DYNAMOS’ longest serving captain, Memory Mucherahowa, has paid tribute to his former boss Sunday Chidzambwa who recently announced his retirement from active coaching duties.
Describing the most successful Zimbabwean coach at both local and international level as “the best there is, the best there was and the best there will be”, Mucherahowa, said football needs him more than he needs it.
“He was like a father to me. We have a very strong relationship built on mutual respect. This is almost the same relationship that I have with Thomas Mapfumo. As I said before in my book, “Soul Of Seven Million Dreams: The Memory Mucherahowa story,” Sunday is the best coach ever produced in Zimbabwe.
“His explanations were very simple and straight forward. It is good that he is not quitting football for good. These are the people that should be taking leading roles at Dynamos FC now. He did a lot for the club,” he said.
Mucherahowa who captained Dynamos FC from 1994 until his retirement in 2001 added; “I remember the first day I was promoted to the senior team. Our junior team’s coach Kuda Muchemeyi informed me that Chidzambwa wanted to see me. We were all afraid of him, you know the feeling of fear that you have when told that you are wanted at the headmaster’s office?
“He told me that I should start training with the senior team as soon as I finish my Ordinary Level studies which I was supplementing at Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA).”
Mucherahowa remembers how he fought for the return of Chidzambwa to Dynamos against the wishes of the standing committees running the club that time.
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“Twice I brought him back to Dynamos FC after he had been sacked at the club. In 1993 I did everything to make sure that he comes back to the club and this cost me my job at the Dynamos Sports Shop. I was vindicated when the team won the 1994, 1995 and 1997 league championship and the 1998 CAF Champions League silver medal. Other people did not want him at the club as they say he was cursed,” said Mucherahowa.
Mucherahowa, who sensationally admitted in his autobiography that he and his former coach Chidzambwa were at the center of juju use at the club said Chidzambwa was a master at identifying players’ strengths.
“Sunday was a genius. He knew his players’ weaknesses and strengths and converted several players from their previous positions, and they became even better players. Angirayi Chapo used to play number 10 at Metal Box, but Chidzambwa converted him into a defender. He also did the same with Mandigora who at one time played as a wing back.
“Henry Chari was a striker before Chidzambwa converted him into a defender. He also did the same with Claudius Zviripayi and Oliver Kateya who were both strikers,” he said of the coach who led Zimbabwe to two AFCON Cup finals.
Mucherahowa’s only disappointment with Chidzambwa is his 1999 Dynamos resignation.
“I was disappointed by his decision to quit the club in 1999. This was a time when we were fighting the executive for a share of the CAF Champions League prize money. I had a discussion with him at the national Sports Stadium and intimated to him that I was quitting the club and he persuaded me to stay. A few days later it was him resigning. He abandoned us as we were looking up to him for guidance,” said Mucherahowa.
Albert Marufu (Sports Editor)- Seasoned journalist based in UK with special interests in sports . He is the author of Soul of Seven Million Dreams: The Memory Mucherahowa Story by Memory Mucherahowa. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org