WITH increasing uncertainty surrounding the future of football in the country driving both professional and amateur players into desperation, more and more of them have found solace in innovation.
The latest in that growing list of footballers to secure a side occupation, at least for the duration of the Covid-19 induced lull, are the pair of Dynamos and Highlanders full-backs Emmanuel Jalai and Collin Mujuru.
The duo have reignited their friendship from their days at Aces Youth Soccer Academy by launching a joint-venture fashion label, Just Me.
The diminutive Dynamos right-back Jalai, who had a decent Premiership debut in the colours of Dembare in 2019 has grown frustrated by waiting for his second top-flight spell which the pandemic, together with ill-prepared football leaders have connived to continuously shelve.
And the 22-year old recently announced his entry into the fashion industry together with Mujuru who moved from Harare City to the City of Kings.
“This project has always been in the pipeline and it’s definitely a dream which has just manifested,” said Jalai.
“We are footballers and see ourselves playing the game for as long as our legs are able to carry us and our bodies able to meet the demands.
“But having our own business has always been part of us even when we were still kids. We just believe in that.”
He said the long days he has been spending at home without any hint on when the game would be allowed back forced him and his friend, not to only think outside the box but implement what they have always dreamt of.
“After performing decently, statistic-wise at least, in my debut season in 2019, I was looking forward to an even better 2020 term. But, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 season was wiped out.
“I was hoping to get to the groove in February this year following reports that authorities were working on having the 2021 season kick off early.
“But, well, the pandemic has become even deadlier and we are, just like in 2020 stuck at home, training alone and the boredom is back.
“So as a way of fending off the frustrations and possible depression that comes with having such situations in a chosen career, we have decided to follow this path. It’s not a temporary venture for certain.
“It’s something which we always wanted to pursue and we believe it will work. We are targeting every human being. We believe from these humble beginnings, the business will eventually grow into an empire. That’s the ultimate aim.”