Financial literacy key for sportspersons’ future

Shelly Guni

The key to a successful life after a football player’s playing days are gone is careful financial planning since, like a bucket of spilled milk, a football career is fleeting and once it is finished, it cannot be undone.

These were the wise words of Football Scout and Sports Administrator Kudzai Chitima during which he also shared his thoughts on the booming export of young players to foreign leagues.

There have been cases where players after a successful stint at foreign teams come back with nothing to show for it.

Like the recent issue of Tendai Ndoro who lost everything to his wife after it was reported that he registered his cars and house into his wife’s name.

He expressed his excitement with the growing number of Zimbabwean footballers plying their trade in various leagues in Africa and overseas.

And while he is overly excited about the prospects  he, however, cautioned the current crop of footballers to take financial literacy seriously and plan better for their futures.

Chitima said a football career and money have one thing in common – they come and go.

“It is thus very important for our young footballers to plan better and take financial literacy seriously, especially those playing and earning big money in South Africa and elsewhere. These things are very serious and not to be taken lightly.

“I always say they should take time to look around and see first-hand what happened to other former footballers who were earning millions in the past; they are now homeless. They need to take care of their money and plan better.

” They must seek professional advice and invest in assets that will look after them once their careers are over,” said Chitima.

“I usually tell young players to make use of their money wisely while still active.

Buy a house, a flat or even built yourself a small backyard room at your parents’ while you still have the means, because things can get really tough once your career is over and you didn’t plan better.

“Money, just like a football career, comes and goes. If you take care of your money now, it will take care of you later when your football days are over.”

He also believes that the league or clubs must make sure that they address the issue so as to help the players who didn’t manage to get the much needed knowledge on financial literacy.

“It starts at academies,  proper academies have both the football and the education side.

They are groomed at an early age,  about all those things, e.g at Right to Dream Academy,  they even have 7 characteristics they instil in players,  including giving back,  playing with passion,  winning,  self-discipline etc.

“When players are groomed at that age and taught about it,  it becomes easier when they finally make the grade in better paying leagues.

“So in my opinion, clubs should hold financial literacy lessons or even the league doing seminars to teach the players on financial sustainability.

“But it’s a holistic situation, which starts with self-discipline, character and mindset,” he said.

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