France based warriors player Tino Kadewere has saluted Zimbabweans based in Rwanda who came in large numbers to support the national team during the recent 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers played at at Huye Stadium in Butare. Zimbabwe played Rwanda at Huye Stadium on 15 November and the match ended 0-0.
Four days later, the Warriors hosted the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the same venue as Zimbabwe does not have a stadium that meets CAF standards. The match ended 1-1.
The Source reported Kadewere as saying that Zimbabweans based in Rwanda who cheered the team in both matches created an atmosphere associated with playing at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, and made the Warriors feel at home. Said Kadewere:
We never felt away from home. These guys have been amazing. When we heard that we would play both our games in Rwanda, we thought we would miss everything, like the atmosphere associated with playing at the National Sports Stadium. But we were wrong. These guys made us feel at home. We salute them.
Butare is located about 126 kilometres south-west of Kigali, the Rwandan capital. The road trip from Kigali to Butare takes about three hours, as the road passes through many hills, and vehicles travel at a maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour. The trip costs RF2 500 (around US$2). Many Zimbabweans were ready to endure the six-hour round trips to back the Warriors.
Diana Marerwa, a primary school teacher living in Keza, on the outskirts of Kigali, has been living in Rwanda for the past 25 years. She was among among the hordes of Zimbabweans based in Rwanda who attended both games. Said Marerwa: I am a teacher based in Kigali. Once we heard that Zimbabwe would play two games here, we started mobilising each other so that we could attend the games.
I am very happy that I managed to attend both games. Our players were also very happy to see us rallying behind them. It motivated them a lot, and we hope to see more of this, not just in football, but in other sports, here, for they are guaranteed support. Kidson Chiworera who works in Mwanza, said that the Warriors matches enabled him to physically meet with his virtual compatriots. He said:
Of course, we came here for both games to show our support for the national team, but this was also an opportunity for us to meet physically with Zimbabweans who are based in this country. We talk to each other on social media and the phone, but this was an opportunity for us to meet in person.
That’s why you saw us hugging and jumping before these games. We were actually celebrating being together, physically, for the first time. We are one big community and we love each other. That is why it was never difficult for us to come together and say guys, let’s go and rally behind our Warriors.
The Zimbabweans appeared to outnumber the Rwandans in the first game and also sang famous songs such as “Yave nyama yekugocha” and “Vakomana vekwedu” which created a home atmosphere for the Warriors.
Source Pindula News