Robson Sharuko in Cairo, Egypt
A DAREDEVIL Warriors’ fan making a road trip from Cape Town to Cairo to watch the 2019 Afcon finals, who refused to let four days of being holed up at the Ethiopian border destroy his dreams, has become a symbol of inspiration and defiance.
And, scores of Warriors’ fans are now saying their team should borrow a leaf from Alvin “Aluva” Zhakata when they open the 2019 Nations Cup finals with a tough assignment against hosts and favourites Egypt here tomorrow.
Zhakata’s partner in the adventure, South African celebrity football fan Botha Msila, quit the expedition on Sunday after three days of being holed up at the Kenya/Ethiopia border because of visa complications and returned home.
But Zhakata pressed on and on Monday, after the intervention of Zimbabwean diplomats here and in Ethiopia, and the return of internet facilities at the border town, he was issued with an E-Visa to enter the country and continue with his journey.
“Finally, I have received my E-Visa, I believe in God,” Zhakata tweeted.
“My Zimbabwean Government, through Zimbabwe embassies in Ethiopia and Egypt, intervened and after their swift action, I am now in possession of a visa to pass through Ethiopia. Zimbabwe has the best international relations department.”
Prominent South African sportscaster Robert Marawa, who has been supporting Zhakata’s daredevil expedition, which has caught the imagination of the continent, was relieved the Zimbabwean fan was now finally proceeding to Cairo.
“Very happy for you my brother Alvin! That’s what we do as Africans and you and your friend will be at Afcon 2019 from the start of the tournament,” Marawa tweeted.
And Zimbabwean football fans have been inundating the internet with messages of support, saying their Warriors should borrow a leaf from Zhakata’s never-say-die spirit when they take on the mighty Pharaohs in their 2019 Afcon opener at the Cairo International Stadium.
With about 80 000, predominantly Pharaohs fans inside the stadium tomorrow night, and the threat posed by superstar forward Mohamed Salah, the Warriors will be ranked underdogs in the match, but some of their fans are refusing to throw in the towel.
“Try to push the whole of tomorrow (today) baba to get, at least, in Sudan end of day tomorrow (yesterday) and take advantage of calmness in Sudan for you to push near the Egyptian border,” said one Twitter user.
“You are my hero baba, even before completing this mission. Zimbabweans never give up. This is just bread to us.”