TEARS welled up in Agnes Shaya’s eyes, wife to Dynamos legend and five-time Soccer Star of the Year George Shaya, struggling to prevent them from trickling down her cheeks, but it was a lost battle.BY DON MAKANYANGA
“We are living in poverty, and at this moment I am struggling to get him his medication for his condition, he is suffering and is in pain and unstable,” she broke the silence in an interview with Standardsport at their family home in Harare.
Shaya, who is regarded as one of the finest players to emerge in Zimbabwe, turns 70 in December. He was diagnosed with dementia four years ago.
Agnes said since her husband gave it his all during his football-playing years at one of the most successful clubs in the country, she had hoped that one day his success would be appreciated after he hung his boots.
“For what he did for Dynamos during his playing days, I hoped and expected that during his time of need, the club would be there for him, but it seems they have dumped him despite both of the warring factions within Dynamos revering him for what he did for the club,” she added.
The condition has now taken its toll on Shaya, who at the time of the interview was said to have been bedridden for two days after his medication had run out a fortnight earlier.
“He is asleep and has been like this for the last two days and I can tell you that he is in pain. It has been like this for the past week since he ran out of his medication. Things are not well for us. He needs the medication to stabilise him and I do not how it will end if we do not get the medication,” said Agnes.
She said at times, she goes out of her way, to the extent of approaching money lenders who have high premiums, all in a bid to support her ailing husband.
“Sometimes I get help from my relatives while at times I borrow money from money lenders, which I return at the given time, but the premiums are high and it’s not sustainable, but what else can I do?”
In recent years the battle for control of Dynamos has grabbed centre stage, with two factions clashing over who should be at the helm of the club.
Shaya has always been the common factor in the factions, one led by Bernard Marriot Lusengo and the other one led by Ernest Kamba.
The two factions have always revered the Dynamos legend, to an extent of going to different extents in trying to lure him to either side with an offer of an executive role on the board.
It is such a development that pains the wife, who says the factions only seem to be interested in Shaya during the battles, but seem to neglect him when he needs their help.
“What hurts me most is how the two factions neglect George. They seem to care about him when they need him in their battles. We are not saying we want financial help but that emotional support would play a pivotal role.
“It is not like I am begging them for financial assistance but for them to come and support him emotionally. It means a lot to him to have his football friends around him, you should see how his face brightens up when he chats with some of his old-time friends about football developments both at Dynamos and in Zimbabwe,” said Agnes.
The wife is appealing to the Dynamos family and country to chip in with any kind of help they can, with the major need being the medication that the legend requires.
“I am appealing to well-wishers who can help us in any way they can,” she said.