former Warriors winger will be buried on Saturday at Glen Forrest.

On Wednesday night, a memorial service was held for Kasinauyo in Kempton Park where a number of former teammates and business colleagues were scheduled to speak.

“He achieved a lot both as a player and even after football in business and as an agent.

“He had big dreams in particular when it comes to helping young players achieve their goals,” Chakaipa told the Daily News.

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