Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
RESIDENTS of Mabvuku were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after they interacted with boxing legend, Floyd Mayweather Junior, who is in Zimbabwe for a three-day visit dubbed the ‘Motherland Tour’.
A visit which started with a grand arrival and a rousing welcome by hordes of fans at the Robert Mugabe International Airport Thursday morning saw the boxing legend go down to the roots where the ordinary folk reside.
The choice of venue was befitting as the host, Scott Sakupwanya has found a way to connect with the people of Mabvuku.
The community did not disappoint as a huge crowd gathered at the famous Number One Grounds early in the morning as they awaited Mayweather’s arrival.
When he finally arrived, the place erupted as they jostled to catch a glimpse of the superstar.
“I am so happy, even my grandchildren are here to see for themselves that if they work hard, they can get to Mayweather’s level,” said a Mabvuku resident.
“This is good because it inspires the youths to do well and work hard,” said another resident.
Mayweather is visiting Zimbabwe at the invitation of Better Brands owned by Scott Sakupwanya.
“Just like I promised, he is here and it’s for the youths. I want to inspire the people of Mabvuku to work hard and see how far you can go,” said Sakupwanya.
The global icon felt at home in Zimbabwe.
“Africa is my home and the people supported me from day one and I will forever be grateful. I will continue to visit,” said Mayweather.
The government has hailed Mayweather’s visit as a big endorsement of destination Zimbabwe.
Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Permanent Secretary, Dr Thokozani Chitepo said, “This will forever change the sporting landscape in Zimbabwe. Mayweather is a global star and you can see everyone is happy, but it’s not just about happiness, it’s also a big endorsement of Destination Zimbabwe and he will have a chance to mix with our boxers and that’s priceless.”
Mayweather watched exhibition fights that took place at the Number One Grounds just before he had a mini-training session.
He is expected to visit the country’s tourist resorts before his departure.
Meanwhile, Better Brands has donated a boxing ring to the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.