Khama Billiat (centre) captured while then training with Chiefs: Image via Facebook @ Khama Billiat

Khama Billiat (centre) captured while then training with Chiefs: Image via Facebook @ Khama Billiat

Khama Billiat: Seeking redemption or swansong in Zimbabwe?

There is something ironic about the meaning of Khama Billiat’s name in respect of his recent return to Zimbabwe after leaving Chiefs.

Khama Billiat (centre) captured while then training with Chiefs: Image via Facebook @ Khama Billiat

Khama Billiat (centre) captured while then training with Chiefs: Image via Facebook @ Khama Billiat

Khama Billiat’s forename means persistence in the local language of Malawi where his Zimbabwean parents came from originally. The former Kaizer Chiefs poster boy needs even more persistence to breathe life into his stalled career. Lest his return to Zimbabwe turns out to be a swansong rather than a springboard for a rebound to the DStv Premiership.

Khama Billiat and hope for a second chance in Zimbabwe

Khama Billiat ended eight months of guessing and speculation when he inked a deal with unfancied Zimbabwe Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Yadah FC on Wednesday. The move came after his efforts to sign for DStv Premiership suitors such as SuperSport United and Cape Town City fell through.

ALSO READ: REVEALED: Billiat takes HUGE pay cut to escape Kaizer Chiefs nightmare

The Yadah FC’s deal might seem a downgrade for someone who, for decades, had the DStv Premiership fans feeding on his slick feet. Khama Billiat’s show of brilliance in Mzansi kicked off at Ajax Cape Town and then roared to life at Mamelodi Sundowns. However, what was thought to be a progressive move to Chiefs proved to be a frustrating venture. Indifferent and inconsistent performances were followed by a litany of injuries.

Is Khama Billiat’s age an issue in Zimbabwe

Now, the former Warriors star has returned to Zimbabwe while advancing in age football-wise at 33. He is also rusty after spending months kicking heels at home. A growing record of niggling injuries has not helped his cause, either.

ALSO READ: Khama Billiat now the highest paid player in Zimbabwean PSL!

It is not easy starting all over again. Expectations from Yadah FC’s management and fans will be high. Additionally, few foreigners return to the DStv Premiership once they come back home while hoping to recharge. If Khama Billiat hopes for redemption and a return to the DStv Premiership, he can perhaps use compatriot Gilbert Mushangazhike as the reference point. The spiky-haired striker signed for Orlando Pirates in 2007 after spending time back home in Zimbabwe following an earlier stint at Manning Rangers.

How difficult is it bouncing back into DStv Premiership?

ALSO READ: Ex-Chiefs star Billiat reacts to Yadah move

Elsewhere, Zambian Augustine Mulenga has crawled his way back to AmaZulu FC two years after being ejected due to a career-threatening injury. Malawian Joseph Kamwendo had a last dance with the PSL five years ago to turn the hands of time he previously spent at Pirates. So, surely, if his Facebook post is anything to go by, Khama Billiat might be hoping for a second DStv Premiership Shibobo dance. On Wednesday, the 33-year-old forward wrote: “Back to Work. Thanks God for Another Chance.”

Sections of the Zimbabwe football fraternity, too, hope Khama Billiat’s homecoming will spark new life into his career. They even hope to see him slip into the Warriors’ gold and green again after having retired years ago. “It’s a great move for both parties. He needed to be home to recharge his batteries. Maybe a change of scene was needed for him. Maybe we can also beg him again for the national team,” Zimbabwean football scout Loben Makiyato told The South African.

ALSO READ: ‘It’s like Ronaldo moving from Europe to Asia’ – Katsande on Billiat

Is the forward’s move to Zimbabwe a catalyst for Warriors’ reunion

However, some quarters in Zimbabwe are not overly optimistic about Khama Billiat’s flirtation with Yadah FC. A Zimbabwean football analyst noted that “at his age and with those injuries, I don’t see him playing two or more seasons.” Can the talented attacker perhaps prove his doubters wrong and live up to the true meaning of Khama, which means persistence?