Not even protests from his parents could change Ndoro’s mind to pay more attention to his books instead of football, an activity that got him into trouble several times.
The money he made, which went some way to helping his family that had six children and even pay his own school fees, convinced his parents to allow him to take football serious.
That led to the Orlando Pirates striker dropping out of school in what he calls “Form 4”, or Grade 11.
“I wrote my final examinations but I never even went to collect the results, so I don’t know how I did,” Ndoro said.
“I was never that good at school, I was okay. I only went there to get basic knowledge. It was never about getting a degree. The degreeI have is in my feet.
“My parents didn’t understand my obsession with football even though my father played the game, too. But in his time, it was more about playing for entertainment than making money.
“They started to take football seriously when I was being paid in the juniors, able to pay my school fees and of my twin brother (Takudzwa, a goalkeeper in the first division).”
Ndoro honed his football skills with Takudzwa. Once his skills were refined, he attracted interest from Botswana, where he played for Nicco United.
Takudzwa followed him to Botswana because of the close bond the two have.
It was in Botswana that Tendai started making a name for himself, winning the Golden Boot before returning to Zimbabwe to join Chicken Inn and win his second Golden Boot, which was enough for Mpumalanga Black Aces to snap him up.
A superb campaign with AmaZayoni, where he scored eight goals in five months, convinced the Buccaneers to sign him.
He struggled to break into the Buccaneers bench but when given an opportunity, he showed why he should be Pirates’ main striker.
Pirates coach Eric Tinkler eventually gave in and Ndoro didn’t disappoint, scoring a well-taken brace against the Sea Robbers’ arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
Ndoro will continue leading the club’s attack this afternoon when Pirates visit Jomo Cosmos in the Nedbank Cup last 16 at Olen Park Stadium in Potchefstroom.
Ezenkosi will be led by Ndoro’a countryman up front in Charlton Mashumba as the pair continue in the footsteps of Zimbabwean strikers who have hit the back of the net for fun – be it Ndoro’s idol Peter Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwaru, Wilfred Mugeyi or most recently, Knowledge Musona.
“I think what sets Zimbabwean strikers apart is that they know how to put the ball the back of the net,” Ndoro said.
“That comes from the desire to succeed and go far.
“When Zimbabwean strikers come to South Africa, it’s not to stay for long but to use it as a stepping stone to go abroad.”
Before Ndoro goes abroad, he is targeting winning a third Golden Boot in a third different country.
He is looking at doing that next season because he has missed many games in this campaign, even though he has hit a rich vein of form.
“Football has done a lot for me,” Ndoro said. “It has given me a better life. I’eternally grateful for that. That’s why I want to make the most of it and before I hang up my boots, maybe go back to study.”
– The Sunday Independent
Original source: Nifty Ndoro has an eye for goals