21-year old Charles Makaya is, without any shred of doubt, a man on a mission!
The soft-spoken Kwekwe-bred sportsperson has now set his sights on resuscitating the game of Chess at grassroots levels with the long-term pursuit of identifying untapped talent from various parts of the Midlands Province.
Speaking to this publication in an interview at his Redcliff residence this week, the former Loreto High School ‘chess-master’ who was a regular feature at the coveted National Association of School Heads (NASH) tournaments said his main mission was to motivate and find ways of capacitate chess players, albeit their diverse limitations.
According to the youthful Makaya, there was need for chess enthusiasts in the country to join hands and uplift the game, much in the same manner that football has been prioritized in the landlocked southern African nation.
“I am purely driven by the apparently insatiable appetite that I have for the game of chess which can be traced to as far back as my primary school days. For Zimbabwe to realize its potential in the game, there is every need for a robust approach from the grassroots to the top,” he said.
Makaya also added that, in his search for talented players, he will cast his net wider to include not only suburbs, but also schools and tertiary institutions within the Midlands Province.
“So, as a starting point, I will try to reach out to mainly the youths who have a passion to learn and establish an academy where we will try to groom and find ways of financially motivating them so that they extract value from the sport,” he said.
Makaya was exposed to competitive chess when he reached the National Association of Primary Heads (NAPH) finals while in Grade 3.
While in Grade 7, Makaya also featured at the NAPH finals- a feat he still holds in high regard.
Makaya replicated the same feat while doing his Ordinary Levels at Catholic-run Loreto High in Kwekwe.
He reckons that his wish has always been to play a pivotal role in the resuscitation of the game in Zimbabwe.