Raymond Jaravaza recently in Binga
FORGET the glitz and glamour, a red carpet leading to a fancy stage with flashy lights and young men in fancy suits walking up the stage to collect medals.
Such a set-up is the preserve of a well-funded event like the Premier Soccer League awards night.
The setting is a modest secondary school, tucked in the remote rural area of Siansundu in Binga, and a little known football team Lunda FC is celebrating a milestone. Their achievement- gaining promotion into the Zifa Southern Region league.
And the players and club officials have every reason to celebrate.
For starters making history as the first team in Binga to qualify into modern day Division One football is no mean feat.
After all, barely 12 months ago, Lunda FC was just a social soccer outfit blended with a few schoolboys and school drop-outs looking for an escape from the daily harsh realities of growing up in rural Binga.
The kit donned by the players as they walk up to Zifa Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza and board member development Tumediso Mokoena Ndlovu to receive their medals tells nothing short of a sad story.
The story of a team that is in dire need of sponsorship to compete in division one football.
The team dons a worn out yellow kit. In fact, the kit is a combination of the old South African senior national teama��s replica jerseys used during the 2010 Fifa World Cup to anything that is yellow in colour.
a�?We dona��t have everything on a silver platter like a branded kit or boots for the players but what we do have is the determination to succeed. The players are from poor backgrounds but they have the skill, hunger to win and they worked very hard to finish the 2017 season champions in Binga,a�? said club secretary Charles Mumpande.
Team captain Sena Mudende tells B-Metro Sport point blank that he is terrified at the thought of playing at some of Bulawayoa��s big stadiums next year.
For a young man who has spent his entire life in Binga, he has no idea what Barbourfields Stadium a�� occasional home of Bosso90 when curtain raising for Highlanders FC a�� looks like.
Neither does he know where White City and Luveve Stadiums are located in Bulawayo.
a�?Soccer will take us to some places we have never been to before but when ita��s time to play even against some of the big teams we will do our best. Ia��m terrified that we will be travelling as far as Bulawayo, away from our comfort zone here in Binga, but wea��ll just have to get used to it and give it our best on the pitch,a�? said Mudende.
Lunda FC beat eight other teams in the Matabeleland North 2B League to gain promotion into the Zifa Southern Region.
The team is a community owned team supported by Binga businesspeople.
The awards ceremony was held at Siansundu Secondary School last Saturday.