Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
THE 38-year-old woman who died in a stampede at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, Egna Nyamadzawo, was laid to rest at her rural home in Mutonda Village, Domboshava, yesterday.
Nyamadzawo was trapped for minutes after a gate collapsed and crushed by a human wave as scores of fans powered into the stadium.
Yesterday, football stakeholders in the country led by ZIFA president Felton Kamambo converged at the Nyamadzawo homestead to bid farewell to the deceased fan.
Former Warriors captain Moses Chunga, ZIFA Northern Region treasurer Sweeney Mushonga, as well as the national team cheerleader Chris “Romario” Musekiwa attended the burial ceremony.
“Her death is something very unfortunate. We thought we had done everything, including selling pre-match tickets, to make the conditions safer for our fans but, unfortunately, this tragedy happened,’’ said Kamambo.
“As the Zimbabwe Football Association, we pay our condolences to the Nyamadzawo family for the untimely death of their dear daughter, sister and mother.’’ The Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters’ Association and the Friends of the Warriors pledged to pool resources to sponsor, at least one member from Nyamadzawo’s family, to attend the AFCON tournament in June.
ZNSSA treasurer Munhuwashe Ndanga said Nyamadzawo’s death was a great loss to their organisation.
“As supporters, we had worked hard to let people come to the stadium. She was one of the people who wanted to be part and parcel of the occasion but, unfortunately, this tragedy took her life,” he said. Friends of the Warriors chairman Edward Chimedza said his grouping will sponsor one volunteer from the Nyamadzawo family to attend the AFCON finals.
Nyamadzawo’s brother, Simbarashe, said his sister left a huge gap in the family and pleaded with ZIFA to review stadium security to avoid such incidents in future.
“I am not a soccer fan but on Sunday, I attempted to watch the Warriors in action in a bar in Epworth but the heat inside was unbearable and I opted out.
“I was surprised to then receive a call from my brother saying Egna had died. I had actually spoken to her in the morning although I was not aware that she would be attending the match.
“I am in pain,’’ he said.
Nyamadzawo is survived by two sons, Lee and Leon.