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Just In :Chiwenga aims for the top

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ZIMBABWE’S UK-based and only accredited female African FIFA match agent, Ellen Chiwenga, is basking in glory after she was recently nominated among a galaxy of sports personalities in England like Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mane for this year’s Football’s Black List.

Chiwenga was unveiled among the five successful nominations under the Commercial section for her role in marketing and developing the game through her EC Football Consultancy.

“I am humbled by it, and this nomination gives me the responsibility to do more. I am lucky enough to work in the fascinating environment of football and I feel the need to use my relationships, skills and expertise to bring the best of the game to less developed countries, and Africa.

The Football’s Black List is a great initiative by Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, who founded it in 2009, that shows the fabulous input of our community in football. It is a time to recognise all the great talents we have. I love it. It should make us all very proud,” Chiwenga told sports journalist Collin Matiza.

On what the nomination means for her, Chiwenga said: “Awards don’t raise your profile. They make you feel very good, and at times it is wonderful to celebrate what you have achieved through so much hard work.

“But, ultimately, people forget how many times you got an award unless you have had a positive impact in their life. People even forget which countries won the football World Cup.”

Chiwenga says she has big dreams for football and is aiming for the top, including ploughing back into communities back home in Zimbabwe by setting up academies or even building stadia.

“Ellen Chiwenga is a woman with big dreams.

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Football existed before me, and football will exist after me.

“I understand how lucky I am to work in the game, but this is not enough. I want to have a lasting impact by driving change and developing economies through football, especially in Africa.

“I want to build stadiums, academies and hospitals because football saves lives by taking kids out of the streets; it creates a sense of community and teaches timeless values such as respect, determination, and solidarity,” she says.

On social media, she has a huge following of Zimbabwean soccer lovers and non-lovers alike, and frequently offers her friends and followers chances to win replica jerseys and other football paraphernalia.

“Football has no boundaries. Football brings people of different backgrounds together. Football brings hope; it has the power to change the world. I want to be the global ambassador of that football; the football that heals countries and communities, build bridges, and create new great economic opportunities for people around the globe,” she says.

Chiwenga says she entered footbball by coincidence, but has found her own footing nevertheless.

“It all began with my mother’s father — my grandfather — whose brother became president of the FA in Zimbabwe. His brothers were involved in football in Europe. It is one of my uncles who convinced me to join him in the country where football was born: England. But nothing was given.

“Nobody gave me a roadmap. It is through hard work and the many incredible people I met along the journey – like Rachel – that I slowly but surely became who I am today,” she says.

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