Vitalis Takawira
Vitalis Takawira, Zimbabwean Footballers
Vitalis Takawira
Born (1972-09-24) September 24, 1972 (age 49)
ResidenceUSA
NationalityZimbabwe
Other namesDigital
Occupation
  • Sports Developer
Known forBeing part of the 1990s Zimbabwe Soccer Team
Spouse(s)Chipo Takawira

Vitalis "Digital" Takawira is a former football legend who played for Dynamos Football Club as well as the Zimbabwe National Soccer Team from the early 1990s. He belongs to the golden generation of Zimbabwean football which was coached by Reinhard Fabisch.

Background

Takawira was born on 24 September 1972.[1] Takawira is married to Chipo and the couple have four children Vitalis Jr, Farlen and twin boys Nathan and Vincent.[2]

Football career

Takawira began his professional career at Harare-based Dynamos Football Club when he was only 17, where he was the top goal scorer for five seasons.[3] He was the top scorer in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League three times.

He left Dynamos for FC Winterthur in Switzerland where he played 10 games and scored nine goals in a short stint.

Takawira left FC Winterthur for Kansas City Wizards in the MLS of the United States and scored in his first game of the team (the goal was the first goal for the Kansas City Wizards in the MLS).

He spent the next four years with Kansas City, playing 110 games, with 29 goals scored and 19 assists in the league.[2]

In the USA, he signed with Major League Soccer side Kansas City Wiz (later Wizards) in 1996. After leaving MLS, Takawira moved down to the A-League, where he played for Milwaukee Rampage and Milwaukee Wave United.

He was named A-League MVP in 2000 and helped Rampage to the league title in 2002. He then signed with the Milwaukee Wave before finally retiring from his playing career in 2004.[2]

He played his first game for the Zimbabwe National Team in 1992 against South Africa and he also scored his first goal for the national team. Zimbabwe won the game 4-1 courtesy of goals from Peter Ndlovu (2) and Rahman Gumbo.

Takawira made 26 appearances for The Warriors from 1992–1999 and scored 12 goals including a hat-trick against Cameroon.

Trivia: Takawira or Zviripayi?

At Dynamos, Takawira played alongside his older brother, Claudius Zviripayi, who was nicknamed "Hokoyo".

For years, there was confusion over the siblings' different surnames, which led some football fans to doubt that there were related.

Speaking in early 2022, Vitalis and Claudius' younger brother, Vincent Takawira revealed that an error by staff at the Registrar General's office caused the confusion.[4] Said Vincent:

When Claudius and Vitalis went to register for their identity cards, they had to take our dad’s identity particulars as required.

The registry clerk at the local issuing office correctly entered Vitalis’ first name with our father’s (Nicholas) surname which is Takawira but wrongly entered Claudius’ surname as Zviripayi which is our father’s middle name.

So that’s how Vitalis was known as Takawira and Claudius as Zviripayi.

Coaching career

Takawira worked as a youth development soccer coach for Lake Country United Soccer in Hartland, Wisconsin in USA.[2]

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References

  1. , VITALIS TAKAWIRA,Zim Legends, published:,retrieved:"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 , THE DIGITAL IS ALIVE AND WELL,Dembare.Coms, published:8 Dec 2015,retrieved:15 Apr 2015"
  3. Vitalis Takawira Jr Leads Team To Great Lakes Championship Glory, SOCA263, Published: 15 July 2022, Retrieved 15 July 2022
  4. Charles Mabika, Mystery behind Vitalis, Claudius surnames solved, Herald Zimbabwe, Published: 17 February 2022, Retrieved 27 July 2022