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Zimbabwe's Soccer Star of the Year Becomes a Local Celebrity Overnight

Ramson Zhuwawo of Premier Soccer League title holder Gunners Football Club says he is enjoying celebrity status in his home town of Mufakose since his designation as 2009 Soccer Star of the Year

Midfielder Ramson Zhuwawo of Zimbabwe's Gunners Football Club, current Premier Soccer League title holder, said Friday he was honored to be named Soccer Star of the Year for 2009 by the country's sports writers.

Midfielder Zhuwawo received a trophy and US$4,000 cash at a ceremony held at the swank Meikles Hotel on Thursday evening. He told VOA he is still thinking about how to spend his unexpected winnings.

Runner-up Cuthbert Malajila of Dynamos picked up US$2,000 while Caps United's Nyasha Mushekwi placed third for a US$1,400 award.

Mushekwi also claimed a cash prize of $2,000 and the Golden Boot Award after scoring an impressive 22 league goals during the season.

Finalists Norman Maroto of Gunners), Tafadzwa Rusike and Method Mwanjali of Caps United, Chris Semakweri and Mthulisi Maphosa of Monomotapa, Thabani Kamusoko of Njube Sundowns and Farai Vimisayi of Hwange each received consolation prizes of US$800.

Gunners goalie Tafadzwa Dube received US$2,000 as Goalkeeper of the Year, a new award in 2009. Gunners Coach Moses Chunga was named Coach of the Year and claimed a US$2,000 prize. Bulawayo-based referee Thabani Mkantjo, named Referee of the Year, similarly received a $2,000 cash award.

The event was sponsored by Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe Holdings.

Soccer Star of the year Zhuwawo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga Nyahuye that he will stay with Gunners and help his team triumph in the 2010 Confederation of African Football Champions League tourney.