Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba has been a revelation in the Premier Soccer League for his new side Aston Villa in his 4 appearances for the club so far.
The midfielder with support from fans back home has scooped the Man of the Match Award on more than one occassion in his appearances for the club this season which is still in its infancy.
The only negative in an otherwise promising season is the midfielder been subjected to racial abuse from a section of Aston Villa supporters in the club’s 5-1 Thumping of Norwich City.
Get to know Nakamba arduous journey to the glitz and glamour of European football below:
1. Marvelous Nakamba born 19 January 1994 in Hwange, a town in north western Zimbabwe near the Mighty Victoria Falls.
2. Nakamba was given the unique and intriguing forename “Marvelous” by his parents Charity and Anthony, simply because his birth was “marvellous news” to them as he was their first born son.
3. Nakamba’s father Anthony was also a footballer and goalkeeper for Hwange Colliery Football Club a club in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League. Nakamba Senior also won the Castle Cup with Hwange FC during his playing days.
4. In Zimbabwe, Nakamba made his Premier League Debut for Bantu Rovers aged only 16 years-old having been groomed at Highlanders Juniors, Zimbabwe’s oldest football club formed in 1926.
5. Marvellous gained his first professional contract in 2012 in France aged 18, with Association Sportive Nancy-Lorraine.
6. Nakamba is in his 4th country in his football journey in Europe, having passed through AS Nancy (France), Netherlands (Vitesse Arnhem), Belgium (Club Brugge) and now the United Kingdom (Aston Villa).
7. Nakamba made the £11 million pound move from Club Brugge to Aston Villa making him the 4th Zimbabwean to play in the English top-flight league after Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwaru.
8. Nakamba is a down to earth, focussed and deeply religious who always prays before every game. He is still single and has no body art (tattoos) despite his ever increasing market value.
“In football, there are no limits, there’s no limit for room for improvement, it’s about giving everything,” commented Nakamba on the need to work hard to assert himself in the demanding English Premiership League (EPL).
9. Nakamba grew up in poverty and squalor with his family unable to afford football boots for him and it was his mother Charity who managed to by his first pair of football boots (Puma) through his cross border sojourns.
10. Nakamba who has made 18 appearances for the Zimbabwe Senior National Team is reportedly earning £55 000-a -week at Aston Villa making him one of the highest earning athletes in Zimbabwe.