AFTER two years in the football wilderness, former Bulawayo City assistant coach Farai Mujokoro has bounced back into the game in South Africa where he has been appointed a technical manager at a soccer academy.
Mujokoro, a Highlanders midfielder in his playing days, was touted as one of the brightest young minds in coaching circles when he worked under Philani “Beefy” Ncube at Bulawayo City FC in the Premier Soccer League.
His budding career in the dugout was, however, cut short when accusations of bribery against Bulawayo City FC surfaced in 2016, with the municipality-owned team accused of attempting to induce a Border Strikers goalkeeper to throw away a game.
A number of Bulawayo City FC officials were subsequently banned by Zifa although no criminal charges were laid against the accused. The bans have, however, been lifted by the new Zifa leadership led by Felton Kamambo, who is on record saying most of the bans were unwarranted.
Mujokoro (FM) spoke to B-Metro Sport (BS) on a range of issues when the publication caught up with him in Bulawayo recently.
BS: How has been life since Zifa lifted all the bans against you and the Bulawayo City FC officials accused of trying to influence a game in 2016?
FM: I have always maintained that we did nothing wrong and the accusations were just part of football politics to push us out of the game. The police were involved in the case and none of us was arrested as there was no evidence of bribery whatsoever and I’m happy that the new Zifa leadership did the right thing and lifted the so-called bans.
BS: Two years out of football and you have resurfaced in Rustenburg, South Africa at a soccer academy, how did that move come about?
FM: In 2018, after the bans were lifted I joined an academy called Sporting Academy to revive my coaching career and it was really an eye opener since I had been out of the game for two years. At the beginning of this year I was approached by Mr Ridge Sass, who owns Silver Angels Academy to come and work for him.
He is an established businessman who is so passionate about football and the job took me to Rustenburg where the academy is based and it’s been a good journey working with boys as young as five years old.
As the technical manager I work with a number of coaches whom I give technical guidance on the game and the experience of working with such dedicated colleagues has been amazing.
BS: You have worked with a number of local teams in the junior structures, how different are the working conditions in South Africa compared to Zimbabwe?
FM: South African academies have some of the best equipment that a coach will dream of having at their disposal especially when working with kids who have to be taught the basics of football and should have fun at the same time. The Silver Angels Academy owner wants to produce the finest players in South Africa in future so he does not hold back in acquiring the best equipment.
BS: How big is the academy and where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
FM: We have 120 kids at the moment, from five to 17 years old and they train on specific days depending on their age groups. We are looking at having about 180 kids at the beginning of next year and we want to be the preferred destination for all aspiring young players in the next five years.
BS: Thank you for your time Mjox and wish you all the best in your future plans.
FM: It’s a pleasure and thank you bro.