Sports and Lifestyle Correspondent
Doves Funeral Assurance managing director, Talent Maziwisa has urged the corporate world to come up with measures that can sustain the lives of sportsmen and musicians past their prime.
Maziwisa made the remarks in his address as the home of the country’s most illustrious and treasured soccer player of all time George “Mastermind” Shaya as they hosted a lavish belated 77th birthday at his Glen Norah resident in Harare.
Shaya had his right leg amputated two years ago after suffering from a medical condition called deep-vein thrombosis.
“We are here as Doves Funeral Assurance recognising the special value of our legend, George Shaya as part of our corporate social responsibility and our statement to say we have to look after our legends while they are still alive,” he said.
“We do appreciate that sport is a short-term form of employment for athletes and, especially for those who played before it was fully commercialised, I am challenging the corporate world to also come to the plate and help out living legends. We have so many legends who need help out there.”
As part of the birthday present, the footballer received a curved 65-inch flat-screen UHD TV and was guaranteed monthly groceries.
Shaya’s wife thanked Doves for the gesture.
“I am humbled by the gesture which has been shown by Doves Funeral Assurance. I am shedding tears as I know if his leg had not been amputated, he would have been kicking a football just to show that he can still do it,” he said.
“I am very happy and I would like to urge Doves to continue with the good work they are doing and even extend the gesture to other legends around.”
Zororo-Phumulani Repatriation and Funeral Plan’s (a subsidiary of Doves Funeral Assurance) operations director Brian Makunike speaking from Mzansi said Shaya is a legend who needs to be appreciated for what he has done for the nation in the world of football.
“As a leading funeral service and repatriation company, Zororo-Phumulani Repatriation and Funeral Plan we deal with a lot of grieving families so we are the first ones to know that it is important to celebrate life and this time around we are celebrating with a football legend George Shaya who has achieved a lot for the country,” he said.
“As part of our social responsibility, we reach out to different people across the borders. So we have been in touch with Mrs. Shaya and one of the things that being in touch with a person is that you get to understand the things that they may require and all we needed to do was to hopefully be able to put a smile on this football legend.”
Makunike said education is one of the areas they are investing in giving computers to new university students every year as part of their social responsibility.
“We don’t always choose what we do, but because we are in touch with our people, we found out that a lot of our people were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other legacy issues have also affected people like the Shaya family so they were not spared by what has been going on in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“As Zororo-Phumulani Repatriation and Funeral Plan, we speak of a whole world of people as our different policy covers a range of people since it starts from as little as 69R. This is why we have amongst our clients’ engineers, musicians, maids, doctors, former footballers and current stars especially here in South Africa so in terms of our own social responsibility we find ourselves having to reach all those kinds of people.”
Legendary former Zimbabwe Warriors captain cum Mamelodi Sundowns team manager and Zororo Phumulani Repatriation and Funeral Plan’s brand Ambassador Peter Ndlovu speaking from his base in Mzansi said Shaya’s contribution to football can never be underestimated.
“It’s a special day for our legend George Shaya. We are celebrating him as a man, as a good human being. You must be honoured when you are still alive so that you can see your legacy. People must appreciate you when you are still alive,” he said.
“I want to echo the support given by Doves. It’s unbelievable how they appreciate legends, and for them to go the extra mile to be part of this celebration and all of us in general. I say to Doves thank you so much for reaching out.”
At the event, guests were entertained by gifted acoustic soul singer Gemma Griffiths who is also Zororo-Phumulani Repatriation and Funeral Plan’s ambassador.