ONE can catch a glimpse of Barbourfields Stadium, the Mpilo End Stand to be precise, while standing at the main entrance of Mzilikazi High School — the institution that groomed a young Kudakwashe Mahachi.
A few minutes walk from house number N50 in Mzilikazi suburb, a place Mahachi calls home, takes one to Barbourfields Stadium — the football Theatre of Dreams in the City of Kings.
It’s the same suburb that Mahachi came back to, unfortunately under unpleasant circumstances, to bury his mother who passed away in December last year after a long illness.
On Saturday, childhood memories will flood back as he walks into the same stadium that he used to dream of playing in as a youngster at Mzilikazi High School.
The only difference is he will be trotting into Barbourfields Stadium to shatter the dreams of fellow countrymen, FC Platinum.
Such is the nature of the game.
And Mahachi will have no qualms hammering the final nail into the FC Platinum’s coffin when Orlando Pirates meet Pure Platinum Play in the group stages of the African Champions League on Saturday.
For a group of football supporters, staunch Highlanders fans, sitting at a street corner near Mahachi’s home there is no question which team they will be rallying behind on Saturday.
“It’s Pirates all the way my brother, Highlanders and Amabhakabhaka (Orlando Pirates nickname) are like brothers and there is no way we are going to support a team that is not in black and white jerseys,” said Mncedisi Mathe, who quickly assumed the role of the group’s spokesman.
Last Saturday, Mahachi saved Orlando Pirates from the jaws of an embarrassing defeat to lowly ranked Highlands Park by levelling the scores to a two-all draw with virtually his first touch coming in as a second half substitute.
It’s easy to tell that Mahachi is having a time of his life at Orlando Pirates.
“I’m feeling happy because the welcome has been great. It is a huge transition coming from a small team to a big team and it takes a bit of time to understand because there is a huge difference in approach.
“We train differently, we prepare differently and the overall level of professionalism is amazing. Not only do we analyse the opponent, which is the norm but we also have to analyse ourselves from a group perspective and at an individual level,” he said soon after joining the Sea Robbers from Golden Arrows.
The FC Platinum and Orlando Pirates clash has been pegged at $5 for the rest of the ground, $10 for the wings while VIP comfort will cost $20.