Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
DEMBARE, De-7 million, the Glamour Boys, Chazunguza and Zora Butter are some of the catchy monikers that have been associated with Dynamos Football Club, a local football institution that has been in existence for the past 60 years.
To be precise, the Zimbabwean football powerhouse turned six decades old on January 18. While one would have expected fanfare to celebrate the day, the club chose to go it soundlessly with a modest Twitter message: “18 January 1963 Dynamos was formed. Happy 60th birthday, DeMbare.”
Boasting 22 league titles, providing the most Soccer Stars of the year (the highest local accolade for players) and renowned for grooming Zimbabwe’s most loved and popular players that include the late George “Mastermind” Shaya, Sunday Chidzambwa, Moses ‘Bambo’ Chunga and their former tear-away striker Tauya ‘The Flying Doctor’ Mrewa, DeMbare still want to FLY.
Through their current masterminds in the office, the Harare giants have revealed big plans that are being worked on by the Anniversary Celebrations Organising Committee chaired by Danford Mutashu.
A number of activities have been lined up by Dynamos as part of their commemorations to mark the club’s 60 years of existence in 2023. Apart from celebrating the team’s milestones, Dynamos are also reportedly aiming to reconnect with their huge fan base.
The 26-member Anniversary Celebrations Organising Committee was set up last month and has since begun the ground work, with a series of meetings having taken place.
“Our 60th anniversary celebrations, is an on-going project and an organising committee has now been put in place. We have come up with four sub committees which are (1) Legal and Human Capital, (2) Marketing, Sponsorship and Public
Relations, (3) Budget and Finance and (4) Research and Programmes. These sub committees will this week put in their 100-day plans and the main organising committee is being led by Mutashu,” said Dynamos chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.
What a way of seeking to fly again, just like in the days of their former player, the Flying Doctor.
Turning 60 is not a mean achievement!
Today, DeMbare can brag about a recognised memory and the prestige that comes with being the only Zimbabwean side to reach the Caf Champions League final.
From five league championships, a Madison trophy, two Mbada Diamonds Cups and some Bob Super Cup and Independence trophy titles they have won since 1998, it does not need any chameleonic caution to mention that December 12, 2023 will mark exactly 25 years since that fateful second leg of the final in Abidjan, when DeMbare fell 4-2 against ASEC Mimosas.
The match was played at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on December 12, 1998, a fortnight after the first leg had ended 0-0 at the National Sports Stadium.
Makwinji Soma-Phiri, who played the lead in a team that also had goalkeepers Ernest Chirambadare and Gift “Umbro” Muzadzi, Vint Fulawo, Ernest Masango, a boyish Desmond Maringwa, Zambian import Francis Kasanda, Chamunoda Musanhu, Harlington Shereni, Tonderai Mutambikwa and Lovemore Ncube among others, scored Dynamos’ first goal in Abidjan and remains the only Zimbabwean to score in a CAF Champions League final.
Ghanaian forward George Owusu grabbed DeMbare’s second.
Never-ending boardroom squabbles have, however, desolated Dynamos since 1998.
However, over the years, Chazunguza has become a coach production workshop.
If Tonderai Ndiraya, now with newly promoted Simba Bhora, had won the 2021/2002 season Castle Lager Premiership title, he would have added his name to a number of illustrious DeMbare sons who have directed local clubs to become kings of the domestic football scene.
Legendary coach Sunday (Chidzambwa) heads that list with seven league titles, three of them coming in the era of the modern Premiership in 1994, 1995 and 1997, before he walked out on the Glamour Boys two years later.
Callisto Pasuwa won four straight league titles, the first coach to achieve that feat in the domestic Premiership, taking over a Glamour Boys outfit that was staggering in the final stages of the 2011 marathon, and transforming them into a championship-winning side that year.
Two other DeMbare sons, Chunga, who won the league title with Gunners in 2009, and the late David “Yogi” Mandigora, who ended the Glamour Boys’ 10-year wait for the biggest prize in Zimbabwe football in 2007, have also been crowned champions.
To many, DeMbare is more than a club. And we say let your 60th birthday have the fascination of Zimbabwe’s Glamour Boys, celebrations that resonate with your emblematic desire of seeking to grace the winner’s podium more than anyone else. – @FungaiMuderere