The Sunday Mail
HE might have died a bitter man, with a feeling that the nation did not properly honour him for his exploits, but the late five-time Soccer Star of the Year, George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya, may now be smiling in his grave, at least according to his wife.
Shaya, who died at the age of 77 on August 24, 2021, was honoured posthumously by Sakunda Holdings on Tuesday through a US$120 000 house for his surviving family.
Sakunda Holdings owner Kuda Tagwirei announced the gift at an event that saw his company launch a three-year sponsorship deal worth US$5,3 million for Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants Dynamos and Highlanders.
On the same night, the businessman also honoured DeMbare and Bosso legends Moses Chunga and Madinda Ndlovu with houses worth US$90 000 each.
Representatives from Sakunda Holdings were at the Shaya residence in Glen Norah A Thursday morning to formalise Tagwirei’s pledge.
And Shaya’s wife Agnes was at a loss for words as she tried to express her gratitude.
“I don’t have enough words to thank (Mr) Tagwirei. My wish is for George (Shaya) to be here to enjoy his benefits; these are his benefits,” she said.
“Here is a well-wisher who has just decided to honour George. Wherever he is, he must be smiling. Please pass my regards to Tagwirei, muti hanzi na Gogo Shaya, ‘Mwari vakuitiriei zvizhinji; vakuwedzerei zvakawanda’,” she added.
Regarded as the greatest-ever footballer to come out of Zimbabwe, Shaya won the Soccer Star of the Year a record five times in 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1977.
And the Sakunda Holdings boss felt Shaya deserved some form of recognition.
“We are sorry to the Shaya family. He is one of the greatest players ever to play the game of football given his resume (achievements).
“We will give his family a house which is worth US$120 000 in a suburb of their choice,” said Tagwirei on Tuesday night.
Sadly, Shaya passed away barely two weeks after news broke that a documentary of his career would be premiered.
At the time of his death, he was walking with the aid of crutches after his left leg was amputated last year.