Conquering Africa is my dream – Hadebe

Teenage Hadebe didn’t just to come to South Africa to play for Kaizer Chiefs, the Zimbabwean defender wants to conquer Africa with the Glamour Boys. “I want to win the CAF Champions League,” he makes his intentions very clear.

“Yo yo yo,” reacts the lanky left-footer when asked about his impressions on the Carling Black Label Champion Cup game against Orlando Pirates. “That was unbelievable, it was packed and what a noise. That was something very special.”

Sadly, Hadebe couldn’t take part in the match due to a slight groin injury.

The 21-year-old joined Amakhosi from Zimbabwe’s side Chicken Inn, where Edmore Chirambadare and Michelle Katsvairo also originate from. Hadebe started his career at Bantu Rovers, before moving to Highlanders. All his former clubs are based in the defender’s home town of Bulawayo.

“I have been welcomed by everybody at Kaizer Chiefs, including the office staff,” Hadebe makes clear. “I felt at home from the first day.” Fellow Zimbabwean Willard Katsande also helped him a lot to settle.

He plans to do extra work, besides the official training hours, to further improve his game. “I plan to go to the gym to work out extra and get physically stronger.”

Hadebe’s all-time favourite is Real Madrid’s centre-back Sergio Ramos, because of his determination to win at all cost and his leadership skills.

“It is, however, his countryman Marvelous Nakamba, who inspires him most. The midfielder now plays for Belgium’s side Club Brugge. “He’s a left-footer like me,” Hadebe explains, “I like his touches on the ball and his off the ball movement. We played together at Bantu Rovers and I admire how far he has come since.”

Hadebe usually plays on the left side in the centre of defence. He’s great with aerial balls and regularly scores with his head from set-pieces or corner kicks.

He was part of the Chicken Inn squad that won the Zimbabwean league title in 2015, playing in the CAF Champions League the following season.

At home, he loves to game, playing FIFA 17, Need for Speed or Desert Storm. And when not gaming, he just likes to relax on the couch. If not watching soccer, he will follow cricket, above all the Proteas. “I love watching the batsman Hashim Amla and the fast bowler Dale Steyn,” Hadebe adds. “They have that determination to win at all odds.”

“I am a winner,” the defender concludes, “and have a strong winning mentality. I want to help Kaizer Chiefs win lots of trophies.”