He’s just 17 years old but without a doubt he is Australia’s most popular teenage soccer player.
Adelaide Blue Eagles’ Zimbabwe-born Tatenda Nyaruwe has unwittingly become a No. 1 ambassador for Australia’s NPL and hordes of teenagers that are armed with realistic dreams.
He has also become a unique brand and an Australian influencer.
Nyaruwe is now on the hit list of one of the globe’s biggest sports clothing labels who want the popular Blue Eagles playmaker to wear their goods.
Nyaruwe – a year 12 student at Gawler’s Trinity College – has amassed more than 204,000 followers and has earned 9.8 million likes on TikTok which is a viral video-sharing social network.
Using the handle @manliketatts, Nyaruwe has seen three of his videos generate more than one million views – a figure A-League clubs would be boasting about.
That was all before Nyaruwe made his senior NPL debut for Blue Eagles in round two this year against Raiders in March and scored against Olympic in September after the forced COVID-19 shutdown.
“Last year I was just making normal TikTok videos, funny ones for my friends and stuff like that,’’ he said.
“I stopped posting a bit and in April last year I started posting every day about Adelaide.
“That got a lot of attention and I got about 10,000 followers by doing that within four weeks.
“Then I started expanding my type of genre and type of things I post.
“I posted all of Australia type of things, like Australian food and stuff like that.
“That got me to 50,000 followers and then I started doing interviews in public and pranks and that was getting a lot of attention I had three videos which got more than one million views.
“For a period of time I was doing things at home and making videos for people my age that they can relate to.
“Things about parents and I don’t know how it blew up, I was getting 10,000 followers every two weeks.”
Nyaruwe is also hoping Blue Eagles beat Raiders at the Croatian Sports Centre on Friday night in a bid give the club hope of making the finals series.
After arriving in Australia as a two-year old, Nyaruwe is a lifelong Blue Eagles player after first kicking a ball with the Marden-based club about 11 years ago.
Soccer is his passion.
The youngster who says his mum Blessing, father Stanley and siblings Brittany, Bethan and Ethan are his biggest TikTok fans.
He said his TikTok popularity was the perfect avenue to highlight his own personality and to give soccer scouts a taste of what the winger and playmaker is all about on the pitch.
“I want to be a pro,’’ he said
“Honestly I just want to play soccer.”