HARARE – George “Mastermind” Shaya was reduced to tears on Saturday after he was guaranteed free medical support for life.
Shaya who has been living rough since being laid off by Toyota Zimbabwe in 2015 before succumbing to dementia the following year, was also given a year’s worth of groceries by Ruvimbo Funeral Services.
The Dynamos legend’s career was celebrated in the high density suburb of Glen Norah with Bachelor’s Republic spicing up the event by bankrolling various musicians who lit up the occasion.
Shaya is one of 35 million people in the world who live with dementia, a broad category of brain diseases that causes a gradual decrease in the ability to think properly and remember events.
His wife Agnes, a nurse by profession, was employed full time and took care of the family, before reaching the age of retirement last year.
With limited resources to get by, the family has been finding it difficult to get by but now hope the shot in the arm will help make Shaya’s life more comfortable.
In a speech read on his behalf Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane paid tribute to Shaya’s contribution to football.
“In our soccer, the history is not complete also without mentioning the name George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya,” he said.
“I would like to thank Bishop Jeff and Tabernacle of Worship Family Ministries International for organising this event. I would like to urge other churches to emulate this kind of initiative and as government, we will always support noble causes like this one hence our presence here today.”
The leader of Tabernacle of Worship Family Ministries International Roger Jefferies hoped their donation will go a long way in changing perceptions.
“We are saying a ministry is not a ministry if it does not cater for the needs of the community. There are misconceptions that the church is there to take from people but we are working and reaching out,” he said.
“We thank our partners Ruvimbo Funeral Services for the supply of groceries to the Shaya family for one year, Dr Billy Rigava for offering medical care to Mr Shaya for as long as he is alive.”
“A lot has been done for the Mastermind to make sure that he is well catered for, we are simply complementing other people who have come on board to assist.”
Apart from supplying the musicians, Bachelor’s Republic also dressed Shaya and former football luminaries who graced the event.