I always laugh my lungs out when I recall an incident when a former footballer boasted to his younger colleagues on how he enjoyed life during his stint in South Africa.
In his own words, the ex-footballer told his attentive audience saying: “Aphwanga timaphulitsa life ku Jubeki ife. Tikudya ma nampkins ophikidwa bwino!” (Apparently, he meant pumpkins and his audience, including yours truly burst into laughter).
Then, there was a time when I was privileged to travel with Big Bullets (when they were called Bakili Bullets) to the United Kingdom and when a waitress asked one player in a restaurant what he would have for lunch, his response was: “Rice, cow and vegetation.” Well, the assumption was that he meant rice, beef and vegetables.
These are just a few examples of footballers who never took education seriously before or during their football careers.
I, therefore, felt sad last week when I learnt that player-of-the-moment Frank â€˜Gabadinhoâ€™ Mhango did not sit his Junior Certificate of Education examinations for no good reason. Apparently, as his colleagues were sitting for the exams, â€˜Gabaâ€™ was preoccupied with his favourite pay station game.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a chap who told the media last week that his dream is to become an accountant. One, therefore, wonders how he will realise such an ambitious dream when he cannot even sit his JCE exams?
Maybe he thinks accounting is as simple as counting the number of either missed chances or the goals he scores in games against Bvumbwe, Silver Strikers and probably Ngâ€™onga.
Gabadini has not yet scaled the heights that were scaled by BB greats such as Kinnah â€˜Electricâ€™ Phiri and Lawrence â€˜Luleâ€™ Waya, but he has become a household name on the domestic scene, so much that his name rolls off the tongues of the fans so sweetly.
However, the sooner Gabadini realises that football is a short-term career the better; hence, the need for him to take his education seriously.
I really would not love to see the boy turn into a minibus tout in the next few years. It would be a sorry sight to see him shouting â€˜Akwere nawo ya highway, yopita iyi!â€™ at a bus stop just a stone throw away from where he currently thrills thousands of fans.
Go and sit your JCE exams â€˜Gabaâ€™ and take it up from there or else the accounting career that you will pursue is calculating the K30s you would have made in a day from minibus touting. Uloliwe wayidudula! [the train is pushing!].