COSAFA empowers young stars of the future

COSAFA has advised up and coming players in Southern Africa to learn to plan for their future and avoid becoming destitute upon retirement as part of an initiative run in conjunction with the on-going 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships being staged in Zambia.

COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes made the call on December 13 at Moba Hotel in Kitwe, Zambia where the association, in collaboration with its sponsors and partners, Mopani Copper Mines, Kwese Sports and AQUASAVANA and the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), hosted a financial literacy workshop for junior players, including the COSAFA Under-20 Championship semifinalists Uganda, South Africa, Lesotho and Egypt.

“We are not only looking at football on the field but also off the field. We are all about development. With the support of our sponsors, Mopani Copper Mines, we sat down and came up with ways of how we can pay back to the community and we thought about this workshop,” Destombes said.

“Even when you have a manager or financial adviser, you need to know some fundamentals of how to manage your money. You are a brand. You own a brand.”

FAZ vice-president Rix Mweemba said it was in the interest of his association and COSAFA to ensure that footballers, including the young ones, plan for their future.

“There is a wrong a notion that footballers and football administrators do not know what they are doing in terms of accountability. If you cannot account for your life then you will have a miserable life,” he said.

“You are the future of football. Do not spend everything today. Develop a culture of saving. Have a perspective of what your future will be like. What is painful is to see our legends being rendered destitute. We must plan for our future,” Mweemba said.

Ecobank (Zambia) commercial manager Theo Tembo, who was among the facilitators of the workshop, said it was important for players to start saving when they are at their peak.

“At the age of 21, you have to make critical decisions about your life. You have to know what you want to become, when to spend and save. Even as a footballer, do not be limited. Think outside the box. You can be a banker. You can even be studying and become a lawyer,” Tembo said.

The workshop attracted 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winner Nyambe Mulenga and Zambian football legend Emmy Musonda, who shared their career experiences with the junior players who attended the  workshop.

Musonda advised the players that the key to success in their careers was hardwork and discipline.

By Peter Kanjere