The Sunday Mail
HARDLIFE ZVIREKWI has to do what he has done all his life, defy the odds.
However, this time he has to do it without the lower part of his left arm after it was amputated at Parirenyatwa Hospital last Monday.
A nasty accident earlier on the same day had left the Caps United skipper’s hand shredded damaged, the doctors had little option but to amputate part of it.
Three days later the 30-year old Makepekepe defender was discharged from hospital with doctors saying he is well on his way to recovery.
But Zvirekwi wants to do much more than recover.
He wants to get back onto the park and play again.
“It won’t be easy but I believe I can play again. It will be a battle and I will take it one day at a time,” the defender told the writer from his hospital bed on Wednesday afternoon.
Footballers don’t come as refined as Zvirekwi, a lad who is well groomed, well-spoken and generally well behaved.
In 1981 American author Harold Kushner’s published his international best seller When Bad Things Happen to Good People.
It’s a title that can be pasted on the Zvirekwi narrative. Thankfully the defender is taking it all in his stride, looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty. After such a horror crash and the loss of a limb one would have expected to find Zvirekwi crestfallen, asking the why me question.
But Alas the opposite is true.
“Mako wapindindira. (Mako you have jumped the queue),” said Zvirekwi as Alois Bunjira made way for a crew comprising the writer, former Dynamos man Edward Sadomba and Caps United midfielder Ronald Chitiyo. Twenty four hours earlier Chitiyo had tried and failed to see his teammate.
“There are just too many people to see Hardy but today I have to see him.
“The nurses are insisting on two visitors to be on the bed at each moment and I find it unreasonable,” said Chitiyo as we negotiated our way to Ward B1.
There scores of people were patiently waiting for their chance to get to Zvirekwi’s bed.
Yes they could see him through the mirror.
Yes they could blow kisses his way but that is not why they were there. They wanted to talk to the man, give him a hug and possibly take a picture.
Amid such numbers and near commotion waiting for our turn would have been a futile exercise.
Sadomba led the way, Chitiyo followed with the writer closely behind.
So really instead of accusing the writer of jumping the line Zvirekwi ought to have directed the charge towards Sadomba.
It’s something the author highlighted to him.
“Oh well Duduza is from Mbare and you know how they do their things these Dynamos people,” said Zvirekwi.Seeing someone admitted in hospital in such high spirits is soothing, it’s as if balm mixed with warm water has been sprinkled on a heavy heart. But we had to ask how he was doing.
Yes he was smiling but how was the inner man, how was the pain?
“Ndiri bho. I am ok,” said Zvirekwi.
“The pain was unbearable soon after the operation but now I am managing.
“I cannot sit here and cry guys. I am thankful to God that he sparred my life. I could have died and this Sunday you would have been writing my obituary in The Sunday Mail.
“Where you going to write it Mako or you were going to assign Sir? But who writes that column?…”
Zvirekwi appeared to have a lot to ask.
However, the female security officer had come to deliver a message she must have grown tired of relaying to the Caps United captain’s visitors.
“We just want two visitors around the bed. Please if you love Hardy let him rest,” she said with authority wrapped in a smile. That was our que to leave.
We hugged and Zvirekwi said something that is regularly said in the Caps United team bus when they head for matches.“Mako ndisimbisewo. (Mako make strong),” he said as we laughed and parted.
Makepekepe players use that statement to psyche up and also signal to their coach Lloyd Chitembwe that the time for him to unleash the match day song has song.“Mwari baba tiratidzei simba renyu, tidanane tisimbisane tisimbisane. (God show us your mighty),” goes Chitembwe’s song.
Zvirekwi might have to work more than twice as much for less than half as much and what he needs is not pity.He is not pitying himself and the nation shouldn’t lead him that route.
We just have to make him strong!