Injured Footballer Turns To Cleaning Business

After suffering a career-threatening injury last season, former Maritzburg United and Cape Umoya United midfielder Gabriel Nyoni says he has revived his perfume and clothing brand while setting up a cleaning company in Cape Town.

The 29-year-old Zimbabwean player sustained a Lisfranc foot injury while playing in South Africa for second-tier side Cape Umoya in a league match against Richards Bay FC.

The Lisfranc injury or fracture is named after the French doctor who first identified it while treating patients during the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800s. 

It is a type of injury to the bones or ligaments in the middle part of the foot, also known as the tarsometatarsal joint.

After the injury, Nyoni had two surgeries. He said wires and three screws were inserted in his foot.

Doctors have told him he might never play professional football again.

Nyoni was injured in his first season at Cape Umoya having previously been on the books of Premier Soccer League club Maritzburg United. He says he still hopes to heal enough to play football again.

In the meantime, Nyoni who has a Bachelor of Commerce Honours degree in Marketing has decided to try his hand at business.

The injured footballer says he is involved in several ventures including a deep cleaning company, which operates in Cape Town.

As far back as 2016, while still playing football, Nyoni launched a perfume and clothing brand – ‘GN27’.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own business, but I was focused on football,” Nyoni tells The Bulrushes.

“Now that I can not play because of the injury, I was like okay let me do other things that I enjoy and I have always wanted to venture into business. 

“The perfume business is going very well,” says Nyoni.

Gabriel Nyoni in his playing days

He says the deep cleaning business, which is still in its teething stages, is making some strides.

“If by the end of next year we are worth at least a million rand I would be very happy,” says the ambitious footballer.

Nyoni says he has also been working hard to recover from the injury.

His club Cape Umoya United sold its franchise to fellow GladAfrica Championship side Venda Football Academy.

However, Nyoni says thankfully they continue to assist him to settle medical bills.

“My former employers have been really good to me; they are currently talking to the insurance company which is supposed to be paying for my rehabilitation and other things,” says Nyoni.

“They are really taking care of me pretty well.”

“I’m just waiting for the insurance to start paying for rehab and everything.

“Their doctors will assess in February to see if I will be able to play again or not.”

Nyoni played for Zimbabwean clubs Highlanders and CAPS United before he moved to South Africa, where he joined Maritzburg United in July 2019.

After initially getting his career in South Africa off to a promising start, Nyoni struggled with injury problems and was subsequently released by the club in August last year before joining Cape Umoya.