Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Zimbabwe footballer back after losing arm

Zimbabwe footballer back after losing arm

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
After losing arm, Zimbabwean footballer returns to pitch. AFP

Zimbabwe footballer back after losing arm

At first glance, Zimbabwean footballer Hardlife Zvirekwi looks like any other member of his football team as he dribbles fast down the wing, but just last year he lost an arm in a car crash.

Once a regular in the national side, Zvirekwi’s playing days looked over when his left arm was badly crushed as his car smashed into trees while he tried to avoid a speeding vehicle that cut across him.

But he has fought his way back to full health – and back into Zimbabwe’s domestic top-flight CAPS United team.

“It put me on the sidelines when I least expected it. It really had an impact on my career at a time I was looking forward to another great season,” he told AFP on the sidelines of a strenuous training session.

“Many people thought that was the end of my career.”

Zvirekwi, who will be closely following his former teammates in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, said he had to learn new ways to play the game after losing the limb.

“Football is a contact sport and there are times when you need both hands to do a hands-off and to balance,” he said.

“It was difficult to learn to play in my new condition. It took me time to re-adjust and know how to balance, know how to tackle, know how to fall. It took me five months to learn how to do all these things.

“The doctors, the physiotherapist and fitness trainer helped me through the process until I learned the concept of the ‘new me’.”

No prosthetics

He doesn’t wear a prosthetic limb and maintains a strict exercise routine to keep his rehabilitation on track.

Now aged 32, he plays right-back and captains the Harare-based CAPS United side.

In 2016 he was voted Zimbabwe’s best footballer after leading his club to the championship, and he played nearly 70 times for the national side.

“I have also had a privilege to represent the nation at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2017,” he said. “Our current national team in Egypt at the moment, I really believe that they are going to do us proud this time around.

“We have got an experienced squad that is balanced and we also have a pool of players that are playing abroad.”

Hardlife, who was named after his parents’ struggles when they were young, is now looking ahead to his own future.

“I’m still considering playing for more years – and you also have to prepare for the after-playing days as well, so I’m doing my coaching papers and also doing business studies.”


  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said

  • More than 5K workers rush from Thailand amid outbreak

    Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon province, Cambodian migrants working in Thailand were gripped by worry over the situation and many rushed to return to their homeland. Over the past 10 days, more than 5,000 migrant workers have returned from Thailand through