Legends have come and gone. But the love for the game of soccer has remained.
In the village of Dumba, 30km away from Beitbridge one man has chosen to live football memories through a now forgotten “soccer” game.
It is a game of yesteryear. In every shopping centre and public drinking place, the mini-soccer game was a presence that worried many parents. Coins would easily disappear in the house as young boys went off to indulge in the addictive sport. Modelled on a soccer field, mini-soccer was a game in every sense except that it was confined to a small table.
Popularly referred to as “slug,” the game has with time been faced with extinction, talk of the rise of modern technologies. However, in the village of Dumba in Beitbridge one table seems to have survived. And a man who calls himself the “Luis Figo” of mini-soccer is proudly hitting hat-ricks every day. He might not be making record transfer moves or winning the ballon d’or like the legendary Portuguese player but this Beitbridge fella revels in winning against his competitors.
Confronted by the threat of total disappearance, the mini-soccer box is now a memory for a certain generation only. Computerisation of games probably also rendered it obsolete, but in Dumba, “Figo” says he won’t stop scoring goals and celebrating victories. And of course Dumba is not in Portugal, nor is there a La-Liga or Serie A in this village.
“I will never be promoted to any premiership, or appear on any calendar as a star player, but in my village I am my own hero,” he laughs.