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Ariel Sibanda scores a gig

by Staff reporter
01 Mar 2021 at 04:55hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS captain and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda continues to unlock his brand value after landing a gig with a Bulawayo fruit and vegetable outlet, Eyethu Fruit and Veg.

Sibanda signed up to complement his earnings after losing potential income from match-day appearances and winning bonuses after the Covid-19 pandemic halted all football activities. The goalkeeper challenged fellow players to capitalise on their brand value by turning it into revenue streams.

"Being an athlete, you know that you have the potential to make a positive influence in the community, and when I heard that Eyethu Fruit and Veg had opened shop in Bulawayo, I approached them and offered to be their ambassador. I've seen footballers from developed countries partnering with corporates and using their popularity to make serious money, and this is exactly what I'm doing," said Sibanda.

"Being new players in the market, I felt I could offer something refreshing, since they offer fresh organic produce direct from the farms and I'm happy they agreed to the partnership. Maybe this gig will show other athletes that it's possible to earn extra income if you behave yourself on and off the field," said Sibanda.

Eyethu Fruit and Veg set up operations in Bulawayo to shake up the local market by competing with traditional players. While markets for horticultural products have traditionally been in the city, with scores of vendors thronging the Central Business District to purchase produce for resale, Eyethu said they were eyeing spreading to the outskirts after opening shops in North End and Nkulumane suburbs.

During the lockdown, footballers have been hard-hit, with most resorting to "hustling" for survival.

Eyethu manager Shyleen Dube said besides Sibanda, they would engage other prominent athletes from communities they operate in.

"Eyethu, which is a subsidiary of Caldice Investments, has already embarked on corporate social responsibility programmes by paying university fees for six students and one of them is employed at the North End outlet. We intend spreading throughout Matabeleland to ensure that affordable and fresh fruits and vegetables reach all corners of the region. To do this, we need the support of the community and with the sports industry being one of the consumers of our healthy produce, we aim to support athletes like Ariel," said Dube.

Source - chronicle

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